Light’s spilling from the window, warm as gingerbread, sticky as love. Light’s spilling from the window and I pause here for a moment, between the dark blue night and the light spilling from the window, warm as gingerbread.
In December, we triolet. Another triolet, unrhymed, unrhythmed, stretched and bent, but still recognisable.
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.
Winter sleeps in a cave in the mountains, on a bed of ice. She creeps in there as the snow melts, and takes her long rest, lulled by birdsong and the scent of green, growing things. She wakes as the leaves fall in showers of gold and red, and emerges, scattering frost around her. She walks under winter skies pierced full of stars, and dances in wild December storms.
If you find the cave, and enter it, you will see her sleeping there, pale as a snowdrop, lips like holly berries, hair as black as the bare branches of the beech tree in January. Don’t wake her – one touch of her white hand will freeze your soul, and leave you bound, another stone sentinel to guard her bedchamber.
We’re climbing in the dark, in the snow. There are lights strung along beside us, strings of lights dipping between poles and branches, showing us the way – and of course the snow reflects back the light, so that it seems to be shining all around us. The texture of the snow is like loose sand, and it’s slippery, and hard going. It’s uphill all the way. If we look up we can see the stars, and the shape of a great mountain, craggy, pointing towards the sky. There’s a moon, too, not quite full, tinged with gold. A couple of people have gone past, heading downhill, sliding down on toboggans. Here and then gone a moment later. Our voices hang in the air, in that peculiar silence you get in deep snow. I think it must muffle any echoes, any resonance, leaving only the clear true note of one person calling to another. It’s beautiful here. I want to be here, I love this moment. I have always wanted to be here, to do this, and never known it.
Stars glisten on snow
Moonlight shimmers on mountain
Silence enfolds us
Toni at dVerse has given us this lovely prompt. I’m just back from Germany, and a taste of winter – sliding on frozen canals, sledging in the Alps. Back home it’s muddy, and damp, but the daffodils are out and there are snowdrops in all the hedges.
This river changes every time I pass
The surface of the river takes the light,
The moon dictates its rising and its fall.
A cloud of birds rise up before they fall
I stand here on the bridge to watch them pass
A single form that’s caught against the light.
Hurrying homewards in the failing light,
They coil and curve, they turn and twist and fall –
Beneath them, all the people move and pass.
And in the fall of light, I pass the river.
This is a very formal structure, and I really struggled with it. I find the subject prompts much easier to work with. Anyhow, I’ve scratched this out somehow, and even though I’m not entirely happy with it I’m going to press “publish” just so I can stop worrying away at it.