holly & Ivy

There is a beautiful Magnolia tree in the garden next to ours and it seems to change almost daily, one day full of flowers, the next full of buds and then raggy and desolate with dead and dying leaves.  Except!  Behind the leaves are the new tight little buds waiting for their moment in the sun.  Then, sitting in a car park, staring out at a scrubby piece of neglected woodland, I saw the bright berries of the holly and the determined onslaught of the ivy. 


Next door’s Magnolia
Has turned brown.
All leaves gone,
Except the one
That shakes its little
Brown body
In the winter wind,
Excited by new buds
Breaking through.
Pushing its own slow dying
To one side.

Down the lane,
Red berries
Beam their small cheer
Through the frost bitten branches,
Keeping a wary eye
On the jealous Ivy,
Darkly waiting its chance
To put out their fire.
Always ready to extinguish
Any spark of hope.

                                  © Gwen Grant

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