Grey by Edwin Morgan

Today is the Spring Equinox where night and day are equal length. I’ve just done a yoga workshop (online of course!) run by East of Eden and Hermione Armitage which was wonderful and made me feel full of Spring energy. However, the weather and the day generally is not! Its been grey today and cold. Pretty rubbish! This poem summed up the mood for me. Even if the weather is blank, there is some beauty even in absence and anyway, we have to just get on with it! Perhaps this is appropriate for the Spring Equinox after all as Spring is about new starts, seizing opportunities and fresh thinking. So perhaps I just need to reframe my thinking about a grey day.


What is the nub of such a plain grey day?
Does it have one? Does it have to have one?
If small is beautiful, is grey, is plain?
Or rather do we sense withdrawal, veiling,
a patch, a membrane, an eyelid hating light?
Does weather have some old remit to mock
the love of movement, colour, contrast –
primitives, all of us, that wilt and die
without some gorgeous dance or drizzle-dazzle.

Sit still, and take the stillness into you.
Think, if you will, about the absences –
sun, moon, stars, rain, wind, fog and snow.
Think nothing then, sweep them all away.
Look at the grey sky, houses of lead,
roads neither dark nor light, cars
neither washed nor unwashed, people
there, and there, decent, featureless,
what an ordinariness of business
the world can show, as if some level lever
had kept down art and fear and difference and love
this while, this moment, this day
so grey, so plain, so pleasing in its way!

Let’s leave the window, and write.
No need to wait for a fine blue
to break through. We must live, make do.

From Cathures (2002) – see ‘Poem of the Week’ from The Guardian (2016).

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