Holly King Signs: Heartfelt


Sincere: Genuine emotions; heartfelt…

Stolen beauty, from earlier in Autumn’s long gallery of paintings, enchants. Colours, now fading, still brighten the mind and stroke the spirit’s flanks, as leaves whisper down in a steady stream of syllables.

The Oak King has now retreated, given way to his Holly counterpart. Winter’s regent stalks the land, dripping blood into the swelling berries so that they bloom and hang, tiny globules of haemoglobin, at the ends of spiky green leaves. He coaxes gold from the crucible of nature’s alchemical workshop for those rare and stunning holly berries d’or.


Death’s yearly scythe is everywhere – but wielded with blessed slowness, as if a record of mournful loveliness were playing, indefinitely, at sixteen revs. The warmth of trees’ annual demise gives comfort and a patchwork quilt of familiarity: Scenes from childhood blend seamlessly with this morning’s russet and green and yellow and deepening red.

Stillness abounds. Beneath the mechanical noises of Post-Industrial Revolution – planes scoring white tracks in a bluey-grey sky; cars’ wheels growling on asphalt – nature waits, holds its breath, shimmers in the in-between spaces, balanced between one season and the next, a foot in each camp.

King Holly strides ever faster, his strength and vitality growing by the day. With him will come Jack in the Frost, the Snow Queen and all the other denizens of the dark months. He knows that it will not always be like this, with the earth’s fading bounty balanced in a windless day, with the fall of leaves only just beginning. He brings starkness and the sharp cheekbones of arboreal famine, the jutting boughs and naked blackened trunks of the dying. He brings the unavoidable confrontation, for humans, with their own mortality – and the promise of a never-ending cycle.


5 thoughts on “Holly King Signs: Heartfelt

  1. Ah lovely and in perfect tune as the seasons change. I personally feel a natural empathy with the Oak king being a child of summer, yet the coming of the dark months do not fill me with dread but rather a sense of time passing. We will be cold, we will warm we will prevail. I pity those who live in seasonless lands, where the kings are not in succession. The king is dead long live the king!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I though you might have an empathy with the Oak King – how lovely. I am a winter baby so the dark months often see me rather more lively than summer generally does. I do not fear the dark, just those who lurk within its sable cloak. xxx


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