Winterberry disrupts the frozen curse.
My vision’s charmed by tiny blobs of red
Between fine-toothed leaves, above a thick bed
Of snow that baits low branches to immerse
In mounds, but they refute its chill or worse,
Cold’s inference that matter should be dead
Or trapped indoors. This brave bush flaunts instead
Its  rare December spring, bold universe.

Like holly, I sense bloom in darker thought
That would overwhelm me sure, were there not
Deep in my heart, a priceless maxim taught
By love, to recall what must not be forgot,
That bleakness is mere background, a mind ought
To imitate a winterberry’s lot.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Big Muddy and Sanskrit with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Mudfish and Louisiana Literature.  

Featured Image: “Winterberry in Snow” photograph by John Burk.

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3 Responses

  1. Corey browning

    Wonderful Petrarchan sonnet. I like how the Volta is extremely strong in how it changes the flow of the poem from about the bush to how the mind should replicate the bush. Nicely done! Nice imagery and a beautiful analogy. The meter is a little weak in a few lines but aside from that a wonderful piece. Wel done!

  2. Reid McGrath

    I always fall for a good sonnet. The CD rhymes seem a little too close for comfort but they work. Like Corey said, solid analogy.


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