Because We Hunkered Down

These bleak and freezing seasons

These bleak and freezing seasons

Here is a poem for those of you who, like me, find this time of year difficult to get through, perhaps all the more so with the news, as well as the weather, so bleak. So here, from Parable and Paradox, is something about hunkering down and hanging on.

As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking n the title or the play button

Because We Hunkered Down

These bleak and freezing seasons may mean grace

When they are memory. In time to come

When we speak truth, then they will have their place,

Telling the story of our journey home,

Through dark December and stark January

With all its disappointments, through the murk

And dreariness of frozen February,

When even breathing seemed unwelcome work.


Because through all of these we held together,

Because we shunned the impulse to let go,

Because we hunkered down through our dark weather,

And trusted to the soil beneath the snow,

Slowly, slowly, turning a cold key,

Spring will unlock our hearts and set us free.


Filed under Poems

36 responses to “Because We Hunkered Down

  1. alijgriffiths

    I have had a few weeks of drudgery and hectic activity through no fault of my own and frankly, I am fed up and feel totally unmotivated. Thanks for this poem today encouraging me to hang on in there – spring is on the way!

  2. God bless you friend. May you feel the comfort of God’s love as your head finds a pillow this evening. I’m praying for you.

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  4. Such a good one to ponder today as it hits -20 C here today. Thanks, Malcolm! 🙂

  5. Cambron wright

    I am sick and reading on a cold day in Kentucky, and this poem warmed me up. Thanks so much!

  6. So perfect for our weather in Texas. (We are presently in Austin, but attend St. Paul’s UMC in Houston.) Also perfect for the bleak prospects for compassion and justice in our country.

    Malcolm, the last two lines are wonderful!

  7. travelyinsights

    “Because we hunkered down through our dark weather” – i love this line; you write beautifully

  8. JO

    Brilliant Sir.
    It led us straight away to Colossians 1:5 which on further searching led us to an aged but evergreen sermon by C.H.Spurgeon.
    The Hope Laid Up In Heaven….Well worth the read.
    Your poetry sets our minds sailing ~JO

  9. I love the dark months of the year, although this year I am struggling with my ‘inner weather’ so thank you so much for the reminder that what is within is without and that it always changes. Many blessings to you for your beautiful words and the inspiration and healing they bring.

  10. Donna

    Thank you Malcom, as even if the weather is not so bleak it certainly can be bleak in ones soul and somehow it is a bit encouraging that this too is part of our human condition and shall pass into Eternal Spring so we carry on with renewed hope and Joy!

  11. Erika Ewen

    Beautiful and strong poem.

  12. A cold winter’s day at 10,000 feet in the Rocky Mountains, I shared this reading with my little mountain middle school students in Guffey, Colorado. The girls squealed and wanted to meet this Hobbit with a gorgeous voice and share a cup of tea (which we have during our literature time each day). The boys declared that they needed to read more poetry as they saw the girls react. Their favorite line: “Because we hunkered down through our dark weather”. Here, they light fires and roast marshmallows stuff them into chocolate bars. Because everyone knows that chocolate drives away the sad memories and dreariness of winter.

    • malcolmguite

      I’m delighted to hear all of this. Especially if I have encouraged the boys to write. Please send your whole class my greetings and good wishes M

  13. Briony Collins

    A lovely poem. The style reminds me very much of Ted Hughes (a personal favourite). It was good to be able to listen to it being read as well. Thank you!

  14. Pingback: Winter Ideas – Hearth Ridge Reflections


    I don’t normally refer to my own preaching but in January I preached on Titus 3: 13 ‘I have decided to winter there’ I very positive feedback form all over the place. It seems a number of us were feeling something about winter. You can here it on Three Counties Church website entitled “A winter’s prayer”


    Sorry, just re-read and noticed my grammatical errors – too much of rush!


    By the way, I should have started by saying the reason I bothered to post is because the poem was brilliant – really blessed, thank you.

  18. Though some of us must bundle up and walk out in the cold, Our hearts too proud to hunker down and do what we are told.

  19. First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that
    I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your mind prior to writing.
    I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like
    the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any recommendations or hints? Thanks!

    • malcolmguite

      This poem of mine is about centring:
      Begin the song exactly where you are,
      Remain within the world of which you’re made.
      Call nothing common in the earth or air,

      Accept it all and let it be for good.
      Start with the very breath you breathe in now,
      This moment’s pulse, this rhythm in your blood

      And listen to it, ringing soft and low.
      Stay with the music, words will come in time.
      Slow down your breathing. Keep it deep and slow.

      Become an open singing-bowl, whose chime
      Is richness rising out of emptiness,
      And timelessness resounding into time.

      And when the heart is full of quietness
      Begin the song exactly where you are.

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  21. Reblogged this on Northern Ignorance. and commented:
    Great poem I found today about spring. Have a read, lads, girls, folk.

  22. Pingback: Our Journey Home – Blind Mule Blog

  23. Naulene

    The great and small cycles of time

    Thank you, I enjoyed your poem

  24. Pingback: Acedia | Ian Black

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