In The Country Where
It Is Always Winter.
(After Pieter Breughels Hunters
in the Snow)
I am tired of romping in this cold beauty.
In a land without memory where the wind and
I am tired of the voluptuousness of winter.
This town is unfamiliar, not even as close
as a cousin.
The sky is a disheveled gray.
The same pale color as my brothers
What they are thinking?
I dont know.
We have long since ceased to communicate.
It does not stop our wanderings.
It does not help us to escape this country.
The country where it is always Winter.
That these dogs are starving like the
ragged souls of this town does not surprise me.
Did I say brothers?
At one time they were strangers.
But when that time was I cant say.
And the dogs too, vagabonds, strangers
themselves, immune to disease.
They follow us as if we had anything for
Youd think they would run to the
But like for us warmth of that kind is only
What kind of purgatory is it where the
towns people skate on ice?
A town called temptation?
If only we could stay here.
If only there were some kind of salvation
in the snow.
The sound of the fire, dumb like the
dreamless nights of sleep.
The childrens voices I can hear,
echoes in a well.
As for the swallows their immaculate
twisting rends nothing.
And the dogs.
No whimpering for these mutts.
Just a slow sifting of the white ground.
Their anxious feet make the snow a poor
betrayer to the silence.
A silence that rises like the dank smell of
A silence I have become used to.
Hoary and full of echoes.
I want to say I left a loved one behind.
But, I cant.
Maybe I did, but I dont know now.
Its been so long.
I imagine what she would have looked like.
But that again is another impossible task.
I cant get beyond the hands.
A chilly alabaster, slender.
One last look onto the ice then.
Ice so hard I can almost dream of another
life beyond its surface.
It carries our stern reflection as we
Look, the trees stand wracked with a
They are like brittle black skeletons in
the on-coming twilight.
And like windmills the children wave their
If you've any comments on this poem, Paul Perry would
be pleased to hear from you.