Spring Evening, Spring Memory


Black lace branches stand embraced

by gentle wings of colour.

Softly draped upon the sky


clear pale yellow,

intensely floating orange, lilac, lavender,

royal purple

brisk as a spring wind.

Above, the wings lie crowned with blue

pale as the sharp crisp air,

twined with smoke-dark, wandering threads.

One splayed tree-hand,

puffs of fine black filigree

at each curious fingertip,

reaches, catching

dissolving greysmoke.

Its neighbour is

calmer, simpler,

single branches gracefully draped

drawing a cool, sharp black shape,

stripped-down simplicity,

against the merging softnesses behind.

This is a limpid, perfect moment,

seen through spring evening eyes.

~ Marta Ziemelis. Copyright 2007, 2013.

Sifting through files of older writing can be a surprising process. That’s how I came across this piece, originally written in Toronto, Canada in 2007 and re-worked this spring. It transports me to the evening which inspired it – bitingly cold yet incredibly clear-aired, with a colourful, arresting sunset.



“A Troubadour’s Dream”

I stand half-floating                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              in a field of purple heather,

beyond a hill beside me lies the sea.

Smells of seaweed, salt and honey

swirl in the air, pungent, sharp, sweet.

A woman appears, walking slowly,

purple blooms untouched beneath her feet.

In her cupped hands

she carries

a living, licking flame.

Her smile

brushes my mind –

here comes Brighid, goddess bright,

lady of smithcraft, wordcraft, fire.

Her shifting eyes, a thousand colours and none,

meet mine

My spirit cannot help but speak.

I feel words bubbling from my heart,

streaming from everywhere into me,

and I must tell…but purpose

is like a foggy mirror…

Brighid’s hand lies gently on my forehead,

presses fire into my skin,

draws out shining new flames.

Her ringing singing voice

speaks inside me:

This rises from you – by your fire you live

Seek the stories for telling,

sing them loudly over the hills

Burn away your fears with a poet’s flame,

a troubadour’s song.

Your task is to tell, and share, and shape

until pockets of puckering, fearful, poisonous silence

turn bright and hopeful

with the sparks of your eyes.

Her touch warms me

and I know, waking,

that the fire will keep me strong

when my feet stumble.

~ Marta Ziemelis. Written in Dubai, copyright August & September 2013.

This is my attempt to offer a reply to “Why do you write?” It’s a question I’ve heard a number of times, and never found easy to answer, because boiling the answer down into a few simple words can be a tricky thing – usually, what you get from me is either silence, or a tangled, involved explanation. No doubt other writers of many kinds are asked this as well. For me it’s something I need to do to purge intense emotions, deal with a crazy world – or, sometimes, just play with interesting sounds.