Willow Wraith

Lithe limbs still clad with curly leaves
and protective ivy shield her naked bark.
There is no morning mist to clothe nor breeze
to make her dance. Just green breath of trees,
the scent of chlorophyll to transport her
to the beginning, when spirits did not need
to hide inanimate in plants, rocks, ice and water.
Invisible to all except husband, son and daughter,
a willow wraith could freely wander as a wife,
free from the paralysing poison of human life.

Kim M. Russell, 19th October 2020

Vincent van Gogh: The Paintings (The Willow)

Image: The Willow by Vincent van Gogh, oil on canvas,
Nuenen, November, 1885

My response to earthweal weekly challenge: Spirits of Place

I was completely spellbound by Brendan’s essay about spirits of place. I still am and, sitting at not quite seven thirty in the morning, watching the cats explore the undergrowth in our still garden, I’m sure we have them here in Norfolk, in our garden, among the trees, by the sea and on the Broads. Some mornings I see them hiding in the mist or shimmering in the early sun.

What a fantastic prompt to write to: in celebration of the ármaôr land-spirit of harvest, we are writing of land-spirits closest to us, which may reside in our homes or under them, or may grow from affinities for trees or shores. There is so much to write about, I wonder if I can do it justice.

17 thoughts on “Willow Wraith

  1. I think you’ve more than done justice to the prompt, Kim! I especially liked the lines ‘There is no morning mist to clothe nor breeze/to make her dance.’ and the whole idea of a free-spirit willow wraith unbound by the ‘paralysing poison of human life.’ I found Brendan’s essay really inspiring, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Simply beautiful and haunting. Nice use of imagery and alliteration, putting across an underlying theme (at least that’s what I feel) of our species’ ‘modern’ contentious relationship with nature — which is our home.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh how I LOVE the idea of wife as willow wraith. How brilliant! I am certain, in your ancient land, there must be many spirits hovering near. I wish one could know their stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always surprised at how sturdy willows are. Ours has to be trimmed every so often as her branches grow around a power line. She grows back and embraces the power line in just months.

      Liked by 1 person

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