The Spilling

Just when I’ve learnt to read the landscape carefully:
the flight of birds and growth of plants,
the arrangement of furrowed fields and coppiced hedges;

now that I’ve mastered its punctuation with quiet glee:
the question mark of church, comma of farmhouse,
full stop of village and parentheses of trees;

nature spills her evening ink across the hills and leas,
over sleepy horses, sheep and cows,
drips shapeless shadows into night and dreams.

Kim M. Russell, 27th July 2019

Related image
‘Nightfall’ by N.C. Wyeth (1882 – 1945) – found on Pictify

My poem for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend Mini Challenge: Let Evening Come, also linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry

I’m hosting at the Imaginary Garden this weekend with pastoral poems, based on a poem I found in The Making of a Poem, the Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. The poem is ‘Let Evening Come’ by Jane Kenyon. In the prompt, I explain that I love that this poem is a pastoral poem on the surface, with imagery taken from a typical rural scene, but when you discover that the poem alludes to the creeping cancer that took the life of the poet’s friend, and find out also that the poet was bipolar, it takes on new meanings.

This weekend, we are writing new pastoral poems about evening, the shift from late afternoon through twilight to the black shed of night, following the format of Jane Kenyon’s poem, but no more than six tercets.

53 thoughts on “The Spilling

  1. We adapt and go on, hoping for no more changes. I am reminded of our Blind Dog, Toto. She mapped the neighborhood well and was always where she wanted to be. That is, if the rains didn’t wash away all here scents. She then had to maps and mark it anew.
    An aside, one time Toto did not come back. She was gone for three days and then came walking down our little hill in the company of three other dogs who were bringing her home.
    I enjoyed writing for your prompt so very much, several avenues seemed begging of me to be written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jim, for enjoying the prompt, and for telling me Toto’s story. We had a blind cat many years ago, who managed to find his way around, although he did fall in the river once.


  2. How your prompt, poem and others writing reminded me of so much of my childhood growing up in the country in England so many years ago. I am so glad I did. Your poem is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is breathtakingly beautiful, Kim! 💖💖💖 I especially love; “nature spills her evening ink across the hills and leas,” there is more than what meets the eye 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a masterpiece, Kim. The analogy which you so richly unfold in stanza 2 is perfectly concluded in the final part of the poem. This is altogether an extra – ordinary poem expressing the pastoral milieu in writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how language and nature come together so seamlessly. I can’t see the trees curving into living parentheses, cradling still-growing words until the sun comes up (and later, too). Absolutely love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Indeed, just when we think we have things figured out, along comes nature’s ink to reset the board. I especially enjoyed the last stanza:

    “nature spills her evening ink across the hills and leas,
    over sleepy horses, sheep and cows,
    drips shapeless shadows into night and dreams.”

    I love this poetic image you’ve created.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is beautiful, Kim. Love the wonderfully rendered writing metaphors throughout … very inspired, cleverly expressed and so unique and creative. The visual of the evening ink, as it “drips shapeless shadows into night and dreams” … is a stunning line of poetry … indelible, really. This piece has so many wonderful things going on … and all of them come together so epically well, I think it is up there with some of your best work. It is very special.

    I just linked to Imaginary Garden – very late in the day – I know. Sorry about the hour. Vancouver is in the midst of a heat wave today and our apartment has a really nice outdoor pool so, needless to say, there has been a steady stream of guests bearing swimming suits at our door.

    I will follow up with comments tomorrow. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll keep Imaginary Garden in mind. I’ve never used it before, so I’m pleased you pointed it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Wendy, and linking to Imaginary Garden. You were not late – it’s a weekend challenge after all! – and I haven’t got round to reading all the poems yet as I was away visiting my grieving mother-in-law yesterday. I;m about to do some now and look forward to yours.


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