“They seem sad,” he said
“like trees in November,
like early snowfall
“Bent in the wind they are,
limbs taut and twisted
wiry and strong,
how they bend but never break.
“Are they inspired by the fire
on the hillside, where the bracken died
to bronze, lit into copper
just where the sun hits?
“Are they enlivened by the crimson combe-heart
to which they soon hope to descend
before the cloud does?”
Even here, unwary climbers sometimes lose their way.
How bright the contrast:
the crimson and the grey
the hillside and the valley as
summer’s night shifts into winter’s day.
Back at the inn, their sadness evaporates
like steaming sweat from off their socks
which they warm by the fire
despite the protests of those gathered round this spot.
Never underestimate the power of contrasts:
we need to face the wild and isolation,
the Novembers of our life,
the nights of cold and days of climbing strife
to more appreciate the birth of spring’s renewal
the scorching heat of summer
trees in November turned once more
to emerald green, resplendent, fruiting ripe.
© 2021 experimentsinfiction.com. All Rights Reserved.
Written for dVerse
Tonight, Sarah hosts Poetics, with an ekphrastic prompt inspired by the art of Fay Collins, who sadly died in September of this year. Fay wrote these words about her own work:
I have had a rich journey through places that are full of contrasting states: wild and cultivated, arid and verdant, rugged and fragile, ever-changing and apparently constant. The particular quality of light and space in the North West of the UK particularly, draws me in to explore the diverse, visual aspects of geology, meteorology and botany. I marvel at the energy, abundance and diversity of life’s forces and I am continuously intrigued by the idea that visual qualities of landscape often appear timeless and constant yet are often tangibly dynamic. Light conditions due to our ever-changing weather emphasises a ‘Romantic’ feel in some of my work (so I’ve been told) and I like to think that that my paintings evoke a poetic sense of connection with the natural world.
As I’m from the North West of England myself, I found that I immediately connected with the spirit of her landscapes. I chose to write a poem inspired by the painting ‘3 trees at Coniston,’ partly because I was drawn to the contrasts, and also because I recognised the landscape and felt at home in it. Wetherlam is one of the Coniston fells, and I think it is the one pictured with snow in the painting.
The title of the poem is a chapter title in the book Watership Down by Richard Adams.
Also sharing with earthweal’s Open Link Weekend #94.