Snow and trees at twilight

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The early hours of Tuesday saw the first snow fall of the season in my part of the world. It has all gone now, having stayed for little more than a day. The bizarre temperature fluctuations continue; today we’re back in double figures.

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I am not lamenting the snow’s melting. Yes, it makes for a pretty scene when viewed from the warm side of a window, and undeniably there is pleasure in the crunch underfoot and the sight of animal prints in freshly fallen ground cover. I dread the yellow-grey slush which follows, seeping through shoes, dampening trouser bottoms and treacherous when it freezes over, turning pavements into ice rinks. I have twice fallen victim (literally) to icy ground, as X-rays and a now very faded suture scar would bear witness.

The daylight lingers for a little bit longer each day, which is wonderful. It won’t be long before we see the arrival of the first signs of early spring. I love that time. Today, it was almost five o’clock when the streaks of twilight dipped behind the trees near my home. I took some photographs of the bare branches, appreciating the cycle of the seasons but looking forward to greener times ahead.

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Last week saw the death of one of my favourite poets, Mary Oliver, whose observations of the natural world strike a chord with me. White Eyes is a poem about winter and about a bird, about the promise of things to come, and about life ….. perfect for this time.

White Eyes – Mary Oliver (1935 – 2019)
In winter
    all the singing is in
         the tops of the trees
             where the wind-bird
with its white eyes
    shoves and pushes
         among the branches.
             Like any of us
he wants to go to sleep,
    but he’s restless—
         he has an idea,
             and slowly it unfolds
from under his beating wings
    as long as he stays awake.
         But his big, round music, after all,
             is too breathy to last.
So, it’s over.
    In the pine-crown
         he makes his nest,
             he’s done all he can.
I don’t know the name of this bird,
    I only imagine his glittering beak
         tucked in a white wing
             while the clouds—
which he has summoned
    from the north—
         which he has taught
             to be mild, and silent—
thicken, and begin to fall
    into the world below
         like stars, or the feathers
               of some unimaginable bird
that loves us,
    that is asleep now, and silent—
         that has turned itself
             into snow.

 

 

6 thoughts on “Snow and trees at twilight

  1. shazza January 27, 2019 / 8:32 am

    That’s a beautiful poem. 🙂
    The weather is strange isn’t it. I believe more snow is on the way though.
    Keep safe on those paths. X

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ms6282 February 1, 2019 / 1:53 pm

    Fully agree with your comments about snow.
    And that’s a beautiful poem

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tanjabrittonwriter February 6, 2019 / 9:33 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful poem, and the wintry photos. You are not alone in eagerly awaiting spring. The lengthening days definitely hold a lovely promise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North February 7, 2019 / 10:16 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the poem. Thanks for reading. I love this time when once again I am setting off for work and arriving home in daylight. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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