Winter storm and glow-worms – by Noel Whittall


I am woken with the bang of a wind-powered
wheelie bin hitting the front steps.
Blearily I squint at the hour on the radio-alarm
glowing beside my bed. 04:17. Soddit. Sleep eludes and
I pad through dark rooms, a cup of tea in mind.
No need to switch the lights on; the way
punctuated by pinpoints of light. A tiny wonderland of
electric colours, some flashing gently, some steadfast.
Bathroom: I am reassured that my toothbrush is charging
and electric razor too. Past the office where a blue loom
shows I left the shredder on, oh yes, the printer too
plus the tiny green spot on a speaker and what’s that?
Ah, there’s a neon on the extension to the second printer,
the one I haven’t used since the colour cartridges ran dry
and I found out how much they were.
Downstairs, two sound systems display eagerness
to play to my command. Ditto, TV on standby.
What a riot the kitchen is! Dishwasher pleading to be emptied
oven telling the time, a different one to the microwave
and neither agreeing with the clock radio.

Once in New Zealand I punted on silent water
through caverns where countless glow-worms
relieve the blackness.
Spectacular but uniform, lacking the flash and colours
of Leeds Nineteen.




Noel Whittall is a writer and poet living in West Yorkshire. He has been quite widely published over the years. He rides extremely old motorcycles and tries not to take anything too seriously.