Friday, November 19, 2010

Poetry Friday

A chilly, chilly ride yesterday, through the winding trails at Elk Lake. Bundled up, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt rather smug that even though there are plenty of places in Canada where late November trail rides are beyond impractical, here the worst I had to deal with was a nip in the wind and some big puddles.

Later, my feet toasting in front of a fire, I came across this poem by Denise Levertov and thought how apt her description of willows really is. Her willows might be in Massachusetts, but ours are likewise tenacious - holding onto their colour late and flushing with it early in spring. They are the trees that never really sleep.

The Willows of Massachusetts
Animal willows of November
in pelt of gold enduring when all else
has let go all ornament
and stands naked in the cold.
Cold shine of sun on swamp water,
cold caress of slant beam on bough,
gray light on brown bark.
Willows -- last to relinquish a leaf,
curious, patient, lion-headed, tense
with energy, watching
the serene cold through a curtain
of tarnished strands.
     --by Denise Levertov (From the collection, The Life Around Us: Selected Poems on Nature)

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