A Winter Meeting. © John Marsh.
The grass was frozen, crystal silver.
Trees stood black against the sky.
Paths, well trodden lay before me
As the day began to die.
Autumn, with its yellows, reds
And burnished gold, was now long past.
The glory of its flaming bushes
Laid to waste by winter’s blast.
Back I turned into the forest
In the fast approaching gloam
Conscious of a distant birdsong
As I turned my face for home.
A little robin braved the cold,
(The migrant birds had long since flown),
And sang his high, defiant song
As winter’s chill cut to the bone.
In the vastness of the cosmos,
Through the realms of time and space
Where countless stars and planets orbit,
He and I stood face to face.
While distant worlds were lost to forces
While stars burned out, collapsed, exploded,
I listened to his cheerful song.
Both of us set on this pathway
At the very start of time,
Made from stardust, to evolve
And fill the Master plan sublime.
Little robin, sing out loudly
As I walk my homeward mile.
Winter passes, spring will follow.
Once again the earth will smile.
LawrieL 18th May 2021 at 9:04 am
If this is “old fashioned” then I like old fashioned. This poem is breautiful and profound. The picture you paint is clear (without need for interpretation), to simply immerse yourself and enjoy. I enjoyed it very much!
Pixi 18th May 2021 at 3:28 pm
Well done, I really enjoyed this. Painting a picture with words!
Julia Umm Humaid 18th May 2021 at 4:54 pm
A well written poem. I walked that winter walk with you. Thank you!
Colin in Kent 18th May 2021 at 5:06 pm
Excellent! You control the metre and rhyme perfectly, but never lose sight of the subject of the meeting, and the cold winter surroundings. I’m trying to think who it reminds me off, but it’s excellent nevertheless.
Artemis 18th May 2021 at 9:12 pm
Well said Colin = much what I would have mentioned too. I see so many “poems” which have no sense of meter or rhythm and are just prose written in short lines
eriley01 18th May 2021 at 8:06 pm
Loved your poem quite beautiful thankyou for sharing it
Artemis 18th May 2021 at 9:45 pm
Interesting choice of rhyme scheme ABCB Called (I think) unbounded or ballad quatrain. Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a well known example – although Taylor creates separate 4 line verses – and you have made your lovely offering continuous. I like the way that this gives it a pleasing flow. I must say I have never tried that particular rhyme scheme, I tend toward the rather mundane ABAB – or if I am feeling bold AAAA
John. 19th May 2021 at 8:25 am
Thank you Artemis.
I have never paid any attention to the structure of poetry to be honest.
I just write what comes into my head and what ‘feels’ right.
I have always enjoyed poetry. Even as a little boy I got joy from some poems that I read.
juleswalker 18th May 2021 at 10:15 pm
It’s a lovely poem. I was ‘there’ as I read it and poems should do that for you.
Paul_ 19th May 2021 at 2:07 am
‘Gloam’, great word, haven’t heard that for a long time!
Deleted User 19th May 2021 at 7:16 am
Yes beautifully written full of description well done 👍🏼
Artemis 1st August 2021 at 1:06 pm
From winter to summer:
A summer shower
A rapid shower had cooled the air,
Bringing a freshness everywhere.
From leaves the drips fell to the ground,
Sweet echoes of the shower’s sound.
And soon across the woods I heard
First one and then a second bird.
Still more joined in – a joyous throng
Blessing the shower with their song.
Then as once more the sun’s hot ray
Shone out to warm this summer’s day
I saw the mist-like vapours rise,
And butterflies, blue as the skies,
Flitting across the flowery dell,
As still the last few droplets fell.
The clouds had passed me by, but still
They lingered o’er a nearby hill,
Pouring down their waters grey
Before they moved and went their way.
Yet through the rain across the sky
The sunbeams shot, and there on high
The beauteous colours curved to form
A rainbow, from that summer storm
Artemis 24th August 2021 at 4:23 pm
Mark if “another good one” means mine thank you, the only comment I have had, I am sorry to say
Colin in Kent 30th October 2021 at 7:10 pm
Hello Artemis. I have only just caught up on this thread owing to Sandy’s comment below. Notifications don’t seem to show if you’re not the person replied to directly. Anyway, your poem is beautiful, the simplicity is deceptive and reminds me of early Wordsworth or Coleridge, who used their rhyme to comment quite profoundly on the natural world, as this does.
Artemis 30th October 2021 at 7:34 pm
Thank you Colin. To be mentioned in the same sentence as Wordsworth and Coleridge is very pleasing. A lot of my current output is about the destruction of our natural world, and much of it tends to be what I would call a “green Pam Ayres” style – rather more rumpty tumpty
Artemis 31st October 2021 at 5:07 pm
In 1912, sitting in a café in Berlin, Rupert Brooke wrote a nostalgic poem about the old vicarage, his home in Grantchester – and a much loved and quoted couplet entered the English language. I am sure most of you know it
“Stands the church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea ?
