The lead up to Christmas has been wet and cold; lingering, like the illness that has confined me indoors with the tensions of a fading relationship. Now a milder, though overcast, day invites escape.
At first the senses, like the morning, seem veiled, walking difficult. But in a surprisingly short time I feel impelled to a new, easier stride.
Inhaling more deeply, I savour the aloneness. From somewhere, a solitary bird’s voice. Around me, signs of continuity—familiar lichens on stone, glossy ivy, a bay hedge wet with dew.
There are still blossoms in evidence: some, legacies of summer—a limp marigold in a border, clumps of vetch, the single rose clinging to its dark branch...
But now, hints of others—bulbs tipping the earth here and there, buds on a quince bush and, suddenly, break-ing out from a crumbling wall, a splash of spiky forsythia.
beyond the smokedrift
i mistook for mist
sparks upon the path