Snow blindness

After a few days we don’t notice

the whiteness, only the quiet and

the quality of light.

Here, looking out of the window

the sky is heavy with brightness;

there’s a persistent drifting; nothing is recorded

except momentarily, then hush-hush cover up-

the fine dusting.

We don’t mention the loss of surface,

don’t feel the weight behind the double glazing.

We don’t see the white wind drive the garbage

up the hill; we turn away back to our artificial hearth

into the broken arc of the snow dome.

Mary L Carr

Empty Shells

The empty shells look down upon the tents and crowded doorways.

They cast shadows like black stains on cobbled stones.

A man sits on Danish furniture, waiting, spitting on his fingers and turning the pages of a magazine. He finds comfort in the splash of colour in his hands. A tram passes below and he closes the window by pressing a blue square on his phone. Silence, purity, chefs who dress their plates with tweezers.

The empty shells are hollow. He dreams about them and wakes long before the alarm. Today the newspaper reports an urban rash.

Sometimes there is a tap-tap and people look up, towards the hill. ‘A good time can’t return to a powder,’ he hears them whisper.

The empty shells were emptied,
the dregs all rinsed away.

Our shame isn’t yours, but please don’t return.

The empty shells create an echo. We pull them away from our ears as our arms grow longer.
Side by side, the empty shells and bulging tents; an abomination above our city. Together, strange, like Murakami’s two moons on the horizon.

Empty shells.

Our shame doesn’t belong to them, it’s much worse than that.

Andrew Rhodes


These, my love, are your instructions….
Scatter me on the Alaskan tundra.
Let me become one with the ice crystals,
The powdered snow,
Frozen in time.
Let me dust the wingtips of eagles and
The stiffened beards of Inuit fishermen.
Let me soar above the Rockies,
Frost the glacial drift, melt in the open mouths
of the Ketchican salmon.

Scatter me on the sands of the Iranian desert
Let me snag in the camels’ hooves,
And fringe the welcome watering hole, then
Sink slowly to the bottom of the limpid, pale
Pools, reflecting the high and powerful
Let me travel with the nomads in their
Rich woollen blankets,
Shaking me free again each night
Under the Arabian stars.

Scatter me in the wild Atlantic,
The coastal winds blow frantic and free.
Let the foam toss and
Dance with me,
Gently drift me
Into the dark columns of the basalt chambers,
Where I will sing with the sea creatures
Their nightly song.

Scatter me on the watchful stone angels of the
Ponte Sant’Angelo.
Let me glisten under the Italian moon,
Guide the chaste and silent sisters
To their whispered vespers.
Then hurtle Polizi pillion, sirens screaming,
Through sweltering high noon dramas.

Scatter me on the bi-plane’s wings,
So that I soar above the open peaks,
Laughing as I tapdance
In aerial abandon.
Throw me on the ballroom floor,
Where the patent toes of
tango dancers grind me ever finer and finer.
Use me as silvery, gritty glitter
For my grandchild’s birthday wand,
As fairy dust for my lover’s hair.

Then contain me, hold me,
In the secret silver locket
That nestles between your breasts;
Let me rise and fall
Breathing with you, through you,
Forever home.

Judith Pinkos