Hints of the Hidden

Warm sun reinforces our denial
Summer’s faded
like the slip of the birches’ vivid green
along the colour wheel to an immaculate yellow
Such seems incompatible
with decline & fall

We slip on gloves to cycle the valley
the rise & descent of small hills
shifting gears of delight
The hillside is alive with death
coagulating on the branch tips of maple
& sumac pooling on the ground

Every familiar guise of our world reflected
in the smooth creek face hints
despite utility’s slippery deception
of the hidden
in the way beauty tumbles into beauty
the way meaning detains our attention

Questions and Answers

What inspired “Hints of the Hidden”?

“Hints of the Hidden” was written after a bicycle ride with my wife and sons along the trails that follow Etobicoke Creek, near our home. We are always sad that “Summer’s faded” and yet there is beauty to fall that seems to contradict what is happening.

What poetic techniques did you use in “Hints of the Hidden”?

This is a very simple poem. I sought to use strong original images, such as “the slip of the birches’ vivid green / along the colour wheel”, or “coagulating on the branch tips”. You’ve probably noticed the word “slip” comes in, in differing contexts, helping to unify the poem. I also play with two meanings of “decline” and two meanings of “fall”. I am always conscious of the music of words—often playing with alliteration, bits of internal rhyme, and echoing patterns.

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