Snow Biz

When I start my weekly Sunday run, at 9.33, it’s just starting to snow. I presume, though, that it will be nothing more than the lightest, icing-sugar dusting. It hasn’t snowed properly in this corner of north-east Surrey / south-west London for about six years, but down it comes. To run through it is a full-on, sensory, exhilarating experience.

          refilled as quickly as I make them footprints in the snow

I watch my footing and slow my pace: I’m sure that pitching up at A & E with a broken ankle would not endear me to the brave, fantastic folk at Kingston Hospital.

          snow settles
          on a small allotment:
          the bean canes aslant

An hour and a half later, my feet are enjoying the creak through the gorgeous compactness of the snow. Victoria Park, in Surbiton, provides enough space for socially-distanced snowball fights. The pavements on Brighton Road are all but empty.

          the one-man band
          strums to no one
          swirling snow

At home at 11.07, my hands are numbed in my pink and black gloves. I have to warm them on the radiator by the front door before I can get them off and untie the laces on my drenched running shoes.

          the only traffic
          in endless snowflakes:
          speedy fox

Before long, I’m happily re-heating in the bath, the bubbles echoing the snow.

          even through the frosted glass snow light

2, 3: from The Lammas Lands
4: from The Regulars

9 thoughts on “Snow Biz

  1. What a fascinating, intriguing (maybe beguiling) post. Is it a sequence or haibun or a sequence of haibun or something else. Whatever! A very enjoyable read. In part it inspired me to rework one of my own although I am no longer fit enough to run …

    drifting snow the shadow of my footprints

    Which in turn makes me think of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet and the Woozels as they went round in circles in the snow with fresh tracks appearing as they walked. Not entirely accurate! I’ll have to find the passage and read it again.

      1. Thank you Matthew. I blew the dust of my old copy of Winnie the Pooh and found the reference I vaguely remembered – “In which Pooh and Piglet Go Hunting and Nearly Catch a Woozle”

        I very much liked the last snowy one-liner in your post too. It’s just started snowing again here now …

  2. I really enjoyed reading your account of being in the snow. Your haiku interludes seem to take the place of added images. I loved being out in the snow yesterday, here in west Wiltshire. It was as if another place came to visit me, rather than me visiting another place.

    1. Thanks, Josephine. I did think of adding photos too, but my WordPress skills let me done. For once I’m glad they did! I know what you mean about the feeling of the snow being like a visit from elsewhere.

    2. Hi, I hope Mattthew doesn’t mind me using his blog to reply to your comment, but it is nice to hear from someone from the same neck of the woods. My Mum was born in Trowbridge and in the ‘70s and ‘80s lived in Ireland, North Bradley.

      But to the point, I agree that the haiku lend added interest to the text that perhaps images wouldn’t.

      I have some very old 78s shellac recordings of bird song made by the great Ludwig Koch, first published as Songs of Wild Birds in 1936, in partnership with the ornithologist E.M. Nicholson. In the publishers blurb it says … “published as a text with illustrations in the form of sound” …

      I think this could aptly apply to Matthews post ‘published as a text with illustrations in the form of haiku’

      1. Hello from west Wiltshire, Clive! The birdsong recordings sound beautiful and I completely agree with your description of Matthew’s writing in this piece. I’ve followed your blog now and I look forward to reading your work. -Josephine

      2. Hi Josephine, thanks for commenting and following. I’ve followed your blog too. A lot of my posts combine haiku and birdsong – I’m a hopeless photographer! I’ll have to see if I can capture some of the very crackly recordings off these old records.

  3. By way of a PS (pushed the button too soon) – I love your description of Matthews haiku as ‘interludes’.


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