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Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

Poem for Winter

I grew up in southern California where “winter” was barely more than a hiccup in the balmy clime. Pacific NW winters — though relatively mild — offer more seasonal punctuation than California. Here’s my 2010 tribute to winter … (alas, sans photo)

Winter

In this quiet
Womb of winter
The sky and earth embrace.

Damp folds of white and gray
Accumulate and spill
In dank fecundity.

Pressed low upon the earth
Clouds kiss the weeping bough
And quench the open ground.

Nude limbs belie the coursing life
Toward the swelling bud,
While ‘neath the sodden earth
Life nudges darkly upward still
Embryos of daffodil.

In this hush of winter
Under deep obscuring skies
And silhouetted limb
I sense a great becoming
Tremulous and sure
Of things to be another time
But growing now
Within.

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Forgive me if I dwell on fall colors, but they are just is so evocative for me. I am struck by how democratic (small d) ‘beauty’ is. Liberal or conservative, you don’t need a degree in Fine Arts to appreciate the stunning display of colors. And there they are – right alongside the road – for all to see.

These maple leaves could match anything on a canvas.
Maple1(blog)

I’m partial to the salmon-golds — and have a prime example in my back yard with my Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood).
gold-leaves1(blog)

Here’s a full length shot with the Red Sunset maple in the background.
side-yard1(blog)

Just driving through town I’m amazed by the subtle shades and hues. Chartreuse is a somewhat unusual fall color. It’s over overshadowed in this shot by the brilliant bronze of the Japanese maple.

contrast2(blog)

I’ve been reminded of all sorts of odd associations — from menopausal flushes to the baring of branches.  Jane Hirshfield says it well in the poem, Three Times My Life Has Opened:

… But outside my window all day a maple has stepped
from her leaves like a woman in love with winter, dropping
the colored silks.

And all the leaves on the ground recall lovers’ clothes tossed wantonly aside.

street1(blog)

* Ms. Hirshfield’s poem can be found in Risking Everything – 110 Poems of Love and Revelation.

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