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What Little Remains of the Winter

"I haven't found what I was looking for"

Published onJan 29, 2023
What Little Remains of the Winter

Photo by Annie Spratt:

The razor-thin, purple, solitary cloud has drifted away,
vanished past the undulated, pitch-black silhouette.
The upper sky is a spotless, liquid, cobalt-blue continuum,
only Venus is already visible, to the west, sharp like a pinhead,
an inch above the glowing, orange-crimson band.
Absolute silence, so dense it can be touched.
The spring, now weeks ahead, oozes through the air,
plays with lingering whiffs of chilly breeze.
Something on my mind is telling me to carry on
although the dance will soon be over.

I’m done tidying the books on the shelves
and ransacking an old shoebox for black and white pics,
many of which I didn’t even imagine existed.
Some have made me laugh, others frown, still others wonder.
The hours have been passing quick, there are never enough,
all in all pleasantly, despite the dust and the backache.
I haven’t found what I was looking for.
My thoughts are already running to the next winter,
the first hoarfrost, the pale sun beyond the freezing fog,
the cold, sticky, lactescent light at noon.

Notwithstanding what the calendar says
I know what the morning is bringing along instead,
and it's nothing I could use these days.
To bring my time into line I need the right sequence,
smooth and gentle, not turnarounds and rushes forward.
I’m leaving every mental eddy to the quiet of the clear night,
my raided head to the softness of the pillow,
but not before one last glance up above,
aware I can see at the most three thousand stars
among about four hundred billion more.

Alessio Zanelli is an Italian poet who writes in English. His work has appeared in over 200 literary journals from 17 countries. His fifth collection, titled The Secret Of Archery, was published in 2019 by Greenwich Exchange (London). For more information please visit

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