To Boreas

An apostrophe for dverse.


I see you in the golden flurry

swept from winter maple trees

and in the ruffled feathers of the birds.

I see your northern fingers’ traces

in frosted patterns on the pane

the silvered surface of the pond.

I hear you mutter in the chimney flue,

teeth gnash among the branches bare,

I fear your cold and footless tread—

is this your breath, this mist of frozen air?

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

37 thoughts on “To Boreas”

  1. A chilling entry to the scene. Excellent response to the prompt. I liked the line /I hear you mutter ion the chimney flue/ .

  2. I love the Pre-Raphaelites and that is a beautiful Waterhouse painting. I enjoyed every line of your apostrophe to the north wind, especially as I’m reading it as the wind blows the willow outside my window in the pouring rain, which you’ve brightened somewhat with your ‘golden flurry swept from winter maple trees’.

    1. Thank you, Kim! I have a soft spot for the pre-Raphs too. Do you know the work of Evelyn de Morgan? She wasn’t part of the movement but the subjects are the same, just more vibrant colours and the women aren’t the etiolated wisps of the pre-Raphs.

      1. I don’t think they have deer parks here, but they hunt certain animals like deer and foxes in groups, driving them from their cover by making a noise, shouting, sounding horns, baying dogs then they shoot them. It sounds utterly barbaric.

    1. It’s something I’ve grown into over the last few years. Since September when the youngest left to go to college, it’s just me, husband and wildlife. Silence except for the birds. I have had to learn a lot of languages.

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