The Exile Of The Winter King

December dawn enthroned the Winter King amid festive dreams of white
and nostalgia rich visions of crystal swirled missions
through short sporting days and feasts on snowballing nights.

But holiday trimmings are now cheerless, chipped and feeble and frayed.
Cheap novelty has faded, tinsel droops dowdy and jaded,
once warm welcome has been outstayed

The old man's hibernal snoring shivers his blanketing grey.
But the bright third page of the calendar sage
calls "Majesty! You must March away!"
 
I shake him. I wake him. "The time has come" I tell the king.
"The bulbs push through for the burnished blue.
Air's pilgrims court, cavort and coo: it's Spring!".

Yawning, the king outstretches a cold white, old right hand.
But his once-tight grip is now slack and slick,
and he creaks as he struggles to stand.

"I know when I'm not wanted," he says, "but I'll only meet halfway.
I'll leave your home, go north to my own...
But I won't be going today".

"No I won't be going today!" he roars, and the sapphire sky turns black.
"My rule's not done, I'll shroud the sun,
my storms are coming back!".

With a frosted glare his glacial stare stunts the green rebirth,
His snowy mane and freezing reign,
once more shroud the steel cold earth.

From his callused hand waves expand and gallop across the sea.
A lashing of rain, hail clatters again
And the gale is fierce and free.

Dancing Spring slips her cold feet neath icy sheets of morning.
At the Old Man's cracked cackle verglas windows rattle,
His chill blast proclaims this sharp warning.

"Cast no clout til the May be out, old words but a timely caution.
It's winter still and I'm sovereign until
I scent death in the hawthorne's blossom."

But the monarch's power is failing; annealing sun now sets the pace,
and as day follows day the king dwindles away,
daughter Spring now rules in his place.

With a spectral spattering of colour she decorates branch and bud.
While the music of living, of taking, of giving,
fills sweet air with fragrant love.

At last the May tree blossoms, a speckled ashen foam.
And now we can see, that from winter we are free,
as he shrinks to his polar home.



Written by Phil Widdows, February 2015
The Winter King





Winter King Fir