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Nadir

after Schubert’s Winterreise

Strangers we come
strangers we depart.
We cannot choose our journey
nor time when we start /
in this dark time
we must find our way:
seek traces in the snow
pierce the ice with tears
scald the frozen earth
kiss insentient ground /
in this dark time
we must find our way:
follow faint fox-fire
stray from the firm path
chase its hideous glow
born from forest’s decay /
in this dark wood
we must find our way:
traipse past neglected signs
tramp over buried bones
pick one smooth ancient stone
to place on the wayside cairn:
in this dark wood
we must find our way:
Strangers we come
strangers we depart;
ignore path-finder songs
follow our wayward hearts.
in this dark wood
we must find our way:
in this dark time
we must find our way:

Written for and performed at the Schubertiade, Rhosygilwen, October 2013.

Helen May Williams is a poet and author, living in West Wales. She has written extensively on twentieth-century poetry and formerly taught at the University of Warwick, where she was a founder member of the Warwick Writing Programme Advisory Board. She runs the Poetry Society’s Carmarthen-based Stanza group and is an active member of Penfro Poets. She recently completed a translation of Michel Onfray’s Before Silence (Avant le Silence), a volume of 21st century haiku. Her poems have appeared in numerous poetry journals and anthologies. “Nadir” is the opening poem in her chapbook, The Princess of Vix, Three Drops Press, 2017.

Blog: helenmaywilliams.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.m.dennis1