Breaking the Silence of January

After the revelry of Christmas and New Year,
the silence of January is solid as a block of ice,
occasionally melting into shifting swathes of mist
grey as wood pigeons and musty house mice.
No gentle coo, whistle or twitter of birds,
the day is mute; no body warmth or human words
until the fire’s lit, the coffee’s percolating,
and the percussion of tyres on gravel
tap dances in the twilight. You are here
and the heavy silence of January is breaking.

Kim M. Russell, 8th January 2020

Romance and Sea Mist
Photograph by David Russell

My response to Poets and Storytellers United Weekly Scribblings #1: January is here, with winds that blow kisses, also linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night

I enjoyed the extract from Shelley’s poem ‘The Cold Earth Slept’, which Sanaa, our host, shared with us in this first Weekly Scribblings, together with a word list to tease our senses.

Sanaa says that the rules are simple: all we have to do is pick any three words from the list and write on a topic of our choice, poetry or prose, remembering to keep prose to 369 words or fewer. I chose percussion, gravel and twilight.

52 thoughts on “Breaking the Silence of January

  1. This is exquisitely drawn, Kim! ❤️ You capture the moodiness of January so beautifully with “the coffee’s percolating, and the percussion of tyres on gravel tap dances in the twilight.” I love how seamlessly you incorporate the chosen words. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt! 😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susie. I’ve only ever seen Texas in pictures, on TV or film. I can’t imagine what January would be like, but I can believe it feels the same. It’s not the place so much as the time.


  2. Beautifully written Kim! I love the contrast of the cold outside and the warmth of the fire and percolating cofee. I can hear how the ‘percussion of tyres on gravel tap dances in the twilight’ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You had me at /Mists, gray as wood pigeons and musty house mice/. An intriguing glimpse into the downside after the holidays. You always say so much in a few words. I admire that. I tend to write from a font of cascading images and words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. January definitely began silently for me — I lost my voice completely last week. It still isn’t working great, but at least I can talk some now.

    I love your imagery in this poem, especially “the silence of January is solid as a block of ice.” Glad for the silence beginning to melt and break.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like your title and how it connects to the ending of your poem. I have been thinking about titles lately and the different ways writers use them. I am curious how did you end up choosing this title? How do you decide if on a title? I would interested in your thoughts if you are willing to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ali. The title for this poem came first and, like many lines, couplets and occasionally whole poems, it arrived in the early hours of the morning, just before waking and I had to get up and write it down. I went back to bed and, when I got up at my usual time to write (I always write early morning), the rest of the poem followed. Other times, I write the poem and then think about a title.

      Liked by 1 person

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