January Snowdrops

In fact snowdrops began to flower back in December last year. Now they are popping up everywhere to help make the cold more bearable.

Snowdrop Day

 

A miniature arrow fired to the sun,

This tight white bud is no wax vanity,

Nor will it melt like frost.

The innocent flower inches up.

 

Milk-tipped, it drives between

Defeated grass darts (blades all

Blunted on the trodden soil

By blind & plodding footfall)

 

Then turns a corner, silent bell-head

Hanging in the ringing cold.

 

Opening now to January’s stark blue light

(Frail feather down, pale dove wings

Over cloudy olive waters)

This snowdrop floats amid

 

The hostile dreariness, the downright

Winter weariness of yet another

Alien new year’s landscape:

A little ark of hope.

 

© Lizzie Ballagher

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Hope and a happy new year to all who follow this blog!

This strange winter, bringing floods and winds to so many, occasionally brings delight to others. Until a few days ago, midsummer honeysuckle was alive and well and flowering in the holly trees along the edge of our small garden. I wasn’t quick enough in all those dark, wet days this month to photograph it, so I’ve cheated with a seasonal shot instead. To me, those tiny, creamy flowers spoke of hope, light and warmth at a time of year that is challenging, dark and cold for many. So, to one and all, a joyful, hopeful new year!

December Surprise

No surprise: there falls

Snow in the winter holly trees,

Wet flakes drifting in stillness,

Speared on savage leaf-points,

Vanishing in salty, mistletoe air.

 

No surprise: there shines

Scarcely a peep of light today,

Except for the crackling red

Of holly berries, the lively green

Of prickling leaves along the wall.

 

But now: a midwinter surprise!

If you look closely here, see,

Threading in among the glossy growth

Midsummer’s honeysuckle still in flower:

Fragile cream & butter petals

 

Twined within close holly trees,

Wreathing the deepening gloom

Of a winter’s afternoon;

Breathing out mild, wild sweetness—

No icy frost-flowers, these.

 

© Lizzie Ballagher

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