Interview with Alexandra Knickel
News for May
Dryad in Watercolor
Sylviaby J. S. Watts
It is late afternoon.
A woman is sitting in her orchard.
She is waiting for a tree to change into a dryad
But that obstinate tree refuses to shed its bark
And despite the intensity of her anguish
Declines to yield its hidden truth.
The tree remains tree.
No soft and yielding limb appears
To encourage or seduce. No silky coronet of hair
To catch the light she seeks internal to wood or nymph.
She is trying to open the door between the crystal reality of imagination
And the smothering greyness of the here and now.
What she does not realise
Is that the door is already open
But no reds, greens, blues pour through to brighten.
Instead, the slow oozing of greyness in which float things best not known.
The door has already let through the dwindling ghost of dawn-time dreaming
And the more substantial forms of our waking nightmares.
At the woman's birth
The three dismal muses of her life's poetry
Passed through, bearing with them the taint of genius
And the first, barely perceptible, mists of grey.
They were her tutors and she their darling;
They have taught her well, she will not disappoint them.
They stand behind her now
As she pleads with the tree to reveal itself.
On her face there is no sign of the inward agony.
It is as smooth and expressionless as the bald, featureless heads
Of her three doting godmothers.
They have made her their mirror.
So absorbed is she
She does not notice the blood and fire sunset
Burning down to her left: a sunset to rival hell itself.
Romantic sensibilities urge the need for a host
From the other place, but no seraphim choir here,
Just the crows gathering before the night.
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