Skeleton tree
Picked clean as a bone
Branches white against the darkening sky

High above
Birds are flying home
To hideaways where leaves still cling

Note: This was inspired by a tree I passed on a walk to Paddington Old Cemetery. Unfortunately none of my photos could do it justice.

In writing this poem, I found myself wondering about how poetry changes depending on whether it is meant to be heard, or silently read. So much of the poetic tradition is built on metre and carefully counted syllables – but for this one, I played instead with a visual scansion, increasing the number of words in the line rather than the number of syllables.

It would be interesting to think about whether this idea could be taken further – what if the letters need to loop up or down at the same places? What if the lines had to be the same length, or the same number of letters (assuming the font doesn’t use the same width for all characters)?

I suspect there is one out there that I haven’t yet stumbled across, but I’d be really interested in reading a new poetics of visual rhyme…

Photo by Dallas Reedy on Unsplash