Jason Conway is a passionate eco-poet and professional daydreamer (freelance design professional, writer, poet, artist, photographer and creative mentor) based in Stroud, Gloucestershire. Drawing inspiration from social issues, mental health and the transformative power of nature, his mission is to encourage people to make a difference in the world, for the protection of the planet and the wellbeing of its custodians. Jason crafts design, art, words and photography to educate, challenge and inspire people to take positive action.
He is one of two directors of The Gloucestershire Poetry Society. Jason’s debut collection ‘Phoenix Rises’ was published in 2018. He’s performed at the 2000 Trees Festival, headlined at the Gloucestershire Poetry Festival and The Space In-Between Festival and has been published in The Blue Nib, Poetry Bus and The Poetry Village magazines.
I came to you in later summer. As I grew into a silver birch, I witnessed your autumn flames consume you; green hills to scorched bristles, a bounty cultivated by envy. Your seasoned roots began to frost when the chilled, purging winds came to leave beaten, wooden frames. As the coldness crept, unsettling our landscape, bruised fruit fell to hardened ground and the bite of bitterness burnt weak cheeks, as powdered lace tattoos puffed away sentiment to camouflage sculpted mounds, like leaves smother the giving ground in bleeding rusted tears. I was an unwilling jury forced to witness the spiteful change in season. You became judging stags locked in a struggle of wills, as glass sheets formed and we all slid around a rink without skaters, each fall landed in haste; emotional rocks hurled like snowballs. You smiled when the hit home. As most would sing round comforting fires in carol, you would celebrate the repetition of loaded gifts traded in blows of iced kisses, holly handshakes to wreath flapping doors that bellowed snowstorms. I often dreamed, awake, wide eyed and innocent, like a rabbit between arctic foxes; bloodlust to tapestry a wintery carpet. Smacks of palms on cheeks served psalms to ring judgement bells. I loved the distraction to lie in fresh snow, flail my arms to mimic boxing days, your bugles spitting shards to spark the hunt. I imagined the impression to be snow owls impacting their prey, beak first and wings splayed. Falling talons of smited love. Your winters were taught, frozen lessons in a petrified classroom, a crystal lake of memory for me to peer inside on odd occasions. I was blessed by spring. The day I could charge the slush of guilted ground; embark on my own race for life, sparkle my own snow globe. I could teach others that spring is born from prickling pain, the pain that shaped me; soft clumps carved from forgiving clay. Now I watch them slow defying the inevitable gravity of release. As their days shorten, I see stubborn oaks in a love hate embrace. They have grown to support each other’s burden. I understand now, that soon, you’ll become wise acorns to seed in cleaning soil. The good times will be recalled, allowed to flourish and celebrate the love that moulded into me. My love is no longer crystalised. When I wipe away the snowfall to peer into your frozen lake, all I will see are diamonds, preserved and cherished like shining snowflakes on December days.
I’m sitting in an uncomfortable chair, bone hard, pressing painfully into my sunken spine. I’m agitated, like twisted grass in a gale, unable to sit still for any amount of time. The view outside is drenched by a rain filled, cloud full, sky of silvered fades. I curl to ease my discomfort, stop the crawl of scales travelling up my back. I see life continue outside, the snaking wind rustling through bush and tree, totems to the rain god. People are hill walking, cocooned as they wriggle along slippery fields over Slad Valley, lush in dripping colour. Why do I sit here on a chair that stings like a varnished viper, when I could embrace the cold outside? Stride across silver pavement to the squeak of damp meadow. Callous conversations, spiked by my hissing shoulder sprite, are shattered by falling mirrors claw tapping panes. I will not listen anymore. I’ll strip myself from these dust scaled walls and seek pasture in the pour. I’ll be a magpie spying beads, glitter for a curious tongue, scavenging falling jewels, mindful treasures to trinket my memory, my wings to soak in Summer’s soothing rain, cheeks fluttered with vigour, lungs fanned by nature’s misted breath. No, I can’t keep still for long, as clutched prey squirming on wooden jaws, when Mother calls. She beckons me back to hunt her primal wilderness. To Shed my constrictive skin, and Re-wild.