Friday, March 21, 2008

Sonnet for Good Friday


The wind is lean as Lent, unkind, kneading

And rolling clods of cloud over the sullen land.

Hungry, I walk on stoney ground, treading

The coarse-grained granite lumps into the caked wet ground.

Blunting its blade the plough has pulled and piled,

Where three fields meet, three boulders up into an inadvertent cairn

Or perhaps, turning his face away, denying, stone cold,

A distant, sad homunculus of rock.

A broken elder branch, brittle, bare and bald,

Scratches across the spike-spired church, built like a barn, or tomb,

And the huddled homes below. It seems a world

Dispirited, unleavened, no warmth to prove or raise.

Holy Week is often cold, they say.

It's clear there'll be no bread from stones today.

16 comments:

jzr said...

"It's clear there'll be no bread from stones today."

Very moving poem. Thanks for sharing it.

Isabelle said...

Yes, I too particularly like that last line.

Hope things cheer up a bit, though.

Happy Easter.

Lucy said...

Thanks both, I didn't think I'd get any response to this.
It was the mood of a moment, not how I'm spending a lot of time feeling. The drear weather at this time of year somehow seems harsher than it does all winter, and then there is that familiar 'hoping it might be so' feeling...
Today, though, there will be hot cross buns courtesy of Tom, who's baking them, and company and the fire lit early!

Dave King said...

What can I say more than "Congratulations". The first four lines had me hooked. The photographs complement it exactly. Let's have some more - please! Have a great Easter!

Rosie said...

It is a bit bleak at the moment...putting it into a poem so aptly makes it easier to turn the page and turn to face the coming spring. I can smell the hot cross buns. We are more in a phase of elaborate curries after Jimmy's cooking course with the experts but I am not complaining, they are delicious...

Avus said...

A bleak and lovely poem, Lucy. I can empathise with your feelings as drear weather gets me in the same way.
Liked the little touch of Thomas Hardy too - my feelings exactly.

Plutarch said...

Something spare and northerly about this lovely poem makes me turn up my collar. I think of wind- raked uplands.That last line will last and last.

Lesley said...

I've tagged you, I'm afraid.

Lucas said...

I really like the way the photographs and poem add up: this is a fine photopoem. The line "A distant sad homunculus of rock" and the phrase "inadvertant cairn" capture the windswept bleakness of the landcsape and create a feeling of the unconsciousness of the rocks and stones becoming conscious. Very moving and reflective too of the day on which it was written.

Robin Starfish said...

No one explores the symbiosis of word and image like you, Lucy. You're a treasure.

Tall Girl said...

I enjoyed the alliteration

meggie said...

Shiver! dark & brooding.

Lucy said...

Thank you for such complimentary comments. Best to embrace drab moods and melancholy sometimes, I suppose!

I'm not too happy with the 3rd picture, it's in too close and doesn't convey the isolation of the form.

Joe, I thought the last line/couplet sounded quite a bit like one of yours, hesitated for fear of plagiarism... sincerest form of flattery?

HLiza said...

I feel like I'm there with you to consume all these nature story-telling. It's rainy over here too..one of the weather I love. Easter is not celebrated big here..I dunno much about it too but I hope you enjoyed yourself. And cherish the wetness of the earth while you can..

marly said...

Fittingly harsh and bitter for Good Friday... Might be more so if you tightened the straitjacket of form even more? (I know; I'm a pain.)

Smart closure.

Lucy said...

Hliza - I would like som,e of your warmth and colour and brightness now! But I do cherish all weathers as best I can. And also visits from people from very different parts of the world with very different reference points. I suppose, apart from the chocolate, Easter is not so commercialised as, say, Christmas, so it hasn't been sold all around the world in the same way, and it is very seasonal too.
Marly - mm, interesting. Frankly, I struggled quite a bit to keep it in the form at all! Other possibilities occurred to me, some of which involved a tighter rhythm and rhyme scheme, which always seemed a bit over-contrived. But this was what I finished with, and as it's not going any further than this, I think this is how it stays. But thanks, painless one!