Saturday, February 4, 2012

Valhalla of Trees

Horse Chestnut Leaf


Valhalla of Trees



The first gift the tree gives is grace, definition of air
waving branch to twig as the wind stirs the great pot,
taking the sky in its arms and showing 
the invisible so all is bound together.

Then next green sheets that roof the homeless wing,
bed and breakfast scattershot crawling gypsies,
or smolder orange bronze in the cider of seasons’ change
sweet scarlet and sharp, distilling light's last sugar
before winter’s white hands bring the enemy sky.

The last thing the tree has to give is its lifesmell,
savor of soil stretched from soft earth to limbered wood,
colors planed to flat scented on the lathe, or split rough
and fired in the hearth, exhaling ringed incense of trapped time,
flames flying the way long streaming gold hair
might fly up from a burning valkyrie.



February 2012



Posted for   Poetics   at dVerse Poets Pub
Mark Kerstetter is our host today at the pub and he's set us the challenge of seeing objects a bit differently, attempting to give them their own voice, as inspired by the writing of Francis Ponge.




Image: Horse chestnut Leaf, by Petteri Sulonen, on flick'r
Thanks, Petteri.

26 comments:

  1. ah you pull the heart strings of the tree hugger in me hedge....i love trees for all these reasons and more....the third stanza was my fav...the smell of trees...smell is so evocative but i know that smell...

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  2. Ah, the pixies do dance in this piece. I suppose it helps I am listening to some folk music while reading it, gives it a new layer. Great work here, I am grinning with the power it plants in me. Quite the beautiful seed.

    Thanks for sharing, always happy to read everything you have ;)

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  3. Beautiful. I could almost smell the leaves and the damp earth. I too wrote of trees (although covered in snow).

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  4. Oh, that last image is really good. I like the whole thing; you've definitely met the challenge and then some. The homeless wing, the ringed incense of trapped time, there isn't an ordinary phrase in the entire poem. Nicely done, Hedge.

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  5. Mmm, you bring all the senses into this, the woody scent, the colours "smolder orange bronze in the cider of seasons’ change" ...beautiful poem

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  6. magical writing - you took me to a beautiful place

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  7. "Colors planed to flat scented on the lathe" is inspired. Your focus is unshaking in this piece.

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  8. I love this line: "bed and breakfast scattershot crawling gypsies"

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  9. You've investigated what tree means in a charmingly disarming way. I like the matter of fact way you go about adumbrating the tree's extended relationships with animal and human worlds. You've created an interesting effect with the matter of fact voice and the almost prayerful way you tell us. The last stanza really comes alive and is a modulated ecstasy that takes us and our understanding of trees into another dimension.

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  10. Joy- This is so rich with language and beautiful images. I love trees. I especially like:

    roof the homeless wing,
    bed and breakfast scattershot

    ~and~

    exhaling ringed incense of trapped time,
    flames flying the way long streaming gold hair
    might fly up from a burning valkyrie

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  11. Yes to all of this. "The first gift the tree gives is grace" - you had me right there, that's so beautiful. I can scarcely read a poem of yours without learning something about mythology, never without learning how to put words together. And I must tell you that your comments to other poets are just as brilliant in their own way. Thanks for being here.

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  12. I agree with Mark. I must say trees (and the Canadian Rockies) are the essence of Valhalla to me. Another very fine work from your pen. It's a privilege to read them.

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  13. Bed and breakfast scattershot gypsies - what a great way to describe that crazy community that lives within the leaves! Really like the subject matter here and the way you have described It was beautiful. Without trees there would be no life!

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  14. Great write, rich and satisfying lifeblood of the tree.

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  15. Love lifesmell and burning valkyrie. And the rest too. You jam life into words in such a wonderful way. k.

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  16. The poem is beautiful throughout, but that last stanza is something extra. Pure inspiration. I shall take the images away with me.

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  17. I really enjoyed this poem- especially the first verse and embracing sky for unity! Thanks for visiting too.

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  18. Love it, and culminating in those last three lines, wow. I really connect with the all-senses openness in your poem, and the multiple ways the senses receive a tree.

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  19. The definition of air is a lovely idea, drawing our eye to the negative space and naming it positively. An idea that carries through in how you imply apples without outright naming them.

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  20. I love trees and all the gifts they give us. This was a beautiful ode to the trees, hedgewitch. I can't wait to see that gorgeous chartreuse that heralds Spring.

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  21. Extraordinary... makes me want to go and feel its essence and hug one...

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  22. Completely and totally engaged! Your magic pen grows ever stronger! All senses have been woken up at its hands, Joy. This is fantastic!

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  23. What a great take on the prompt. Trees truly are very giving. Reminds me of Shel Silverstein.

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  24. Ah, lover of trees that I am, this is a poem I will print and keep with my register of information about the ones on our property. I will read it to the Seqoias and the Sugar Pine. The Coast Maple will listen to my reading from where it stands in one far corner and upon hearing this: smolder orange bronze in the cider of seasons’ change it will feel so smug that it is the only among them that changes to orange bronze....

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  25. Earthly delights indeed in this round of a year and the life of a trees, in their wooded consolation and bower and bestowal. So finely crafted and tuned -- a well-tempered clavier of a poem, every word essential and, like the tree itself, providing so much that sustains for this reader's mind. I remember reading an astrophysicist - Brian Swimme, I think -- who theorized that humans evolved so that the universe would have away to see itself and marvel; we are, he said, the eye of the cosmic dragon. A fine and sharp and prescient eye here in the accomplished, crafted poem. Trees are a tribe like dolphins who have a strange kinship; we have so much to learn from them. This is one of my favorites of your work ... Brendan

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    1. Thanks, B. Glad that you find its woody nature compatible with the salt in your veins. I've loved trees ever since I can remember, and generously, they have always returned that love. I like the idea you suggest of our otherwise rather deviant species having the purpose of cosmic observer(and surely voice) for the rich amalgam of life.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg