Lady Of Dead Leaves
Beneath a dead leaf my love lies hidden
with a rose pearl and a starling's feather
where the dark forest unties Her ribbons
where night rides as black as robber's leather
with a bagful of moon's most starving hours
in a forest where leaves are falling forever,
whose balefires paint meteoric showers,
whose pale sprites teach old lovers to dance
and sew up their wounds with threads of flowers.
For grape never saw the wine She decants,
a vintage that ripens with dissolution
aged in a song, sealed with ash and chance.
Under the starlight's silver infusion
asleep as a bee in the fading thunder,
which is volition and which illusion
when all that's left of life is to wonder
or lift the leaf that love is under.
posted for earthweal
where I am pleased to host this week's challenge,
Images: Fairy Dance, © Arthur Rackham Public Domain
Spring Beauty © Andrew Wyeth Fair Use
Pardon me for using a prosaic word to describe such a marvelous poem, but it's beautiful. I can definitely see the whispers of your influences in it, subtle but there nonetheless. There is a wealth of natural beauty here, and I love the forest with its ribbons and threads for healing. (I always find nature to be a great soother and healer.) Finally, the construction of the poem in tercets and, the pretty rhymes just make it a real pleasure to read, especially with that wistful note of melancholy at the end. I expect you'll hate my calling your poem "pretty' but it is, and all the stronger for that, Joy.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your sincere and thoughtful comment, Shay. It's alright to be pretty sometimes, I think. Yours was top of the trees.Delete
Sigh. This is so lovely to read, and envision, I am rather in a swoon here. I love those closing lines especially - lifting the leaf that love is under. Wow. Thanks for a wonderful challenge.ReplyDelete
Thank you for writing such a heartfelt response, Sherry.Delete
What a beauty you have conjured here. A poem that washes over you in gentle lapping waves, and lines that fill you with marvel...this, for me, is just stunning. "a vintage that ripens with dissolutionReplyDelete
aged in a song, sealed with ash and chance."
Wonderful poem. Wonderful prompt. Thank You.
Those lines were a real gift, Paul, and just fell into my lap through the rhyme scheme. I'm glad you liked them.Delete
The eye and cadence is Poe's but the poem's majesty's come from the fully realized imagination of the child who read verse like his. A rich, godless faith (the patriarchy is absent at least) in the prior lunar womb of sound in the dream's fever pitch. The care in the crafting invokes the illustrator's art, meticulously setting this elven forest where old love becomes first love revealed under every leaf a rapt reader ventures to lift. The faithfulness of care shows respect (offers alms to) the ancient tradition of language almost vanished today. Put this in the Childcraft edition titled How Love Lasts (Pick Up A Leaf). Crowns the challenge Hedge.ReplyDelete
Thank you, B. I used the form because it felt in harmony with Poe but slightly more contemporary ...tho how Dante' s classic Terza Rima can sound more modern I'm not sure. Still, that's the package it came in, and as always these days, I'm just glad to get it on the page. Thanks for the gracious invite to play with the big kids at your ever-inspiring site, B., and your kind words.Delete
Oh my! To say this is beautiful (which it is!) is to diminish the ethereal grace in every line of this poem, Joy. I read "a bagful of moon's most starving hours" and my heart skipped, because who doesn't know those thieving dark nights, yet ... yet. Love waits even as flower-sewn wounds heal in nature's way and the night delivers her song to you, in wonder, even under "a dead leaf." So much to enjoy and marvel at in your poetics!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Dora. Glad you could join us.Delete
To read those leaves is to enter a magical world, where every living thing speaks into our blood and bones.ReplyDelete
Thank you, K., and thanks for bringing your artwork and 13 small treasures to this challenge.Delete
The forest, leaves, and what is under them stir me into imagining a romance with earth--her harm and healing, her wine, her mystery. I wonder too as I lift the leaf--how much do I have free will? I love the last couplet, the open-ness and closure of this poem, the amazing illustrations! Is the art work also yours?ReplyDelete
Thank you. The art at top is by Arthur Rackham, and the second is by Andrew Wyeth. Both are credited at the bottom of the post.Delete
my first poem was an eulogy for a perished classmate, clandestinely submitted by my English teacher to a local anthology. IIRC we had recently read A Cask of Amontillado (though there was no relation to my early pen.) years later in college, Yeats' The Second Coming became the gate through which a failed mechanical engineering major traveled to Rhetoric. I suspect my last poem is nigh, now but still, perhaps I may still lift that leaf.ReplyDelete
Yeats was an uneven poet, but when the hammer hit the nail, he could drive it right to the bone. Afa failed, at least you know how to engineer words, my friend. With the best. And please don't make me cry, M. You need to write your last poem long after my ancient ass is gone.Delete
Your imagery is full of fairytale enchantment: 'where night rides as black as robber's leather' called to mind the little robber girl from The Snow Queen for me. The form is deftly executed and all in all this makes for a most enchanting read!ReplyDelete