A poem 'Scissors Paper Rock' by Saltdean writer Peter Black

Winter. Pre-dawn, still dark. Dark, and still.

Duvet-snared feet match sleep's fog tangled in my waking brain

as dispersing dreams flicker out like dying moths round a guttering candle.

Where's that coffee!


White ice-coatings on car-tops.

Unprotected windscreens await scraper and heat-blast from within.

Frost covers pavements and driveways unkissed as yet by tyre or sun.


Is that just a hint, a touch, of fox's footfall?

Spectral shadow, winter warrior proudly arrayed in ermine-like glory,

seeking early breakfast long before screaming gulls wake and ascend

into formations of ferocious flying-bombs to beak-batter her under shelter.


Gazing down from the Galaxy, that ultimate predator, mighty Orion

– astride the heavens, bow fully drawn in eternal expectation –

admires her stalking prowess, one hunter's homage to another.


Starkly naked trees seem asleep but

– in their hidden root-ball wombs awash with amniotic fungal fluid –

silently compose Demeter's long- yearned-for Symphonies of Spring,

promises of rebirth, regeneration and hope.


Her orchestras – massed mycological musicians – tune up,

about to pulse out drumbeats across our universal netherworld

heralding unstoppable, exuberant, global resurrection.

L'chaim!


Meanwhile, pity the city's grim, grimy, growing army of homeless rough sleepers.

Will they survive yet another night of icy ordeal in cardboard-strewn doorways?

Under our own comfy, cozy, clean, complacent quilts, we – the lucky ones –

can only imagine their suffering. There, but for the grace…


Shame on us?



copyright Peter Black 2022