chaffinch‘In sheltered spots the colours now return.

Brave crocuses and aconites of gold

Form brilliant carpets on the dreary floor

Of winter borders. In the woods unfold

The spikes of cuckoo pint, now showing more

And brighter green than hardy fronds of fern.

There’s colour, too, where tits and finches fly,

Attired already for the affairs of spring.

And, welcome even more, on oak branch high

As daylight fades a thrush begins to sing.

The hazel catkins shiver in the breeze,

In yellow clouds pale pollen drifts away.

A thousand starlings pass above the trees,

And silvered silk the willow wands display.’

John (Jack) Kett

from ‘A Late Lark Singing’ (Minerva Press1997)