About the poet
John Moat (b. 1936, India) is best known as a co-founder of the Arvon Foundation, and not as the...
Midwinter. The sun red on the brink of the tree far side
Of the valley. We sit, she and I, in the frozen wide-eyed
Silence, watch the living come-and-go of our breath.
Nothing’s permanent. Nothing can last except…now. A gull glides
From mist into clear sky – and back into mist:
A thought torn apart, bled out of mind. Then length and breadth
Melt back into emptiness. Each life is a thought of death,
A thought in passing. See it come, watch it go, says the guide.
You let it go. Let it go. Allow the thought to rest
On emptiness. On the silence. The valley is silent. In shadow beneath
The silver birch – one daffodil. A passing thought. The frost
Is set, the silence complete. He may already have died.
We hold onto the thought of him. A thought in passing. Death
Is unreal – until silence has healed. Yet still the spindrift
On the glass, still the poems, still our laughter sounding out of the mist.