The simple joys of home: a bunch of daffodils, a bowl of hyacinths, blue and white pottery, candlelight and starlight, all can lift the spirits without expense. Today I have chosen one of mine, previously unpublished, because it goes so well with this photo and Maureen’s hyacinths, and Brian Johnstone’s meditative poem rounds off beautifully.
Photo Credit: Lucy Byrne
While the sky shimmers like shot silk,
chimney pots a toothy smile,
I count the pots, 1 2 3 4 5.
On my kitchen table, sheets and sheets
of screwed up poems,
I will flatten them tomorrow
for shopping lists.
While perfumed smells of hyacinths
bring memories of my mother:
‘they make lovely Christmas presents’
she would say, as she potted and tended …
The evening moves along
as evenings do…
The moon a half golden bracelet.
The sky cluttered with stars.
All is still, no cars, no trains.
And in this stillness
the midnight robin sings.
First appeared in her pamphlet Midnight Robin, published by Poetry Space (2014)
This is the still time of year.
The snows have gone,
melting back into the atmosphere.
Not even snowdrops dare to break
the frosty earth. Indoors in their china bowl
paper-white narccissi sail like stars
against the window’s glossy black glass,
unnatural, forced from the bulb too soon.
The new year’s bombs lie undetonated.
Storms must be weathered.
This is the still time of night.
I am trying to unbury the past,
to find flowers still hidden in the bulb,
this time to nurture them.
Mrs Baxter’s Lang Rig, St Andrews
The sense of habitation
this stone-built structure gives
has married three to one,
placed human souls
between the meat and wine,
with fire to warm and candlelight
to talk or dine by, here
where garden gives to orchard
and the walls protect.
This simple grasp of needs sets
pigeon boles in tiers to fill
the attic space with burbled song,
the while to raise
as fowl. The table waits below.
Beneath its feet the vaulted cellar
houses vintage upon vintage
labelled, racked, awaiting hands
to pair them to the meal,
to light the wick and kindle flame,
to feast on what this space
has stored against
the cold of winter, summer heat,
the fuss and bustle
of the house and its affairs
all left behind, deferred
to this retreat inhabited by ghosts
conversing, raising up a glass.
7 responses to “Hygge Feature #13 Domestic Delights”
Particularly drawn to your phrase, unbury the past and to Brian’s image of ghosts conversing
Sent from my iPad Joan Leotta Author, Story performer http://Www.joanleotta.wordpress.com 910-575-0618
Thank you, Joan, and for your ongoing support of this feature.
Really enjoying your hygge features, Angela. Curious, isn’t it, that the genre stems from the same culture as “Nordic Noir” crime fiction? How variously hygge may be found, and how stunning the talents here displayed.
I often have to read the poems three times over, so magical are the words. And this is certainly true of today’s three, your ‘January’, Brian’s ‘Hermitage’ and of course my darling Maureen’s ‘Midnight Robin’!
Lucy’s photo is great too.
I shall look forward to further treats,
Thank you Angela for including my poem ‘Midnight Robin’ on today’s hygge feature. Like Paul ( and thank you Paul) I love your ‘January’ and Brian Johnstone’s ‘Hermitage.’
The essence of Hygge is the counterpoint between being outside in the elements and coming into or being inside in the warmth of an environment one feels comfortable.
High calibre poets, as all of these 3 poets above, have drilled down to the nub to the quintessential meaning if the concept and delivered to us a truly delightful and poetic picaresque journey to Hygge!
Hi Angela Long time no see! Hope to see you though in Stanza. Have written a comment on your FAb poem but WordPress doesn’t like my email oR my password! Pain!
Anyway here it is: I’ll try again to re-post it but I e tried twice already. Never mind. Poem is lovely.
The essence of Hygge is the counterpoint between being outside in the elements and coming into or being inside in the warmth of an environment one feels comfortable. High calibre poets, as all of these 3 poets above, have drilled down to the nub to the quintessential meaning if the concept and delivered to us a truly delightful and poetic picaresque journey to Hygge!
Sent from my iPhone
Thank you Carolyn Richardson.