Touchstone cover scanned
Robyn Sarah. photo: D. R. Cowles. From cover of The Touchstone.

Winter in London is similar to March in Canada, except there is no melting snow. Wind follows rain follows wind. Excitement last weekend over two sunny days in a row. The herbs on the windowsill are leaning towards the sun. Yet here we are at the end of 2013. The poem below, by Robyn Sarah, reminds us of winter while closing the year. Poet and poetry editor Robyn Sarah lives in Montreal. Buy her book in a bookstore.
Update: Robyn Sarah’s 40-year-retrospective selection of poetry, Wherever We Mean to Be, came out in 2017 with Biblioasis, who also published her memoir, Music, Late and Soon in 2021.

Last of December

All over the city, white
musings of chimney smoke
unwind their chiffon into day,
wisps ribboned by wind
flicker, the sun’s cold eye
recessed under lids of cloud
spindles its beam.
Christmas is done.
This is the great
lying-in, no one walks
abroad here, the snow lies
trackless in the empty streets.
No sound – not even a bird.
Curtains still drawn at noon.
Kettles are heating in every kitchen
for the birthing year.

-from Pause for Breath by Robyn Sarah (Biblioasis, 2009)


Posted by Debra Martens

author, editor


  1. ….love the birthing metaphor in the poem….
    happy New Year from London , Ontario, Canada
    ….it is pretty darn cold here!


  2. A lovely year end poem, thanks Debra, and a happy new year to you. I am sorry I never managed to send you any poems…..still working on them after a long hiatus. I hope all is well with you and yours. xo


  3. I’ve just been in Montreal for two days and the streets weren’t ‘trackless’ but filled with people. Nevertheless, a lovely poem evoking a familiar time of year. Thanks and Happy New Year to you and yours, Debra.


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