Sunday, March 26, 2006

Spring in New England

Spring in New England
Betsy McKenzie

The bare, rocky hillsides,
Breathtakingly spare,
Are still clearly visible.
Leafless trees, gray and brown.
March somberly up the steep slopes,
Relieved here and there by occasional
Dark greens: pines, firs and hemlocks.
The greenbriers are not yet brightening
At their feet. Only a few maples
Are beginning to glow with banked fires
Of springing life. A few maple-leaf viburnums
Answer back with deepening red stems
In the undergrowth.

By the ponds, the winter willows
Have glowed golden
Like visual alleluias
Through the snow and gloom of November,
December, leading on to spring.
Alone, the oaks and beeches
Cling stubbornly to last year’s leaves.
Like crumpled sheets of a bad draft,
Clutched by a hand unwilling
To let it go. Rattling in the wind,
The yellowed, bleached leaves
Curled about the twigs hang on.
We welcome spring with more fervor
For how late it arrives.

The painting above was at a gallery website, where it was evidently sold. Unfortunately, that means I cannot identify the artist. It was amazingly difficult to locate a good illustration of what I mean by golden-twigged willows. I cannot locate a decent photograph and cannot seem to take a good one myself. It is a lovely phenomenon and I am grateful to this artist who did a wonderful job of painting it.

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