Tag Archives: Frost


No frozen ground-swell damages my wall,
And all the warrens have been hunted out.
My neighbor’s apples withered in the drought,
While since the fire I’ve got no pines at all.
What woods are left are never filled with snow,
Nor crossed by grassy paths just wanting wear.
I seldom stop; the thought that strikes me there
Is how I rue that no more hemlocks grow.
Some say the world will end in fire, while some
In water that erodes the shore defense.
From what I’ve seen so far of man’s good sense,
I doubt it matters much. The end will come.
So all our wealth and words will wash away
Or burn to ash. For nothing gold can stay.

(Originally posted on a thread on climate change on Making Light)

First frost

The first frost, whitening the grass today,
Surprised the summer’s final cloverheads
And scattered them with diamonds as they lay
Like amethysts beside the cattail beds.
The mist moves like the Lord upon the face
Of silver waters ruffled by the wake
That trails an onyx grebe. The pearly lace
Of clouds drops sunbeams on the waiting lake.
But still the rows of indecisive trees
Stand dithering between the green and gold,
As if they’ve months to go before the freeze.
So, muddy-leafed, they watch the fall unfold
And wear this day the way that little girls
Play dress-up in their mother’s finest pearls.

(Originally posted on Making Light)

Settings pastiches

  1. Come live with me and be my love,
    And we will all the pleasures prove
    That we in dark and deeply mined
    Chasms of black Moria find.

    And we will sit beneath the ridge
    And watch the Balrog keep the bridge
    Above the fiery pit whose smoke
    Makes even orcish fighters choke.
  2. The watchmaker
    Who rigged for me
    The warp drive flange
    Out of space debris
    Has given my crew
    A working ship
    So we’ll make it through
    From this scouting trip.
  3. We’ve tried each spinning space mote
    And reckoned its true worth:
    Take us back again to the homes of men
    On the cool, green hills of Earth.

    Rocannon has windbeasts
    And hilfs who act like lords.
    But you just might, if you have to fight,
    Be spitted on their swords.

    To ice-encrusted Gethen
    Our coming was foretold.
    But who’d have known we’d sleep alone
    And wake up twice as cold?

    The dusty moon Anarres
    Is home to anarchists
    Who can only live because they give
    And by gifts their world exists.

    While rich and fertile Urras
    Is plagued with poverty.
    The poor all cry looking at the sky
    That the moon’s the place to be.

    On peaceful settled O
    The Night and Day are wed
    Sedoretu build on the vows fulfilled
    Both in and out of bed.

    The Hainish sent out ships
    For many a planetfall.
    But changeling breeds in time have needs
    To be Ekumenical.

    We pray for one last landing
    On the globe that gave us birth;
    Let us rest our eyes on the friendly skies
    And the cool, green hills of Earth.

(Originally posted on Making Light)

Two roads diverged, and I missed it

Two roads diverged (as they so often do)
Not in a yellow wood, nor anywhere
Where I could look down each, and muse, and stare,
Compare the leaves and how the grasses grew.
Indeed, there was no choosing when they split—
I didn’t really see the fork at all.
It’s only looking back that I recall
There was a better way, back there a bit.
I could be telling this, in ages hence,
And sigh for roads not taken, chances lost.
But pausing to regret has its own cost
In present choices missed at my expense.
What I intended once, I cannot be,
But I am all that’s possible for me.

Originally posted on Making Light

The argument less fraught

In the spirit of one of the greatest xkcd cartoons of all, as given life by Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

Two threads diverged in a blog comment,
And sorry I could not argue both
And be one advocate, on I went
Researching one, and all that it meant
Unto the limits of its growth;

Then fought the other, just as keen
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it had less buzzword-sheen;
Though as for that, ’twas just as mean,
With obfuscation much the same.

And both held promise of delight
With comments not yet answered back.
Oh, I marked the first for another night!
Yet knowing how fight leads on to fight
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be blogging this with a sigh
Someday ages and ages hence:
Two threads diverged in a blog, and I,
I took the one less comment-shy
And that has made all the difference.

Stopping By Woods on a Scary Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping by
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse gives out a cry
As, trembling, he wonders why
We stop and eye the darkened lake
Whose foul odours make him shy.

He gives his harness bells a shake
Which proves to be a grave mistake
As from the water dark things creep
To drag our wagon toward the lake.

The woods are dreadful, dark and deep
And as he screams, and as I weep,
We rue we woke them from their sleep,
We rue we woke them from their sleep.

Originally posted on Making Light.

Weekend Whittering

We have been having a busy wee weekend here at the Evilrooster’s Nest, after Friday’s high-energy activities.

On Saturday, the kids and I went out for a brief expedition to the local shopping centre and (more importantly) the play park right nearby. It was a frosty morning.


Taken 18 February 2006

But the crocus was just beginning to bloom in the park.


Both taken 18 February 2006

Fiona decided to take a route through the play structure that required her to cross a wobbly bridge. She was brave, but cautious.


Both taken 18 February 2006

We walked home, past the dry hedges in the suburban front gardens.


Taken 18 February 2006

My in-laws then came over and took the kids for a long expedition to a soft play area, while Martin got some quiet time and I took a nap (sleep can be hard to come by in a busy household). M and I then went out to dinner and a film, leaving the kids in Ian and Sheila’s very capable hands.

This morning, after sundry shopping expeditions, we all ended up at the Cuddy Brae (pub with grub) for the classic family lunch. The children were beautifully behaved, the conversation pleasant, and the food good if excessive. Ideal. Even the car park plants were looking pretty good.


Taken 19 February 2006

Who says you have to do exotic things to have a good time?

Frosty Day

Today was astonishingly cold. It was one of those days where I step outside the door in the morning, then duck back in to get my gloves on properly before venturing out for real. The sky was clear as crystal, and I watched a flock of fourteen blackbirds fly above me as I walked to the bus. The breath from my open-mouthed smile clouded in front of my eyes.

Things didn’t thaw as the morning progressed, either. I took a brief walk at lunchtime (after spending most of the hour indoors, with companions who object to frostbite and nicknames like Nine-Fingers and No-Ears), and the world was still frozen. Wow.

This is not an aerial shot of the antarctic desert from a high-flying airplaine, but part of the pattern of ice on a windscreen. The driver will have had an interesting time this evening.


Taken 30 January 2006

Frost-rimmed leaves, a pattern shot.


Taken 30 January 2006

This evening the fog descended like cotton wool. It was as dramatic as the ice, but a lot less photogenic.

Phone Pix 2

I changed my phone a few months ago, leaving my old Nokia for a new Sony Ericsson K750i. The ostensible reason was that the Nokia’s keyboard was wearing out, and I could no longer reliably answer calls. The real reason, of course, was that phone camera technology has moved on. Martin got a better camera phone, and all of a sudden I wanted one.

The new phone coincided with a greater emphasis on my lunchtime walks. The past few years, I’ve tried to be rigourous about going out at lunchtimes, since noticing the effect a midday walk has on my Seasonal Affective Disorder. Between the weather and my work patterns, this autumn has been a particularly good one for walks – possibly one of the reasons I have not sunk so deep into myself thus far this year.

I tend to go along the Water of Leith Walkway, through the local park, across the Botanic Gardens or by whatever other approximations of nature I can find in an hour. These times refresh my spirit, and my new phone has been a good tool to make myself see and appreciate the things I pass.

Here are the best of the bunch:


Taken 19 September 2005


Taken 19 September 2005


Taken 29 September 2005


Taken 17 October 2005


Taken 18 November 2005