One Poem by Jan Harris

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

Arcadia in Merano

after The Enchanted Mill, Franz Marc, 1913

A mill in the crook of the town’s arm
where birds bathe in the cascade
that drives a crimson water wheel.

Spray mutes the trill of plumage
but where a pool gathers, a boar
armoured in bold black brushstrokes

drinks alongside a red fox
which shape-shifts into deer or cat
with each altered perspective.

White harmonises the palette,
the fall that bisects the scene,
tall houses pointing to the high castle.

Beyond the town, the Alps
draw jagged lines on sky’s canvas
where golden eagles strike and soar

and footpaths wend past a lynx’s
hidden eyes, bears’ deserted lairs.
Always, the threat of avalanche.


Jan Harris’s poems have appeared in various journals including Acumen, Envoi, Snakeskin, and The French Literary Review, and in several anthologies, including For the Silent, (Indigo Dreams Publishing). Jan was awarded third place in the Wales Poetry Award, 2019. Her first collection, Mute Swans on the Cam, is due for publication in 2020.

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