Poetry: Five O’Clock Shadow


As another new day dawns, an arctic silence
Lies upon the frosted furrowed fields.
A bitter breeze blows through denuded trees.
A bunch of disillusioned crows sit hunched
Among frost-blasted branches,
Mourning for the summer days long past.

In the distant woods, a wily fox returning late back to his lair
Gives out a sharp consumptive cough,
A sinister sound, enough to set the huddled birds
A shuddering on their perches.

A wintry sun shines weakly in a blue uncertain sky,
Reflecting rainbows in the glittering crystals
Suspended like diamonds from the cottage eaves,
Trembling in Zephyrus’s icy breath.
A brazen robin trills his song, defying Death
Who masquerades in winter’s hoary mantle.

Across the bleak and whitened wastes of empty fields
The strident call of some triumphant pheasant can be heard,
Strutting proudly through the ploughed  and furrowed iron ground.
A haughty bird who bears his noble plumage like a shield of honour,
A brightly feathered coat of arms.

But now the winter’s day is disappearing,
As Vesper spreads his cloak of gathering gloom,
And in a clearing through the snow clouds
Can be spied brave Hesperus travelling home.

Wrapped in Morpheus’s poppy scented cloak
Lost along the paths paved with unwanted dreams,
There came a sound so strange that broke
Into my unconscious, a lingering, chilling, sobbing scream.

The clock ticks on and you breathe easily beside me,
I lie awake, all senses straining in the dark,
Waiting for another sound to reach me,
Listening for the fox’s prehistoric bark.

Going quickly to the open window,
I gaze upon the silent and deserted street,
And suddenly I catch the faintest echo
Of Reynard’s snarling cough as he retreats.

The right of Rusty Gladdish to be identified as the the author of this works has been  asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988.


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