Monday 2nd February 2009. The heaviest snowfall in 18 years has covered London in white. And on the street, children play together, chucking snowballs at each other, or at passing cars (the few daredevils who venture out in this weather) or instead the children take good aim at a bobby on the beat who smiles and returns the favour, outnumbered as he/she is, notwithstanding. On days like these my adopted city looks regal and my imagination soars away. Many thanks, winter, many thanks, snow and many thanks, London, my London.
I imagine this midnight moment's forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock's loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow
A fox's nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Coming about its own business
Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.
By Ted Hughes