Sunday, 19 June 2016

Clematis Dance: A poetry post

I had so much fun with the Spenserian Stanzas in my last poem, The Flame So Bright that I thought I'd have another go. The prompt from Sara at Mum Turned Mom this week was dance, and that, combined with my ongoing attempts to get clematis to grow in my garden (and hide my ugly fences), gave me the idea for this poem. If you're not familiar with the way that clematis and similar plants find where they'll grow, check out this gorgeous video on YouTube (I'm afraid I don't know whose is the original).

This poem has been selected for inclusion in Forward Poetry's anthology 'The Great British Write Off - Whispering Words', coming out this Autumn. You read it first, here.

Clematis Dance

Above the leaves a slender tendril lifts,
head bowed to listen all attentively.
Its neck is pale, and waiting on the gift
of music. Delicate it turns to see;
in rhythm with the spheres it twists slowly,
takes up the dance. The neck proceeds to grow.
The dance becomes a lashing, head spins free,
the body sways, the leaves brush hands below.
Caught up in music; will this dance not ever slow?

But stop. The long neck finds a place to rest;
a strong companion to depend upon.
It twines around and puts it to the test,
to rise and find the place where it belongs.
The body leaning in, the hold is strong.
This is a place the Clematis could own,
could sprinkle flowers and bring a new song,
with feet residing in cool, sheltered loam
and fingers stretched out to lay claim to this new home.

© Cara L McKee 18/6/16

There are two clematis in my garden now. They've both caught hold, but neither of them seems to be growing. I suspect they're not going to make it. The clematis in the picture are a neighbour's, and they are magnificent!