Nature is for Haunting *


Winston Plowes








A breath of you shouts for me

to choose a tree without a beam —


You dropped a year into the moss

and shreds behind may be pursued


Discretion in the bird’s of March

weather-worn but rested on surmise


God bless his suddenness

Fade softly into amber stars










His speech was like a butterfly

upon a passing universe


could trace a tide of alibi

as men made sky without design


And in its sea, a tempest mashed

as if the grass were gaunt


and her door emerged — a summer

as impossible as humming-birds


to push the scion of Idleness

where creatures understood










The window sealed inscrutable

to wind unhooked that staggered


Eyes of giant autumn rain,

the lightning showed a song


Gone the sky with spangled hems

just quartering the yellow days


And low, a song pervades his covert

Stood still the leaves did scoop like hands


The orchards of his lips not feebly parted

flung out the tunes that wrecked the air










Who robbed the dazzling sapphire skies?

What sorcery had touched the trees


Upon nature’s blissful alighting

trusting the drunk with her secret


Who overheard the soft flake of bees

that suffer the murmuring of snow


What finer peace could fleece a day




*Methodology — “Nature is for Haunting” takes the nature themed poems of Emily Dickinson as source texts for found poetry.  In each case individual words and word strings have been harvested from five different poems to compose four new pieces, one for every season.  It is hoped that this new work echoes both the style and rhythm of Dickinson’s but also reframes her vocabulary to present something new and contemporary. 


In a letter to a friend, Dickinson once wrote: “Nature is a Haunted House—but Art—a House that tries to be haunted.” 









Winston Plowes shares his floating home in Calderdale UK with his seventeen-year-old cat, Sausage.  He teaches creative writing in schools, universities and to local groups while she dreams of Mouseland.  His latest collection, Tales from the Tachograph, was published jointly with Gaia Holmes in 2018 by Calder Valley Poetry.