greentapestry : A Poem For February

Friday, 1 February 2013

A Poem For February

'They dangle in thousands from the hazels, 
aligned by strict gravity, melodious notes 
swept along a fine staff of branches invisible 
against the dark confusion of February forest. 

Long winter-flowers, hovering, pale yellow 
with greenish tinge; their perfect profusion 
sings an orderly chord—you can hear the hum 
with your eyes.

We have survived the big storm, 
trees breaking beneath burdens of ice, 
broken roofs, camp dinners, candlelight, 
homes gone cold. We cancelled gatherings, 

postponed the overschedule, came back online
with stories--how we made it through. 
Here in the heart of winter, autumn 
has been carried way back in the runoff. 

Harbingers of spring are still folded-in, buried 
too deep to swell, awaiting any hint of warmth. 
But these catkins pronounce a golden fairy light
that chants to us through the veiled drift of mist:

                                            steady in the stillness, 
                                            glimmer in the dark.'

~ 'Catkins' by Don Freas.

Illustration by Cicely Mary Barker.


  1. I remember pussy willow from my childhood, they're so tactile and I would always stroke them.

  2. I love pussy willow, was always fascinated by it as a child too!

  3. I look forward to the pussy willow catkins opening - they attract the first bees and it's so loud! I like the poem too. I've already seen some hazel catkins opening a little this year.

  4. Catkins are magical, I won't get any on my hazels this year, I pruned them back hard when I planted them out, but next year...


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