First snow is never all the snows there were
Come back again, but novel in the sun
As though a newness had but just begun.
It does not fall as rain does from nowhere
Or from that cloud spinnakered on the blue,
But from a place we feel we could go to.
As a great actor steps, not from the wings,
But from the play's extension -- all he does
Is move to the seen from the mysterious --
And his performance is the first of all --
The snow falls from its implications and
Stages pure newness on the uncurtained land.
And the hill we've looked out of existence comes
Vivid in its own language; and this tree
Stands self-explained, its own soliloquy.
Ewen McCaig (editor), The Poems of Norman MacCaig (Polygon 2009).
And so at last it has come. Quietly.
Has quietly come and changed everything.
This, as we watch, is what we always say:
"It changes everything. Now we can live."
And we all want to walk out into it.
Walk out into it, at night, and look up,
Thinking that this world is a simple world
While all around us it never ceases.
We can walk for miles down an empty road
And see it swirl down beneath each streetlight.
We can turn and watch our path disappear.
And it continues to quietly come.
It has come, at last, and changed everything.
sip (Written in Tokyo a long time ago.)