Lonely Magpie

On a never-ending January day, the whole garden drips with silent grief. There are a few sparse, dried-up leaves clinging desperately to the willow, now pollarded and looking sorry for itself. No birds alight on its branches, not even the magpie, which has taken to haunting the silver birch right at the end near the rickety gate.

The clouds have no outline; they mass together with the heaviness of time. When the sun does deign to shine, it’s weak and feeble, a whisper of heat and enthusiasm that doesn’t reach into my bones, let alone my heart.

on a frosty branch
a solitary magpie
the silence of grief

Kim M. Russell, 7th January 2019

Van Gogh’s ‘Landscape with Pollarded Willows’ (many thanks to Björn for this image)

My haibun for my prompt at dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday: January

I’m hosting at the dverse Pub today and the theme is January, when celebrations are over, most people are back to work and children are back at school. There is an overall feeling of emptiness, which is reflected in the January skies: they are grey with hardly any birds. And it is the month in which my mother died two years ago.

58 thoughts on “Lonely Magpie

  1. Your poem drips with your heart’s sadness – heaviness of grief and emptiness of the whole garden. The image of the solitary magpie says it all. Hugs Kim and thanks for hosting Haibun Monday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear a wind dirge as I read this. Nice word choice for the prompt; rich with texture and poetic variables. A killer haiku; love multisyllabic words like “solitary”–they change the shape of the form. A word like “contradictory” uses up a lot of line.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your haibun suits the van Gogh painting very well. Your haibun of winter in your part of the world is so bleak. Just as mine is over here in Australia. Maybe it’s the energy of this January. World weary we limp our way into a new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your poem captures the emptiness and grief of losing a loved one. Cold seems much colder during these times. The 2nd paragraph anchors the reader within the moment and maroons them there beneath the unending grey.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the way each part of nature is personified in this piece, sharing the same mood of grief and emptiness. Then you join in with your own emotion….”When the sun does deign to shine, it’s weak and feeble, a whisper of heat and enthusiasm that doesn’t reach into my bones, let alone my heart.” I sincerely empathize with your loss, one I know I will face some day. ((((Hugs))))

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The sibilance of your s-words combined with the weighty w, and dripping d’s add to the pall and sense of grief: they’re heavy. I love the image of the solitary magpie haunting the tree – and that you chose a magpie, as corvidae express grief and ritual after a death in the flock. May you have wonderful memories to color your grief with warmth.

    Liked by 1 person

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