There is no scent of roses here As there was in that quiet Cathedral. No flowers at all. Only the drunks hiccuping home, singing, Keeping well away from the grey and hungry water Hissing right up to the sea wall, All frosted and glittering.
Bitter sleet whipping their cold faces, Whitening their hair, Whitening the streets around them, As if spitefully denying any hope Of warmth and peace to come.
For these men and women staggering Down the frozen pavements, Are reluctant to go home. Reluctant to leave the world behind them. Boozily loving each other, Wanting to sing as loud as they can.
Singing without thinking, Knowing the words of songs learnt in childhood, Knowing that drunk or sober, Life is for the living.
These Tulips are a dazzle Of tethered sunshine, Silky lemon petals trembling In the slow moving air. Courteous flowers, Bowing to each other, Bending low to the waiting room Their stems gently curving, Lifting the green and lovely leaves That we might see The fabulous hidden life Waiting for us all.
A bitter night of frost, Of frozen snow and ice so thin It came in on the wind. Sharp as knives, cutting uncovered faces, Splitting flesh on poor cold fingers, Promising a day of misery With beauty in its pocket.
Down the long perishing road, Houses huddled tight together, Looking for warmth. Brick walls cold as stone. Frost rimed windows and doors tight closed. Tall chimneys carrying the tiny warmth Of dying fires into the freezing dark.
Into this cold silence, Whispered words, poems and half-remembered prayers Drift like wisps of smoke. Dreams and reality Bringing another world to this world.
Bringing hope For as long as those Who do the night work, Work on.