Kennick Burn, Laurieston Forest
Taken during heavy snowfall in January, huge flakes settled over the forest making an icy white wonderland.
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© Catherine Coulson 2018
Winter, Kennick Burn, late January
Near January end
the snow falls again
over Laurieston pass
here, the wet sludgy half-snow
turns solid and crystalline
large softnesses floating downward
the road and edge merge
into an expanse of whiteness
winding through nature
The forest is transformed
into an otherworldly vision,
the usually veiled darkness within
highlighted by a unity
of tiny upward-resting particles
snowflakes steadily descend between fir tops,
coming to rest silently on the soft crust –
stirring thoughts of all who have lived
and passed before us through time,
a multitude drifting through life’s progression
to settle on earth’s inevitable cumulus.
The burn provides a clearing from the wood
a view of the tree line on the far bank.
First snow, whisked with airy volume
untarnished by patina or melt.
Beauty, exquisite and fathomless
in its transformed complexity,
depth and layers not noticeable with air
are traced with haunting, aching clarity
each fine stick and surface illuminated
and softened to create a faded vision
in delicate monochrome.
Bowing laden branches
dip heavily into the river
water glugging steadily,
against the banks,
along the smooth-flowing flats.
here and there, obstacles
cause sparkling splashing eddies,
traversing branches stuck against the flow.
The usual whiteness of the falls
now milky brown agate
against the pure snowy banks.
Even under the larch grove
the snow lies thick on the ground
softness upon needled softness
Long white vertical lines reach skyward,
bare plantation trunks
their ridged and textured bark
filled with clinging snow,
looking up, the tops form shapes,
touching branches curved into arcs
and rounds, woven and suspended
like webs across the totemic structures.
Solitary beech leaves provide the only colour
richly brown and paper thin, glowing
against a backdrop of dusted bright sticks.
Layer on layer of whites
of falling flakes and glittering branches,
diffuse mist and light
brightening in the distant gaps between trees,
powerfully luminous yet flat and uniform
reflected in from lying snow at forest edge.