Poetry Thursday: Winter Light with Lilac

Winter Light with Lilac, © 2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy


Curled in a warm cocoon,
from the splintering cold
and brittle light outside
I hear a high pitched pulse,
hurled snow crystals, glass
against glass, enlivened by the play
of light and dancing dark
against the rhythm of lilac branches
in their patient sleep straining
toward light or shadowed tracery.

I hear the winter-weakened sun
roll across a shortened sky,
silence fractured
by icicles clinking like chimes
cast on the frozen ground.

Copyright 2007 by Maureen Shaughnessy

See the 6 photos I used to create this composite.

Though I did not follow the prompt for this week, this post is for Poetry Thursday, begun by poets, Liz and Dana. Click on their names to see their blogs, or check out the other poetry posts for this week by clicking this button:

Here's the prompt for this week's poems: Poetry Thursday: proof positive


Endment said...

I am always drawn to the light - fascinated - perhaps as a moth to the flame :)
You have captured such (I need words) magic in the light dancing over the lilac!

Tammy said...

Oh Maureen this is lovely and reminds me of my precious grandma who adored lilac ;)

Crafty Green Poet said...

the patient sleep of lilac branches through the winter. Lovely.

Pam said...

You have captured exactly how I feel this time of year as I wait for the light and warmth to come back. The picture is beautiful and I think I almost know how you did it.

maureen said...

Thanks, everyone ... I haven't been as active on PT lately as I used to be, and I just really wanted to share something this week, something poetic even if not following the prompt.

Well ... what I wrote -- it's exactly what was happening outside the studio window yesterday while I was working. We'd had about 2 inches of snow Wednesday night. The wind(!) suddenly picked up in howling gusts -- I saw (and heard) splinters of light crashing against the window and shaking the lilac hedge shaking.

Endment, so true about the light and the lilac and the light -- dancing! That's just what they were doing and I was lucky to witness it! After the wind died down I ventured out with my camera to try to capture that feeling -- the wind the light, the way they danced together so gracefully. This is what came out -- both the words and the image had to come together.

Pam, like you wrote, this is the feeling I have this time of year, waiting for the light and warmth. I'm glad you can relate. I'm curious, too, how you think I made this composite -- care to guess? I still wish we lived closer together so I could show you!

Juliet, yes, the patience it takes is almost too much for me. It's too early for buds, too early in Montana to even get excited about the garden, about seed catalogs and warm days (what? warm days???) Yet, we're far enough into winter that my soul and heart are getting weary of the cold. Trying to find light and color amidst the drab browns and grays of mid winter... that keeps me sane!

Tammy isn't it true that Lilacs are such a classic, almost traditional garden shrub -- at least out here in the Wild West they seem to be ubiquitous in established gardens. I've even found ancient lilac shrubs still growing and blooming around stone foundations on homesteads -- in places where nothing else remains to tell us the pioneers treasured their sweet smell and cheerful color 100 years ago...

maureen said...

just a note for anyone (like Pam) interested in seeing how I made this collage: I put a page with the original photos here.

Sheila said...

I love that you shared how you collaged the photo. It is beautiful. I love coming to your site. The photography is wonderful and the poetry is magical. I haven't really thought about reading poetry in years. Thank you.

Star said...

I love his photo. I've been working in Elements this evening myself, just playing with layers. I'm such a novice compared to you. Thanks for sharing how you made the collage.

maureen said...

thanks, sheila and star -- I'm happy to be able to help anyone who really wants to learn photoshop. i have never read a manual or book about it -- but have been using photoshop, teaching myself, for many years since it first came out. If you ever have specific questions, you can always email me.

@Pam and Tammy I just came across an absolutely beautiful blog (appropriately named "Truth & Beauty") by a woman living in San Francisco with MS. I thought of both of you as I was reading her many posts on the journey she has taken with her illness. I hope you can find something inspiring here, and maybe, too - she will learn of your thoughtfulness and courage. May you all connect if it is to be so. Here is her blog post with a long list of posts she has written about MS.

GeL(Emerald Eyes) said...

Yummy discovering you via PT.
Enjoyed the wonderful imagery and top-notch sound in your poem. Your creative photography is a bonus!
I'm putting you in my feeds to return. :D
(I'm an artist(painter, jewelry) and photographer as well.)
-Thank you also for the blog link to the woman with MS. That is a disease I'm intimately familiarly with, although not personally. I will check her out soon.

gautami tripathy said...

The last stanza kind of stays in mind. Glad I found you through poetry Thusrday.

Do chk my post...Straight Curves.

Pam said...

I checked out your mini tutorial and I was close, but I'm such a beginner and have a long way to go.

Pam said...

I've been reading "Truth and Beauty". Thank you, she has touched me deeply and says things I feel but cannot say.