~ John O’Donohue © 2001
If it could say itself January
Might brighten its syllables on the frost
Of these first New Year days whose cold is blue.
Meanwhile in this corner of its silence
A weak winter sun lowers down behind
The moor that rises away from the lake.
Beyond reach of light, the shadowed water
Succumbs to this darkening of spirit
That would deny the bog today’s twilight.
All of a sudden something else breaks through
To appear at the far end of the lake
In two diagrams of white, uneven light.
I have never seen white so absolute
And alone, glistening in awkward form
Dreaming across the water a bright path.
As it stirs and changes I see what it is:
Two swans have found the mirror in the lake
Where a V of horizon lets light through
To make them light-source and light-shape in one.
Now they swim and fade through windows of reed
And disrobe the lake of apparition.
I look and look into their vanishing
See nothing. Departing that perfect ground
I knew I had been hungry for a blessing.