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Keep your face to the sunshine
and shadows will fall behind you. -- Walt Whitman

BEECH by Jim Hatfield

BEECH by Jim Hatfield

At the back of All Saints church,

An old beech stands in advent nakedness,

As well it ought. By the front door,

A young cherry is already pink with next

Year’s bloom. How soon will the beech follow suit?

The seasons are awry. Enjoying the soft sky

And Indian-Summer sun, I worry that winter

May not come, as it failed to do last year.

Might we not see its like again?

Ill-portrayed as the season of discontent,

Winter is renewal time; an opportunity

To find yourself, take stock, catch breath,

Make and mend.

I had supposed that, with autumn being as

It was this year, winter might be hard

But I fear that the seasons have been downsized

To three; by European decree, perhaps.

Where does that leave me?

This year has not been easy and I would readily

Embrace a period of stability. There are gardens to be

Weeded. I need time to exorcise ghosts, build bridges

And patch holes; Winter things.

Then today, a biting wind drives clouds of snow-

Promising grey and, in doing so, puts my mind at ease.

A sense of order is restored. Winter is within reach

And though my heart bleeds for the cherry,

My soul is with the beech.

The Linnets Wings