Bees are responsible for much more than just some honey for our toast, and Brooke’s yearning for lilacs and chestnuts struck a chord – which resulted in this view of a possible future without bees.
AND IS THERE HONEY STILL FOR TEA ?
(from “The Old Vicarage Grantchester” by Rupert Brooke 1912 )
Close your eyes and think of spring
Swallows swooping on the wing.
Cherry blossom pink and white,
Nesting birds a cheerful sight
Ladies smock in hedge’s shade
Bluebells carpet woodland glade
Dappled sunlight warms and cheers
Fresh green leaves with dew-drop tears
Picture a balmy summer day,
Buzz of bees and smell of hay
Apples ripening on the trees,
Butterflies dancing on the breeze.
Poppies nodding in the corn,
Bright red jewels to greet the morn.
Tiny field mice scamper here
Kestrel gives them cause for fear
Now let autumn come to mind
And all around you you will find
Berries and fruit on bush and tree,
Feasts for creatures wild and free.
Squirrel seeks the nuts he’ll need
When winter comes with icy speed.
Snuffling hedgehog cannot stay
He seeks a winter hideaway
Open your eyes and changed the scene,
No sign of things which once had been.
There is a pallor in the air,
The fruit trees everywhere are bare.
No skylark’s song, no blackbird’s trill,
The woods and fields are sad and still.
The flowers are gone, the grass is bare,
There’s desolation everywhere.
In vain small hungry creatures search
For food, where starving sparrows perch
No nuts or berries as before
Vanished is Nature’s bounteous store.
Our tables too hold Spartan fare
Without the bees’ industrious care
We did not save the little bee…
Can there be honey still for tea ?
Artemis 1st November 2021 at 6:10 pm
I have been thinking of altering the last line to say ” There won’t be very much for tea” because it is not the honey bee per se which is under severe threat it is all the bees and insects. What do you think ?
I had no idea that I had my own thread or how to find it. Still uncertain as to how it works or how I go there.
Colin in Kent 1st November 2021 at 7:38 pm
Well, if you click on Poetry on the right hand side, the first thing you’ll see it will say ‘Create a Post’, and you can then start one of your own, or you can do that in any interest section. Or have a separate post for each poem, which is what I do.
Well, of course, the poem is your own and your own voice, and that is one of the joys of wrestling with these things. The only thing I would say is that you don’t need explicitly to reference bees AND insects, and all the growing things, because the bee is standing in for all of those things in the medium of the poem, commenting on Brooke’s sentiment but showing that in just a century we have put not only the quaint tea, but everything that goes with it at risk. Actually, the other thing I would say is that the vanishing of the bee (in the poem’s imagination) is not a matter of ‘will we save it’, rather – ‘we did not’, and therefore the last line should perhaps not be a question but a certainty ‘we did not save the little bee / no honey now, nor fruit, nor tea.’ or ‘no honey now for ladies’ tea’ or something that shows the consequence of the loss rather than what is perhaps a weakening of the sentiment but suggesting things might still be alright. Just my tuppence, it is *your* poem!
Artemis 1st November 2021 at 8:00 pm
Thank you for your kindness. The reason I considered removing the “honey” mention is that it only covers a very small part of what we will lose if bees go. We could actually manage (just) without honey, but not without all the other things they pollinate. That is why I thought of there being very little for our tea.
Sandy 63 30th October 2021 at 7:05 pm
Guys being poet is a good thing. Gives people time to consider that the written word and heartfelt imagination are to be truly appreciated. This modern world of computers tend to make us lose that human touch. Keep up the good work gentlemen. We all need time to relax and reflect. Thank you guys
Vivien Astin 12th January 2022 at 8:30 pm
Liked your poem very much,how you described the seasons and how mankind has walked this earth since the beginning of time.When you referred to your homeward mile,it made me think that your were returning to your maker.Liked the line of how the earth will smile.Will post one of mine in the next few days. Thank you John
Vivien Astin 12th January 2022 at 8:39 pm
Don’t think my reply made it through.i loved the title and how you described the seasons.It took me on a journey through time.When you wrote about your homeward made it made me think that you were going to meet your maker.It left me with a warm feeling.Thank you John.I will post one of mine in the next few days.Vivien
Moya 12th January 2022 at 9:51 pm
Put your poetry out with pride. Write for yourself and treasure the fact you can do it.. It’s such a mind-enhancing thing to do. What’s old-fashioned about observing nature? If you’ve found ‘your’ style then learn how you can enhance it. Experiment and have fun. Well done, John.
Artemis 18th January 2022 at 9:50 pm
I find it almost impossible to work out which of the poems a comment is about, unless the writer is named. because as the comments all arrive they are not placed under whatever it is they are commenting on. I think it is perhaps because some folk just post, instead of using “Reply”