Seasonal Perspectives of a Corkscrew Willow

Winter willows throw
dramatic and distorted
geometric shapes.

Naked trunks
rise cracking from brittle grass,
shedding frost and ice.

Intricate lace
of charcoal branches is pinned
to pale winter skies.

Lemon catkins, wriggling
with new growth and warmth,
anticipate spring.

Tousled corkscrews
are teased into a tangle,

Leaves shaped like lances
kink and curl, flashing silver
in the summer breeze.

Dishevelled willows
framed in  the study window
squiggle with van Gogh brushstrokes.

Shades of green shift
in an interplay of light
and willow shadow.

Yellow curls spiral,
drifting in the green shallows
of the cold garden.

Shrivelling willow leaves
smears of buttery yellow
melting in the mud.

Devoid of leaves
willows reach out their branches

In their nakedness,
willows twist this way and that,
a web of twigs.


© Kim M. Russell, 2016

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My response to dVerse Poets Pub: Meeting the bar as a cubist poet

Björn is our host today with an arty challenge. He started by telling us about cubism, in which artists break the concept of perspective and split a picture into simplified objects with clear borders in between. This can be applied to poetry and Björn has given examples of two poets: Gertrude Stein, with  her book Tender Buttons, and Wallace Stevens’ with Thirteen ways of looking at the blackbird‘.

Björn has asked us to select a simple object (or a common concept) and write several poems that look at the object from different perspectives, such as such as being placed in a small narrative, at different times of day or in different seasons. We should then organise the small poems in a way that creates contrasts while at the same time maintaining the coherence of a complete poem.


54 thoughts on “Seasonal Perspectives of a Corkscrew Willow

  1. Well, this dozen three-liners blew my socks off. You have captured all the seasons it seems, juxtaposing & mixing them up liberally–yet producing a finite impression, an an exsquite portrait of plant love. I love stanza II /naked trunks/rise cracking from brittle grass/shedding frost & ice/.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I miss willows, they don’t grow I live now. Your ode to the seasons of the willow corkscrews around and around until the endless cycle of yellow and green and black blends together into a masterpiece.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sanaa. I was just about to go to bed. My eyes feel like they’re about to fall out of their sockets, so I’ll be doing some more reading in the morning. I’m impressed with all the fantastic poetry I’ve read so far. I look forwa rd d to reading yours tomorrow. 😎


    1. Thank you, Grace. My favourite is number 1 – I get so much out of looking at the shapes in the trunk and branches. There’s been a new additional lately – a squirrel!


    1. Our willows just keep growing – they even get tangled in the electric power cables and we have to get EDF to come and cut them. It was the rowan trees, after which our cottage was named, that came to a sad ending.


  3. My goodness! You painted exquisite seasons using only words. Your painting of the willow lives and breathes with each passing season. I loved this, especially these lines:

    “Intricate lace
    of charcoal branches is pinned
    to pale winter skies.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hank. Those squiggles are glossy with rain this grey morning – 7.30 and still not very light. Luna, the older cat, went out at about 6.30 but she’s already back, soaked through and hungry. I told her she’d be better off staying inside!


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