Frost Bitten

Gnarly, these withered limbs,
this vessel more rigidity than flow,
winter upon me, a permanent clouding,
sunnier days passed – oh how vivid
the imagination when blue skies
met green grass, no hindrances

Old dreams hover, tethered to fences –
defences to camouflage vulnerability,
offences to keep my paths cleared

Find balance in isolation –
an old tree, past her prime –

Would cut loose this precarious
hold on all things fantastical,
but fear the act a harbinger –

So, I bide my days in this
frigid limbo, and hold on.

(Today’s poem is inspired by the image from Willow Poetry’s challenge:  What Do You See?  I am also linking up to dVerse’s pub night, where Sarah is hosting with the prompt: harbinger.  Ragtag Community provided balance, and Fandango’s word is tree.)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

45 thoughts on “Frost Bitten”

  1. Such beautiful language, metaphor of life, and such a lovely flow to this. “Old dreams hover, tethered to fences” is a wonderful line, but I see in that, too, that they haven’t died. The old tree is living in limbo, but I see strength in that it’s still biding and waiting.

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  2. You’ve created a powerful chill in your poem, V.J, with a rigid vessel in the opening lines and ‘frigid limbo’ in the last. I love the line ‘Old dreams hover, tethered to fences’ and the wordplay on ‘fences/offences’.

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  3. identifying the seasons of life and the gentle harbingers – i see a woman coming into her own – you remind me of Glenn Close – the regal proud beauty of a woman’s soul

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  4. it feels like, even in the midst of the helplessness of the season, you’re able to hold onto some measure of control, and that’s important to know about yourself ❤

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  5. You had me at /old dreams hover–tethered to fences/. I’m not a lover of winter; must be different in Alaska, the Yukon, much of Canada, Michigan and Minnesota, where winter is imprinted.

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  6. There is a magic to your words as you describe what holds you in this season of your life. It is not an easy stage yet you empower yourself:
    “So, I bide my days in this
    frigid limbo, and hold on.”
    It gives me goosebumps and encouragement all at the same time.
    Thank you for sharing V.J.

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  7. The winter of our years………
    beautifully and realistically at the same time…words of aging and feeling and a matching to the seasons.
    The setting sun….an oft used harbinger of ending…but this idea of being in winter, the rigidity, tethered to fences. Really gives the feeling of ending approaching.
    I enjoyed this very much.

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