Sometimes hygge is in people too. Those people who make you feel cosy and loved by making simple treats for you. These people are often grandparents, or friends who have the knack of hygge. Today’s first poem is by Alison Lock, and she sent me this beautiful photo of her nana to go with the poem.
Last night I woke inside a dream
Last night I woke inside a dream.
I was staying at your house
where you made me tea
of steamed plaice
with all the bones taken out,
you gave me milk and honey
in a proper cup and saucer,
we podded peas together
and while they boiled
you told me a story,
my head on your shoulder
your arm around me
the scent of sugared almonds
on your skin.
Then you pressed your lips to my cheek
pulled a satin quilt around me.
I fell back to sleep on a bed
of the softest feathers.
Carole Bromley is clearly a grandmother who can create hygge well, though of a much younger generation.
Only after they’ve been gone nine hours
do we begin to dance, me and Josephine
who, just this morning, was content
to rediscover the world of Croc, to sit
in her playpen solemnly turning pages.
Set free, she scampered after the cat
who was always just one paw ahead;
then pulled herself up on my leg,
let go and fell into its water-bowl.
Since lunch we’ve played the xylophone,
pressed the red nose of the plastic dog,
releasing the notes of Old MacDonald
into the sunlit room. Toast was of interest,
banana, puréed parsnip. We went out
to say hello to the lambs along Town Path,
stopped to watch a girl in red wellies
feeding the ducks. Sleep did not appeal.
Now it’s desperate measures, dancing
to Venus in Blue Jeans across the kitchen tiles.
(first published in A Guided Tour of the Ice House Smith/Doorstop)
Hygge is all about friends too. Those cosy friends who are happy with a simple supper, rather than a swanky dinner party. Friends who are all about sharing and fun. Here is one such poem.
To what shall I invite you, sweetest friend?
To dine? Ah, I remember, long ago,
banquets at one another’s houses, when
we’d make a feast of anything at all.
Beneath the kitchen light-bulb’s goat-eyed glare
we sliced and stirred and tasted, side by side;
your wrists, escaping from unbuttoned cuffs,
were pale as pearl, and nearly broke my heart.
Well, this is not the love I wanted then,
bedazzled by your beauty and your youth.
Now patient time has taught my passion sense,
has schooled me to distinguish love from love.
Let’s drink, then, to the serene love of friends,
Which weathers pain and tears, and never ends.
first published in Rat’s Ass Review, ‘Love & Ensuing Madness’