Winter, Kennick Burn, late January

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,

gentle sounds 

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

compressing underfoot.


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.