Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In Praise of Winter Trees*




A closed heart can't greet
a winter sky. Even a rain puddle
is filled by it, and a horse trough,
and the slow current of creeks.

Winter trees, sycamore and oak,
reach for the sky to offer praise –
stark, hard praise, born from all
those rooted years of bearing

the sky's weight. Some nights
an open heart is filled with vast
spaces between stars the mind
can't grasp. The thought of heaven

is not so much mammothed by
the sky's grandeur, but mystified
beyond our silly notions. Winter
trees aren't arrogant; they praise

no flags, no denominations,
they owe allegiance to the soil.
My sister, when she was younger,
awoke in winter to hold her arms


up to the sky, shiver in the wholeness
of it, let shadows of winter trees
dance sunlight across her face.
Oak, beech, sycamore, maple, and gum,

reenact creation, drop their seeds
from the sky, make their homes
in star dust, and reach back
toward heaven. Trees suffer

drought and freezing rain, accept
the annual tilt toward shorter days.
Some ancient hope, like winter light,
is allied with the gravity of stars.


*Excerpted from Late Winter by Bill Brown, published by Iris Press. Bill Brown is a part-time lecturer at Vanderbilt University. He has written four poetry collections, three chapbooks and a textbook. The recipient of many awards and fellowships, Brown lives in Robertson County, Tennessee.


I have always found beauty in the starkness of winter. Something about the winter light and proud trees with their entangled branches against a gray winter sky speaks to my heart. The pure white of a fallen snow with its shadows of violet and muted silver, flashes of diamonds in the rays of a winter sun. Asleep. At rest. Peaceful and waiting.


Hoping you're enjoying the beauty of Winter, wherever you may be...

5 comments:

Karen said...

So many bloggers (myself included) are longing for spring. It's good to be reminded of winter's beauty and how in awe we were in those first few weeks of the season.

Sandy @ My Shabby Streamside Studio said...

That bit of poetry really made my day. Thanks for putting literature in your blog, Paula, you've inspired me!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Lovely.

Kim said...

I am so excited that you are blogging alot lately. Your's is the first one I look for each day, Paula! I was just looking at the grey sky and brown trees today..not a very pretty picture near where I work, and I thought...I really don't like brown and grey. But reading your prose today made me think I need to look for the pretty views.

Distressing Delilah a.k.a. jenn said...

HI there!!!! What a gorgeous photograph! Hope all is well down south.