Banners waving in the wind, high up, seen from a distance across a valley or a field.
The colours begin bright. The threads still woven tight in the weave, the ribbons whip and snap in the breeze. Against a cloudless sky they stand out in bold relief, their crimsons, their purples, their indigos, their emeralds. Silks, velvets, brocades. When the sky is grey, tufted with low cloud and riddled by rain, they signal intensity, splashing a palette of movement and gesture in the careless winds. A landmark, a clarion call. A declaration of presence.
Time unthreads them, tatters them. Their fortissimos are leached out by sun and washed away by storms. Frost renders them stiff, breeds brittleness in the cloth. Winds fly away with their brilliance. Magpies steal strands for their own delight.
Softened, muted, their whip and snap become a whisper and shush. They melt into the landscape instead of marking it. And still they stand.