Day 9: winter woodland

now is the time to explore you
in misty light so low
you become one inky shadow

birch, ash, beech and oak let go
of leafy glamour long ago
abandoning piles of copper and gold

now your copses are barefaced and bold
your glimmering gnarly branches hold
mulchy aromas of moss and fungus

I long to see you bathing languorous
in myrrhy moon and silver scent of stars

come and explore me
in this misty light so low
be embraced by my inky shadow

my trees have all let go
their leafy glamour long ago
abandoned it in piles of copper and gold

my copses are barefaced and bold
my glimmering gnarly branches hold
clouds of moss and fungus

come, see me bathe languorous
in myrrh of moon and silver-scented stars



A little wintry magic from Kim Russell. Kim M. Russell has been writing poetry and short stories since she was a schoolgirl but only began submitting to competitions and anthologies when she retired from teaching in 2014. Her poems have been published on-line by Visual Verse and The Ekphrastic Review, among others, and in print by: Afflatus Magazine, River Writes (Bure Navigation Conservation Trust), Anthology of Aunts and Second Place Rosette (Emma Press), Chiaroscuro – Darkness and Light (dVerse Anthology 2017), Peeking Cat Anthologies 2017 and 2018, and Field Work (UEA Publishing Project with Kunsthalle Cromer). She lives in the UK, in East Anglia between the North Sea coast and the Norfolk Broads, with her husband and two cats.

Kim has written two books, a flash fiction collection: Between Heartbeats and a children’s book: Joe and Nelly. They’d both make ideal stocking fillers…

River love

What do we mean, then, you and I?
You say you dreamed
of me, I dreamed of you.
That’s true, at least. I dreamed your sinews,
hard cords, as your arms stretched,
the skin hiding the power beneath.
I dreamed your hair, silky,
smoother and softer than cat’s fur,
each hair a thread leading
through the labyrinth, leading me,
pulse pounding, heart jumping.
I reach for you, I lean
to be held, your muscles
taut, the skin hiding the power beneath,
like lake water rippling
as the wind moves towards
the waterfall, the flow, irresistible, the
long suck of the current: underwater jungle.

I’m not writing as easily as usual at the moment. I’m lacking inspiration. Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s that life is busy, maybe it’s because I’m doing a project outside of these prompts. I don’t know. It was a push to get something down tonight, and I ended up using a form.

You’ve heard of a Golden Shovel poem? Well, this is, strictly speaking, a Jade Shovel. I stole the line end words from Jade Li’s poem, posted on dVerse tonight. This is for the dVerse open link night, too.

Is this it?

…and even if this is it,
is it a tragedy? Or is
this comedy – the
thing we call a burden
might be the inevitability of
living some kind of life,
to wake each morning to
daylight, work and coffee, to be
one small life among the many
who have lived down through long ages
without a storyline, or plot, without
a script, just hearing, seeing,
sensing all the stimuli of the
world, and keeping on until the end,
second, minute, hour, all of
those messy, gorgeous shards of time…

I’ve been wanting to write a Golden Shovel poem for a while now, and this seemed like a good opportunity. Of course, if you go back to the original, you will realise that this can be a beautiful, amazing thing in the hands of a skilled poet. In my defence, he chose a poem that didn’t have many “is”s and “of”s to put at the end of lines…

This is for Jilly’s month of Unreason, and the Jim Harrison quote is – of course –

“it is the burden of life to be many ages without seeing the end of time”