Guest Poem by Peter Lockhart

Peter Lockhart is a new poet, just beginning to see his work being published, including in Acumen. He was brought up in Lancashire and now resident in Surrey, where he works as a full-time trade union official in the public sector. This poem is from Acumen 107.

Winter in these parts

We lug paving slabs onto wheelie bins,
Coax the smaller animals into the spare room,
Sling frayed hawsers over outhouses and hen coops.
Glacial swamps appear from underground.
We cradle our children from school, weight them down
With rocks, free up fireplaces and rebalance chimney stacks.
Around the kitchen table a single candle
At mealtimes measures the awkward stretch
From each wooden chair nailed down in haste
When the bottom half of the double-doors blew in.
Daylight is a rumour spread by the insane and the zealots,
Or a practical joke, the apprentice sent out for tartan paint
For the umpteenth time. But we are serious people
And in these parts we take winter seriously.