With precision cold and measured,
Winter’s preface lays herself down.
She cloaks forests, covering the last hints of Summer’s life
as her crisp, grey splendour spreads
into every corner, bringing with it a new
stark identity, a majesty nigh invisible.
Shuttered windows render us invisible
until, emerging with steps carefully measured,
tentative, we chance to seek new
wonders hidden beneath hoar frost soft as down.
Think not that she is only a gloom which spreads
darkness, for to see her thus is to miss the paradox of life.
A flock of pigeons lifts, signalling life
has not yet fled, is not so brittle, nor invisible
to those who see. Flashing silver-grey, the flock spreads
wide; beautiful in unison, the birds land with measured
whispers upon the river flowing down
into a city waiting to be reborn, waiting to become new.
For this season gifts to us all a new
beauty. She in her own way births life,
at first, before her spirit becomes laden and weighted down
with a relentlessness so heavy that the joy of her becomes invisible.
Rejoice now, therefore, while the bare branches still reach for her with measured
fingers. They whistle a minor tune and it spreads
as her wondrous palette of muted colour spreads
from this single lineage of grey; new
shades burst forth ‘neath the sun’s measured
glow, exposing a hidden brightness and unexpected life,
sparkling upon all that has been invisible,
bringing to the surface all that had earlier been melted down.
She is elusive, this early Winter. I know I cannot hold her down
nor make her linger; when she begins to fade, when she spreads
her wings and prepares to fly, she will become invisible
to me once more. Then it will be time to find a new
joy, to embrace the next stage of life.
I wonder, though, how seasons can be measured.
Too many look down on her with a coldness measured
against her own chill, unable to see the invisible goddess beyond the crone. Her life-
giving virtues are not new but only a few celebrate her transcendent glory as it spreads.
A few weeks ago, Rowan encouraged me to try a sestina (Yeah Write is such a great place for helping writers to learn and grow!). I’ve been labouring at this one ever since. I probably could play with it and continue to edit it infinitely but at some point, you just have to let your creation go.