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Hygge Feature #8 Outdoors/Indoors

Can hygge be outside? Yes it can, because whenever we go indoors from a chilly outdoors, hygge is needed for comfort. A winter walk followed by a bowl of homemade soup; a cup of tea after doing some gardening; a settling down after a journey. All these are hygge. I’ve arranged these three poems seasonally, starting with a very cold haibun, and a spring poem, then a poem looking at a tree in different seasons and finding comfort there.

marshalls-arm-009

Photo by Angela Topping

SUB-ZERO

It’s Boxing Day, noon.  And down “The Shroppie”, a mile below Bunbury, a solitary narrowboat lies trapped against the bank in ice and snow.  The boatman, a cheery soul, chops logs.  Only the fragrant woodsmoke from his boat’s stove mars the dazzling white.

Now a large hare scurries, skidding, over the frozen canal with a buzzard in pursuit.  They vanish from view but a thin cry will plague our snuggling boatman until taken by a good malt, curtains drawn.

in the golden glow
of a log fire
jugged hare is served, amen

Paul Beech

Note: “The Shroppie” is an affectionate name for the Shropshire Union Canal.

  Small things

Sweet smell of hay smokes around my nostrils,
giggles there like the unexpected wash of wine,
that first gentle giddy in unsuspecting blood stream

I walk a little further only to see the distant house
where a man is dying from what started as tiny cells,
where his wife is bits and pieces busy coping out of love

Snowdrops are everywhere – fly-tipped, forgotten,
now defying, gambling, growing against the grain,
extending their small odds in confident clumps

Then some baby daffodils moulded in miniature –
all the more appealing for being smaller versions,
grander for their pride in being perfect little copies

Finally I am home. Warm bathing me at the door
because you are there. No fuss – simply in our home,
quiet greeting, gentle smile wrapping around me

These the small things firing neurons below skin
What we feel at any moment in a lifetime mesh,
gathering the small, the significantly tiny atoms

Pat Edwards

 

The Beech

Beneath sapphire summer skies
its canopy shimmered ruby light
each leaf a drop of blood shed
transferred from battle to the sky

Now the year is growing slight
the slanting sun catches clustered
leaves; hanging still despite the wind
that snatches, hurls handfuls with
armoured hands to sodden ground.

The canopy still shimmers gold,
a kings dinner service set upon
a banquet table of crystal light
green garlanded by evergreens,

that will remain when the gold
has fallen to the ground, turned
brown and rotted into mulch, but
still the tree will stand bare-black

revealing remnants of the homes,
the nests that nurtured nestlings
wait for winter to depart, spring
return and then again the buds

will clothe the canopy, open slowly
as the sun rises higher every day
until the canopy is copper, ruby
lit, a shelter to new life brought
by returning survivors of the flight.

Carolyn O’Connell

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