Winter Pilgrimage

I would like to acknowledge and pay respect to the Boon Wurrung people, the traditional custodians of Port Phillip Bay; where I walked as this poem came to me.


Winter Pilgrimage


A blue-pink veil adorns the erubescent sky.

Phlegmatic clouds survey the life beneath.

A babe sleeps in her pram, protected, warm,

politely crinkling dried leaves below her wheels.

Her mother is a singing storyteller.

She tells her daughter of the tireless pilgrims;

those waves who take one final stretch before

willingly collapsing on the tranquil shore.

She sings of an ancient virtuoso whose  

dulcet strokes have roused them to waltz back

and forth and back and forth and back for eons.  

She shows her how the sun surreptitiously bids

the east Adieu, reining in her purple tulle

train. Her pumpkin carriage is due farther west.

She tells of how the still illuminated

moon quietly asserts his presence, whispering

prayers of harmony, over the stolid

landscape and drawing in the blanket of

tides as he tucks the shoreline in for the night.

She walks her daughter along the humming bay;

a satin sofa for nocturnal creatures

to rest. The stoic cliffs discreetly exchange

glances. With folded arms, they watch the world;

guarding their memories till new Jerusalem come. 

A lone, anonymous figure rows peacefully by, 

gently disturbing the waters. Silvery ripples  

reconvene with the vapour of Gods breath 

cordially hovering over the ocean’s meniscus. 

Mother tells her child to hear with her ears;

the streets call out for birds to come back home,

and chant their lullabies; their sacred songs.

She says the blackened trees teach us to be 

still. They hope we glean from their wisdom as we 

walk under their canopy; they 

tell stories too: When all your leaves have fallen

like ours, it’s time to rest, to stand by your post, 

to allow growth in unseen places. The trees,

over hundreds of years have seen daughters 

become mothers and often tire, forgetting 

to breathe. To momentarily cease from teaching 

and showing; instead to inhale, absorb, replenish.

To notice the waves, acknowledge the birds, feel small 

before the sky, clouds, cliffs, sun, moon and their maker.

And if they have regard for her, they’ll hear

Mother Nature sing them into fresh Spring,

surrounding her daughters with the divine, bringing 

solace, pouring out peace and calling them blessed.


Sneha LeesComment