One Poem by Andrew Howdle

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.


Hail, to the Kalends of Janus,
When the world opens once again
To the smooth and glissading year.

Peace and goodwill to all that set
Dark wars behind them and turn as
Heralds towards the forward light.

Night sparkles, saffron fizzles, sun
Flares on golden, temple roofs as
The day fills with scintillant talk.

There is no need for a flamen
To attend, for all who live must
Serve order and life’s double god.

*      *      *

But all is not well by the Nones
This year, for airwaves are strident
With the morning calls of blackbirds.

The sub-song of winter and its
Chattering bushes has thawed too
Early into amorous cries.

Already, the crocus has thrust
Its phallus and opened the earth’s
Doors with a sharp, amber warning.

The forests are aflame, drones buzz
Out of season, and gateways spring
Open to greet two-faced Chaos.


Andrew Howdle is a retired teacher and educational consultant. He lives in Leeds, England. His poems have appeared in Ekphrastic Review, Impossible Archetype, Singapore Unbound, and Lovejets (2019), an anthology of poems for Walt Whitman.

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