Friday, January 23, 2009

Wind: a love - hate relationship

Wind (by Ted Hughes)

This house has been far out at sea all night,

The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
Winds stampeding the fields under the window
Floundering black astride and blinding wet.

Till day rose; then under an orange sky
The hills had new places, and wind wielded
Blade-light, luminous black and emerald,
Flexing like the lens of a mad eye.

At noon I scaled along the house-side as far as
The coal-house door. Once I looked up -
Through the brunt wind that dented the balls of my eyes
The tent of the hills drummed and strained its guyrope,

The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace,
At any second to bang and vanish with a flap;
The wind flung a magpie away and a black-
Back gull bent like an iron bar slowly. The house

Rang like some fine green goblet in the note
That any second would shatter it. Now deep
In chairs, in front of the great fire, we grip
Our hearts and cannot entertain book, thought,

Or each other. We watch the fire blazing,
And feel the roots of the house move, but sit on,
Seeing the window tremble to come in,
Hearing the stones cry out under the horizons.
* * * *
In January, February, March my heart pounds more, because
I'm sure
the westerlies, northerlies and otherlies bang on my door.
no. in fact they like to raise my bed,
in my balloon-frame house they shake every darn piece
of furniture. Not just shake but rattle and unhinge.
And that goes for my nerves too.
Only heavy wool blankets stay on my bed in these months.
Even the foster cat finds the rocking chair preferable,
a pleasant counter-action, like a hammock on a ship, to the
plundering wind.
When we lived in Port au Port
(and the axe blew over one blustery winter day)
I joked that my kids were growing on an angle.
Like tuckamore. Resilient.


Deborah Carr said...

These are both beautiful, Alison - I remember one November in Neddie's Harbour with a Newfoundland wind howling up Bonne Bay, when we trusted our home's endurance and our dog slept under a chair...

I'm assume the last part is all yours...

Alison Dyer said...

Hi Deborah, sorry to be so long getting back to you. must have been on an email siesta. Ah, Newfoundland and wind, like sisters, eh? and yes, the last part is mine, some remembrances of wind... Alison