The mist hangs heavy on the sodden fields,
A shroud cloaking the world in soft grey muslin.
Charcoal trees hold their bare branches up in supplication
And each blade of chilled grass drips diamonds.
A far off river of cold traffic is muffled thunder
But all else is silence under the dead white mist;
Only the sound of wetness seeping out and
Stillness loitering under the trees, wrapped in cloud.
Underfoot the mud is black and stiffly oozes,
Half released from its armour of hard frost.
Beneath the sharpness of jagged blackthorn twigs
The green of returning spring flowers has faded grey
And the grass shrinks back from the dark nakedness
Of the tyre-ravished path and hoof-trodden mire.
Only the tips of bluebell leaves and of arum lilies
Stand green below the weeping hedgerow.
A solitary robin hops from the blackthorn
Picking its breakfast from the livid green moss
And a chaffinch shouts his warning call from the ash tree.
Piercing the misty shroud with the sound of light.
Sadly, Jan de Rhe-Philipe passed away recently. As a fellow student of the Open University, her poem was chosen for the first Ink Pantry anthology, back in 2012. We send our deepest condolences to Jan’s sister, Fleur.