Since my writing group went online, I've mostly done the weekly tasks I've set them - and it's been fun and quite liberating trying out different things. Most recently, I set them to write a poem about winter. (You can see the task here.) My poem was very generously and kindly received - so here, very trepidatiously, because I know I'm not a poet, it is.
Beautiful, but dead. That incredibly complex
Network of branches, held aloft against a thrush-egg sky:
An exquisite grey etching, done by the cleverest artist
With the finest pen. But of course,
They are not dead: only resting,
Preparing for spring. It’s all happening
Inside those enigmatic trunks and branches,
Powered by invisible roots and fungal filaments.
All they need from us
Is to be left alone.
Their backdrop is the sky.
Sometimes dull grey cloud, perhaps
With a tinge of sulphurous yellow,
A warning of storms ahead. But sometimes –
They trace their intricate patterns
Against a sky of perfect blue,
Which has a softness summer skies
Can’t match: the chalky blue of
Ancient frescoes. And then too –
That jewel-like blue, that you get
Just before sunset, when in a last splendid gesture,
The sun throws gold at the trees
And they flaunt their splendour
With all the brilliance
Of a mediaeval manuscript.
And then again – not often,
But all the more precious for that:
Silvered by frost, they glitter
With icy magic. Or snow falls,
To highlight each stark line,
While below, new shapes appear:
Softly sculpted drifts,
The delicate tracery of birds’ footprints.
And there is
A silence, as the world holds its breath,
Before we arrive, with our sledges and boots,
Our shouts and our litter.
🅲 Sue Purkiss