Although I understand that the UK weather was dreadful over the holidays, I’m not sure that it was really cold; certainly there are already signs of spring about. Of course we’re bound to get some real winter weather later, so I hope Nature has the good sense to be patient.
Tight as apple pips,
buds spiral around
a moss-supple stalk
when they will split
and shake free
That’s a draft, and questions remain:
Without the photo, would the reader know if this was botanical or entomological? And does the photo therefore limit the potential?
Would the last line be better as “tissue petal wings”? (too many words, perhaps?) “petal wings”? “tissue blooms”? (“blossoms” might be better than “blooms”, but I prefer the single stressed syllable as a landing point.)
Does “moss-supple” work? I started with “moss-green”, which is uninspired; I want to show that it’s new growth, green and flexible.
Does the phrase “tight as apple pips” mean anything to anyone other than me? Perhaps the photo explains why I thought of apple pips, though that may not necessarily be a Good Thing, as, again, it’s leaving less to the reader’s imagination.
“shake free” / “shake out” / “shake loose” are all near synonyms. Is one better than the others? Since the buds won’t actually shake anything, is this a bad choice anyway? Can I excuse it because the stalk is supple and will be shaken by the spring breeze? Is it perhaps an unconscious allusion to line 3 of Sonnet XVIII – “Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May” – in which case, is it totally out of place in a winter poem?
Should I have waited until I had resolved some of these questions before I posted?