Winter’s fate

craigheadwintersfate

Photo Craighead Winter by Jim Brown

In 1844 a Blantyre man, Samuel Clifford aged 24, underestimated the Winter weather and sadly was found dead on the outskirts of the village, succumbed to hypothermia. Likely caught out whilst walking home in December that year wearing no overcoat and only a thin shirt and trousers. No more details are known about the accidental death, but it is known that since then several other individuals have unfortunately found themselves in similar situations, even reported in High Blantyre as recently as a couple of years ago. I’ve written a poem in memory of these tragic people who did nothing more than try to walk home in poor winter conditions. The incidents below are fictional for dramatic effect, but I would like to also say the poem is also dedicated to every Blantyre person who has to endure working outside in cold weather for a living. Go easy on me, I’m not a poet, so hope you like this.

“Winter’s fate”

‘Neath clear skies at Winter’s call
The hallows doth descend,
O’er Blantyre Muir’s lonesome fields,
A blizzard , whilst coos he tends

In blaws a gale, a vicious wind,
Fae South tae Dechmont hill,
They shelter under yon Generals Brig
Fae Jack Frost’s bitter chill

At the weir, river Chapel eddy,
An easy crossing she ponders,
Padding oot oan ice sae thin,
The Clyde below still thunders

The fiddlers falls at Calderwood glen,
In snaw, he starts to lag,
Losing footing on ice frozen paths
A fall fae Craigneith’s crag

Miner weary, a days work done,
A shortcut alang the track,
The cauld rain blindin’, he canny see
A stream train at his back

Mother nature’s vengeful cousins,
Snaw, ice and gales we hate
Forsaken persons that we loved
Who suffered Winter’s fate

Paul Veverka – copyright March 2014

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