snowbones           SNOWBONES

Snowbones are what is left

When Spring warmth melts the snow body

So earth becomes a gibbeted giant.

Like badly-kept secrets

Snowbones are scattered across moorland

Or dashed along hedgerows,

The rearguard of winter’s army.

Seen from above,

The eye, obsessive and patterning,

Makes sense of their nonsense,

Fleshes out the skeleton

And clicks the camera

In a revelation of Christ.

To the treasure hunter, snowbones are clues,

White arrows in a wasteland,

Indications that warmth is unwelcome,

Bones which must be picked with care,

Serving at once to delude and deliver.

To rooks and crows, gauntly flapping winter rags,

They are flesh traps and backdrops:

A sheep’s eye,

A frozen rabbit gut, rich reward.

Snowbones were winter’s remains

According to the ancients.

Ah the randomness of thaw

From which men struggle for meaning;

Like making sense of the night

By the translation of dreaming.


© Alan Combes, 2019. All Rights Reserved

Alan Combes