The Park Drunk

The Park Drunk

He opens his eyes to a hard frost,
the morning's soft amnesia of snow.

The thorned stems of gorse
are starred crystal; each bud
like a candied fruit, its yellow
picked out and lit
by the low pulse
of blood-orange
riding in the eastern trees.

What the snow has furred
to silence, uniformity,
frost amplifies, makes singular:
giving every form a sound,
an edge, as if
frost wants to know what
snow tries to forget.

And so he drinks for winter,
for the coming year,
to open all the beautiful tiny doors
in their craquelure of frost;
and he drinks
like the snow falling, trying
to close the biggest door of all.


from Swithering (Picador, 2006), © Robin Robertson 2006, used by permission of the author and Macmillan Publishers

Recordings

Robin Robertson Reading from his poems

1Aberdeen

2New Gravity

3The Flaying of Marsyas

4Artichoke

5Static

6Five Views from the Camera Obscura

7The Flowers of the Forest 8Apart

9The Long home

10False Spring

11The Thermal Image

12Tryst

13Dream of the Huntress

14Asterion and the God

15Wedding the Locksmith's Daughter

16Waves

17Hide

18Fall

19The Park Drunk

20Myth

21At Dawn

22What the Horses See at Night

23The Death of Actaeon

24Swimming in the Woods

25Ghost of a Garden

26Selkie

27Wormwood 28The Glair

29Entropy

30Entry

31Strindberg in London

32A Seagull Murmur

33La Stanza delle Mosche

34Lizard

35Manifest

36The Lake at Dusk

37Crossing the Archipelago

38Leavings

39Donegal

40Holding Proteus

Books by Robin Robertson