Saturday, July 24, 2021

Lightning Tree

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 Lightning Tree


When I was a child
pewterblue eyes round
as green walnuts, yellow pigtails
pulled tight in shredded rubber bands
I breathed up a world where I
lived in the storm, thunderheads panting like
mastiffs, tongues lolled over the lake, wind

secret as the monster under the bed
smiling, lightning fairy-dancing
into a forest 
of wild branches;
I didn't blink for the peace of it
covering the screaming, the blows,
cleaning my face
 
of a toy's tears. 
I breathed it in, petrichor
and the smell of power,
a brew of walking cobwebs
that piggy-backed me away,
a broken-eyed Dorothy doll
searching for Oz.
 
When I asked you to
kiss me like rain, you took me
up high on the lightning tree.
You had a web there, gunmetal strong
and sticky with grief. On the 
edge of those sudden wires,
one foot already caught
 
you don't even know you're dead.
When you fight
to run with one eye blind, 
and feel the tremble
coming closer
 
you learn everything
you lost
 
  all
you never had
 
 and that you 
can never trust
a storm.
 
 

 
~July 2021
 
 
 

 


 
 
 posted for Fireblossom
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Note: Comment moderation has been turned on. Apologies for the inconvenience.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Images: Lightning in West Texas © Ryan Smith Photography   Fair Use
Broken doll, via Sunday Muse   Fair Use
 

16 comments:

  1. This is as wide as a plains sky and as dangerous and seductive as a devil's kiss. I especially like the stanza beginning with asking to be kissed like rain. The whole description of what follows is--forgive me--electric poetry indeed, especially being built, as it is, upon the forlorn loneliness of the opening lines. I think that, in a way, we have written about the same thing. This is amazing work, dear friend.

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  2. I love everything about this gorgeous poem Joy! From the conjuring of a child's imagination to the tremble and realization of what is and is not. I may not have written of this, but in some ways I feel I can relate to it deeply. I was raised in North Texas, and the storms were terrifying sometimes. I always found myself having nightmares about them.

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  3. Such vibrant imagery and emotion-charged context and rueful conclusion.

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  4. Amazing, beautiful, difficult. This is top-drawer great poetry: "When I asked you to / kiss me like rain, you took me / up high on the lightning tree. / You had a web there, gunmetal / strong /and sticky with grief." Take a bow.

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  5. And the last stanza is phenomenal. (So to speak!)

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  6. Holy moley.....you leave me speechless, girl. Gorgeous.

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  7. Yes indeed, the thoughts of a child runs deep in the marrow of fear loneliness and rebuke

    Happy Sunday
    much❤love

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  8. What a powerful poem, Joy! Exquisitely brilliant! I could related to many of those emotions.

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  9. I cannot say enough about this powerfully stirring poem except Bravo!

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  10. This is really beautiful, Joy. The description of the storm as mastiff lapping at the lake is brilliant. And who wouldn't want to be kissed in a lightning tree?

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  11. No way could I have read this poem without crying. No way. The image is stunning, your poetry speaks loudly to the Lightning Tree and to Sad Dorothy Doll.

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  12. Oh, I don't know what to say. I feel each line is a lightening strike, bright flashes exposing darkness. Oh, if I only had an ounce of your talent...sigh

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  13. So strong, so huge, so wonderfully written— wow, excellent!

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  14. You've been charging that capacitor, and unleash the charge here. I won't quote back the entire pen, but will return to read and re-read, for your words say it better than mine ever could. You have tapped into power, as though Freya remembering. ~

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  15. beautifully written Joy, such a sad feeling, to me this poem is suggestive of a brutal event, and a rage that followed, a rage that gets us thru the pain, doesn't heal us, just gets us thru. i really liked these lines:

    I breathed it in, petrichor
    and the smell of power,
    a brew of walking cobwebs
    that piggy-backed me away,
    a broken-eyed Dorothy doll
    searching for Oz.

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"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats