In wild and lonely places
it spreads its branches wide,
the tall and elegant silver birch
where mountains and mist collide.
The ever-graceful silver birch
supple, resilient and strong
bends with force of the winter wind
but does not come undone.
Lifting its arms in the canopy
and wearing a starlight crown
this snow white maiden of the trees
wrapped in a satin gown
shines like the daughters of Odin
that ride forth on wintry nights
and its bark is the armor that they wear
composed of the northern lights.
Made out of soul and spirit
from the dreams of childhood born
with branches that touch heaven
to carry the warrior home.
The Woods are Lovely
The woods are lovely –
these evergreens hung with snow
so silent and still.
They could almost be
a final resting place of souls,
in another space,
another time, long ago
when there were heroes.
“The first cold shower
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw.” by Bashō
can they survive the winter
of our discontent
looking down toward Sendai
with wondering eyes?
Maybe the onsen
deep in Jigokudani
will ease their worries.
Rod Stone’s artistic statement: I want to thank the members of the Brooklin Poetry Society for helping me improve my craft. Reading widely in the poetic canon has also helped me develop a sense of taste in poetry. Some of my favourites are the French Symbolists, W.B. Yeats and great modern poets like Philip Larkin and Elizabeth Bishop. Reading and writing poetry has been one of the joys of my life because as Mallarmé said “beauty has only one perfect expression, Poetry”. You can visit me at www.rodspoetryblog.wordpress.com.