winter dreaming

IMG_2491

it’s the tail-end of winter
and I’ve been feeling low
I have days when
I can’t imagine
how I will rise again

but I stand here today
overlooking the sea
on the verandah of a house in another town
in the distance I hear birds call, voices,
the low hum of the waves
little flurries of wind
blue sky to infinity
the sun pouring its heart out over the land
and I can feel, if I stayed here
my spirits would lift

I can see myself living here
in a two-storied house
overlooking the sea
with a room for books and writing
and quietly watching the world

I’d take the dogs I don’t have yet
for walks on the beach
bake bread and knit and talk

until the ‘real’ world changes
and catches up with my imaginings
part of me will go on living in this dream

© Claire Griffin 2016

winter wind – green gods

winter wind
blows in from the north
bringing mist and cloud
to lie low over the hills

and as the wind shifts
green gods are revealed

the thin mist is swept apart and
mythic trees step forward
out of ancient times
to stand for a moment
in the present

before the wind turns
and they walk back into the past

© Claire Griffin 2016

cold feet

IMG_0169

my cat keeps piddling on the carpet
and I’m tired of cleaning up after her
but she is getting old
and it’s winter
and if I were her
I wouldn’t want to go outside to pee either
getting cold feet
and reminders of youth
from the twin kitten strangers
who have moved in next door
and who, rain or shine,
delight in dancing about on the deck

 

© Claire Griffin 2016

trees of the long white cloud : part II

the native evergreens
do not rest in winter

kahikitea, karaka, kauri, kowhai
pohutukawa, ngaio, rata, rimu, totara

season after season
they weave and re-weave
their cloak of green
they stay awake, alert
through summer’s drought
and winter’s flood and snow
seasons the least of their concerns
as their roots reach for each other
in the deep underground
and they wrap their long thin fingers around hidden rock
feeling for the slightest tremor, sensing the slightest shift

guardians of the earthmother
they draw life from her tears
from her breath and body
sentinels standing guard
aware, attentive, vigilant
calming her dreaming
holding tight in nightmares
as she shakes and trembles in her sleep
they cradle her head and breasts and hips as she turns
sometimes losing hold
and falling
as she shakes herself awake

 

© Claire Griffin 2016

trees of the long white cloud : part I

these trees are immigrants
keeping true to their long histories
continuing the customs of their ancestors

sepia, folium
tyrian, madder
minium, cinnabar
carmine, cadmium
saffron, sienna, ochre, weld

these colours are deceiving
unlike flowers, they are not an invitation
rather, they are a sign of loss
and of a turning inward

as the trees begin withdrawing into themselves
conserving energy, preserving life-force
releasing all non-essential elements
leaves lose green and fall

to protect themselves
from winter’s chill
the trees hibernate above ground
they stand naked in the cold
heart kept warm deep in their centre
beating slowly, barely breathing

they stand quietly, patiently
winter – one long meditation
until the sun rings the zen-bell
and branch tips stretch, buds open
and the trees shake themselves awake

 

© Claire Griffin 2016