Discovering the White Rabbit

After early showers on a capricious
Saturday in May, lunchtime
is bathed in balmy sunshine.
The shady toll path bustles
with strollers and joggers,
all inhaling spring’s steamy promise,
and echoes with a coxswain’s voice
counting rowers’ strokes.

On the opposite bank, a swan stretches;
alert to danger, she watches
over cygnets hidden in a nest,
anxious as perspiring rowers stop for a rest.

Around the bend, by Millmead Well,
willow branches catch
a glint of metal surrounded
by a foot-worn patch.
Walkers stumble on the scene,
at once nostalgic and serene:
two childish figures cast from bronze
kneeling before an open book.

Children and a fleeing rabbit
are reminders of many things:
shoes and ships and sealing wax,
cabbages and kings,
Cheshire cats and caterpillars,
Wonderland and magic mirrors.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

I started to write this poem after taking photographs on a walk last Saturday along the River Wey in Guildford, where Lewis Carroll often walked while visiting his six unmarried sisters who lived  in The Chestnuts, next to the castle ruins. He lived the last year of his life in Guildford and is buried in the cemetery on The Mount. Linked to dVerse poets Pub Open Link night.


48 thoughts on “Discovering the White Rabbit

  1. I absolutely love this! And the picture is wonderful, too, though I was sad to see the rabbit was only a statue and not real. By the way, you better warn that swan to stay about from Bjorn’s place. He’s cooking swan over there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “…shoes, ships, and sealing wax, cabbages and kings,” have very special meaning for me. You stopped me cold in my tracks…I was transported back to another time. Also a time of magic. The Universe speaks in your poem. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Absolutely gorgeous saunter into Spring’s petticoats, as humanity bursts into the scene. Perfect blending of fantasy & apt observance of reality. I love your photo too. Don’t know if you take many shots, but would love to have you post some over at my international Facebook photography site, SOUTH SOUND MINIMALIST PHOTOS..Grace & Frank H. drop by sometimes…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Glenn for comments and invite, both very kind. I’m a sporadic photographer, with a cheap, simple camera, but I have a selection of photos from which I can select a few. I’ll sort some out between finishing one lot of exam marking and the next, possibly next week.


    1. Luckily most of the rowers on Saturday were youngsters and were so focused on getting their rowing right that they didn’t go near the swan. We were on the opposite bank. Unfortunately my camera hasn’t got a proper zoom so I couldn’t get the photos I wanted. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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