Certain things are simply, embarrassingly, true.
A hard frost leaves a thick crystalline crust on
pavement debris, hedgerows, bare twigs, and grass stems.
Even in winter, the time for frosts,
the moon is nevertheless full every 28.25 days.
This bright light will reflect off the tiny ice crystals.
Churches still have bells,
prone to ringing.
If you run fast with someone,
you will laugh and be breathless.
Before you know it,
you’re running hand in hand
over fields of diamonds
under a brilliant moon through
the sound of pealing bells.
If you then step into the church and
hear the Miserere sung, for the first time, ever,
you will know:
all the stories are true.
So it’s true:
they walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamplight;
he held her hand.
All the clichés have a foundation,
somewhere and some time,
in plain objective fact.
Certain moments will be frozen
forever in gleaming colours.
The first time you see a shining green field against
a deep lavender sky of cloud with
the sunshine turning an oak tree
the bright colour of an oil-coated green olive,
you will remember.
The edges of such a sharp moment can cut you,
handled carelessly. Before looking at it again,
you should always take several deep breaths,
steel your heart, and
make your face hard.
Other such moments to beware are as follows:
eating blackberries directly from a countryside hedge
on a day of dry, old sunshine;
windswept beaches in wintertime;
stumbling across the overgrown ruins of a cottage deep in the woods;
sitting on frozen river banks; and
of course, any combination of
frost and moonlight.
If you see people crying in airports,
walk the other way:
buy a cup of coffee and a newspaper; do the crossword.
Look away from anything in hunter green.
The angel still stands at the gate with a burning sword.
I will not hesitate to hack you apart. That’s my job.
You can avoid all that, if you follow these simple rules, and