Friday Poem

Winter Solstice

Wiry and headstrong in life, so in death,
the bleached stems of harebells
– unflappable as marram grass –
outstare this sun, these easterlies.
At every branchlet’s pendant tip,
the vestigial ribs of a seed capsule
(bell-like, a birdcage in miniature)
accumulate and vitrify a water droplet.

Hence this platinum-wired gem tree
gathering December light, dispensing it;
a crystal-chandelier Adventist
illuminating, galvanising, rather,
its weedy, slug-pearled patch
of lavender and fallen harebell seeds;
igniting, with each icy tug,
summer’s metaphorical touchpaper.

by Jean Bleakney
from The Poet’s Ivy; Lagan Press, 2003