The Emperor of Snow
by Michael Brett

The Emperor of Snow is overthrown.

All snowflakes are now white guards in revolutionary battalions,
Conquering for a new regime
Of silence and of secrets;

And the world is a secret file closing forever;
For below zero is Year Zero:

In farmyards and in Piccadilly
Is a Maoist whiteness where every bird sits
In a Procrustean tree, seeing nothing
But the putsch: the snow arresting you;
Insisting you walk guarded on each elbow
By more snow;

And all that can be heard is secret, forbidden
Hushed up by snowflakes, silent
As Shostakovich pausing over Moon Sea cities
Of abandoned cars, empty chocolate machines
And dialling tones;

Now the brightest colours are called up first
And forced into uniform: black or white.
There are no exemptions.
One, two in the morning snows lean on signposts
Like military police, checking papers.

You cannot work. You cannot travel.
Snow confiscates your passport and your driving licence;
And the world is white and empty as a prisoner's dish.

You are with the snow or against it.

Copyright © 2012 - Michael Brett
Published: 12/27/12   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem