Friday, 13 February 2015

Poem for the Day: Rain - Birdoswald by Frances Horovitz

Going to sleep to the sound of rain bashing against your window whilst your snuggled up in the warm

Rain - Birdoswald
Frances Horovitz

I stand under a leafless tree
more still, in this mouse-pattering
thrum of rain,
than cattle shifting in the field.
It is more dark than light.
A Chinese painter's brush of deepening grey
moves in the subtle tide.

The beasts are darker island now.
Wet-stained and silvered by the rain
they suffer night,
marooned as still as stone or tree.
We sense each other's quiet.

Almost, death could come
inevitable, unstrange
as is this dusk and rain,
and I should be no more
myself, than raindrops
glimmering in last light
on black ash buds

or night beasts in a winter field.
Frances Horovitz began to write poetry after her marriage to the performance poet Michael Horovitz.  In 1980, inspired by a commission on the theme of Hadrian's Wall, she lived in a farmhouse at Kiln Hill, near the Roman fort of Birdoswald in Cumbria.  Many of her poems at that time took their inspiration from the Irthing Valley below Birdoswald.

She died at the age of 45 after a long struggle with cancer, and her 'Collected Poems' were edited by her second husband, Roger Garfitt.