Submitted to James Rainsford’s prompt over at dVerse Poetics. James has written an inspiring post on photography as art. Stop over for a drink, good company, incredible poetry and a look at some superb photography. Chose one and write your own poem! 

Don’t forget, I write fiction, too. My poem is inspired by the photo, not my experience (at least not recently).

Photo Copyright: James Rainsford. Used with Permission


The day you chose to walk away, nature conspired.
She wore a shroud of darkness, foretold change in bronzing leaves,
teased hope with gauzy breaths of mist.

Standing alone beneath a canopy of leaves
I watched
a colony of ants that labored to dislodge a shard,
I watched
a spider weave her dinner plate,

I listened to
the call of doves and jays.
But our songbirds withheld their song,
Swallowed joy.

As you walked toward your future, I crouched alone in shadows,
mulling all that might have been had you not walked away.


41 thoughts on “Reflection

  1. amazing picture … so well defined!


  2. siggiofmaine says:

    Love this…always amazing to me what a photo by anyone can evoke from the memories stored deep away.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine
    PS…I finally figured out how to add the gravatar…my cat Bianca !
    Look for the cute little white face looking back at you ☺.


  3. Becky says:

    Love this my sweet friend.
    Your words bring the photo to life… very powerful.


  4. David King says:

    Full of goodies, this one: the spider weaving her dinner plate, nature foretelling change in the bronzing of the leaves – like the leaves, they come thick and fast. An impressive achievement, thoroughly to be enjoyed.


  5. dragonkatet says:

    Wow. Once again you leave me speechless with your poetic talent. I would have definitely thought this was based on a true experience if you hadn’t told us that it wasn’t. You do so well at capturing emotions…that actor’s gift of recall serves your poetry (and your readers!) very well, my friend. 🙂 My favorite lines in this:

    “I watched
    a spider weave her dinner plate,” <— that is just SO perfect!


  6. I watched
    a colony of ants that labored to dislodge a shard,
    I watched
    a spider weave her dinner plate,…

    I LOVE these descriptions, Victoria!


  7. oceangirl says:

    So beautiful Victoria, I cried a little reading it.


  8. nevadanative says:

    Wow, Victoria, had you not told us ahead of the poem that it was not based on personal experience I would definitely have thought it was. Your ability to turn a fictional scene into poetry is remarkable.


  9. Pat Hatt says:

    Great take on the pic, sad indeed though of one left while the other moves on, neither knowing what to do.


  10. yoga-adan says:

    very touching victoria, thank you 😉

    esp liked several phrases,

    “gauzy breaths of mist”

    “our songbirds withheld their song,
    Swallowed joy”

    and those last two lines nailed it for me,

    “As you walked toward your future, I crouched alone in shadows,
    mulling all that might have been had you not walked away”

    i know the feeling, though also, thank goodness, not recently 😉


  11. Such a quiet departure here; yet so heartbreaking. I always love the deft touches you write in your poems. They’re like fine embroidery done in silk. I know on neither side could one find a knot; your poems are seamless, liquid, fluid, taking the reader into the details with magnified eyes.

    I probably could write a short story here about the heartbreak of break up. I’m always surprised when it happens to anyone – friends, relatives, movie stars. I think every love story is forever and wonder how love that seems so breathtakingly more than any I have experienced can suddenly break. This was the subtext I had in mind as I read your poem.


  12. Zouxzoux says:

    Love the details in this – we’re often hypersensitive during times of anguish and you conveyed it well.


  13. Shadows, reflection. This one really resonates with me.


  14. hiroshimem says:

    Beautiful. These lines are particularly strong:
    “But our songbirds withheld their song,
    Swallowed joy.”
    Every end is a new beginning, they say; setting the scene in nature makes so much sense. Looking at the little creatures and jumping back on our feet just like them.
    Thanks for the spider, I found this line so… well woven!!


  15. ayala says:

    Victoria, I love this, beautiful !


  16. Words echo and reflect the image


  17. claudia says:

    ugh… you made him a lonely wanderer…great capture of these emotions that we face when someone we love walks out of our life… tough and very well written victoria…and thanks for bringing james to the pub…it’s a great prompt..


  18. It’s amazing what photography can extract out of our hearts …


  19. kaykuala says:

    A failed romance saved by nature’s goodness, looks like! We can reflect on it later but thankful it took the course that it did!



  20. […] Reflection ( […]


  21. It’s interesting how so many people were attracted to the same photo and went in so many directions with it. It’s a testament to the efficacy of the image and talent of the poets. Your poem so clearly captured the essence of the picture. Thank you for introducing us to James’ photography and hosting!


  22. hedgewitch says:

    This suits the picture’s reflective mood well. Especially like the stanza in the middle with the spider’s dinner plate. (Is there something about spiders today? ;_) ) Thanks so much for bringing James to the pub for such a great prompt, Victoria.


  23. jcosmonewbery says:

    There is something both comforting and deeply irritating about the way that life continues despite of and oblivious to your own personal situation. You have captured that well.


  24. jmgoyder says:

    Many ways of reading this – I love that!


  25. Laurie Kolp says:

    Beautiful, Victoria!


  26. This is so sad and full of regret. I like nature conspiring with your emotions and swallowing your joy.

    My share :


  27. Eve Redwater says:

    “But our songbirds withheld their song,
    Swallowed joy.” – is simply stunning, what a line!


  28. tashtoo says:

    Victoria! This is a fantastic play with the photo! LOVE!


  29. zongrik says:

    maybe the shadow in the water is the one writing the poem!! that’s where she’s hiding.


  30. ManicDdaily says:

    This is a really lovely song/poem. Just beautiful. I personally wasn’t sure you needed the last couplet (I guess you could call it.) Swallowing joy, so beautiful with the birds, and in a way (to me) more enigmatic and sad as harder to tell why the other person leaving. K.


  31. vivinfrance says:

    I wish I hadn’t read this before writing mine – it is so touching, so fitting for the picture. I shall now try to put yours from my mind!


  32. souldipper says:

    The death of a loved one or a relationship…nature conspires to magnify and make manifold! It dares to continue.


  33. leahJlynn says:

    She wore a shroud of darkness, foretold change in bronzing leaves,
    teased hope with gauzy breaths of mist
    This has to be one of the best metaphors I’ve read today. i could see as i as was reading it.


  34. Ooooo… heart wrenching. The image of the birds not being able to sing because joy had been swallowed. Lovely imagery, sad yet… lovely.


  35. Shawna says:

    These lines are beautiful:

    “The day you chose to walk away, nature conspired.”
    “But our songbirds withheld their song”

    You have expressed such terrible sadness here.


  36. brian miller says:

    very nice victoria and def evocative…taking in all the details…the ants and the spider…yet also realising there is no song…swallowed joy is like the exclamation point on this…


  37. Mary says:

    Victoria, I read this with a lump of sadness in my throat. You captured the emotions so well, of the sadness of the one left behind when one chooses to leave a relationship!


  38. So pleased you wrote to this photo Victoria. To match your thoughts to the season is inspired.
    These final words tell the pcture’s story perfectly “As you walked toward your future, I crouched alone in shadows,
    mulling all that might have been had you not walked away.”
    Moving and intensely evocative.
    Thanks for inviting me to host. It’s an honour.


  39. Pleasant poem! Strange how often our environment seems to link up with our state of mind.


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