• sootallures

A Rodborough Christmas

Updated: Jan 6, 2021

One dull December tier two afternoon,

I biked out from Rodborough’s dull streets,

Then along the Slad valley to Bulls Cross:

Past wintry pollarded willow trees,

All lined along the lanes;

Past wandering figures with yuletide logs,

Like revenants in the fogbound fields;

Past families cutting mistletoe,

Long handled secateurs silhouetted

Against the western cumulus cloudscape;

Past rooks, gathering in the quickening dusk,

All calling in the copse;

Until all was still, and silent,

At sunset:

That moment,

When all life seems to be suspended.

I stood, listening to the twilight silence,

Then turned my bike for home.

And when I returned to Rodborough,

Nocturnal winter-spring had somehow sprung:

Doors were hung with stars and wreaths of holly,

Braided with mistletoe and ivy;

Windows were now ablaze with lights,

And with glittering trees and candles:

The calendar of dark December

Marking Advent's luminous progress,

Glowing in the red brick suburban streets.

Christmas has come to Rodborough:

The magical alchemy of winter.

First 3 photographs below by Stuart Butler

All others by Bill Hicks

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