The World’s Snug and Close

3 December 2013
10:35 pm
Edinburgh

T. —

It is a dark night, and sleep is calling. But the music is peaceful, and the winter is enveloping.

*

November night, Edinburgh
Norman MacCaig

The night tinkles like ice in glasses.
Leaves are glued to the pavement with frost.
The brown air fumes at the shop windows,
Tries the doors, and sidles past.

I gulp down winter raw. The heady
Darkness swirls with tenements.
In a brown fuzz of cottonwool
Lamps fade up crags, die into pits.

Frost in my lungs is harsh as leaves
Scraped up on paths. – I look up, there,
A high roof sails, at the mast-head
Fluttering a grey and ragged star.

The world’s a bear shrugged in his den.
It’s snug and close in the snoring night.
And outside like chrysanthemums
The fog unfolds its bitter scent.

*

Goodnight,
M

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