The Winter King

The world is crowned these days with flowers, but below the waist she is cold. She is sitting in a pool of tears, and the head of the winter king is in her lap. He has hair the colour of rain, and eyes that have seen everything. If you speak to him, he will answer in thunder, or in ungentle frosted silence; and yet he loves you. His head is in your lap. His tears are making you shiver.

I used to adore winter. I wrote a story about a girl who was stolen by the storm king. I wrote more poems to him than I can count. I have always pined for him through the other three quarters of the year. But this season I'm not so sure. Maybe I'm just getting old, or have seen too much of winter. Maybe it would be different in another environment - in the hills, in the valleys, where winter sheds leaves like poetry and the sky tucks up the world all cosy. Here on the plains, it just gets cold, not much more.

And I wonder if Old Woman World teaches us that we need both flowers and storms, warmth and weeping, in our selves as well as our seasons. Right now it's raining outside and I remember that I only love rain when it comes with tea and a cosy blanket.

But even now the winter king is growing flowers in his heart for us. And when he sees us with them at last, he is warmed, made full of joy; he dances, and the clouds dance with him, and love is renewed with a blue sky passion.


  1. i do love the winter. i think it has become my favourite season, edging out autumn, even. i've always thought of it more as an old woman, a sort of granny winter, who sweeps clean the land with her besom so we can see the bones and love them too, so everything is clean and polished in preparation for the new growth in spring... when i was little, i recall having a thought that she works so hard making green and flowery and fruiting magic the rest of the year---no wonder she needs a sleeping time for a few months... i never really thought of winter having a king until i read your descriptions of a winter king, with his head in the old woman's lap, and that is lovely too.

  2. all the seasons dream all our days and nights to life. beautifully expressed.


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