Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

THE WILLOW (A Poem)

"Leaf upon grate, 2006" by An Xiao,
That Was Zen, This Is Tao
, used by permission.


My earlier poem post, TREE IN AUTUMN, reminded me of this 20 year old poem. Although it's set in spring, the feel is much the same as this time of year. Which is also why I think an autumnal flavored image is appropriate to accompany it.

Of all trees, I have to admit I adore willows the most. I know the one in this poem is long gone by now and I treasure her memory. To read another poem about a fun childhood memory of mine about this same willow, click here ("Witch of the Willows").

Ultimately though, beyond all the memories involved with this one willow, I post this poem for what I'm trying to say in the last stanza.


THE WILLOW

Willows, I was gently warned
do not usually live this long.
But here she stands,
her companion willows long gone
leaving her alone in her aging grace,
this dearest playmate of my childhood.

The fog of tears lifts and I see
the willow does not stand in my embrace
unscathed by the passing of almost 40 years.
Several of her largest branches
have been sacrificed
to the gods of survival
by the surgeon's saw.
Even as I have shattered or lost
so many growing edges.

I slide to the earth,
my back supported
by the willow's trunk, and cry,
picking through the fragments of my past
as through shards spilled
from a broken kaleidoscope
that, one after another, I hold up
to minute inspection.

For if this is a holographic universe
I should be able to gather
a sense of self from even the least
of these slivers.
But like the willow,
I may have had to give up too much
along the way.

Yet we two survivors
of life's fierce pruning
are together on this magical spring day.
And the earth hums beneath my palms,
seeming to ripple and stretch
in the willow's dappled shadows.
While through the skin of my back
and shoulders, my dear old friend
sings to me of the chaotic grace
that creates us all.

Yes, this is what abides:
the earth, the sun,
the singing in the skin that calls us back,
again and always again,
to the translucent wholeness of now.


* * * *

P.S. I just received notice that one of my poems has won a second place prize (they called it a "strong second" :-D) in Skyline Magazine's 2006 contest. What a lovely Holiday Season surprise gift!

Resource: Tobacco Road Poet, in the spirit of An's photo, here's some wonderful haiku, haiga and haibun by Curtis Dunlap.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,

Roswila

[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)****My other blog: ROSWILA’S TAROT GALLERY & JOURNAL.

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3 Comments:

At 6:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a huge willow in our backyard when I was young; the branches bent to the ground making it like a playhouse for us. When we moved from that house, that was what I missed the most! -mpm

 
At 6:34 AM , Anonymous Joneve McCormick said...

THE WILLOW

This is so beautiful. The poem has the power: itself and beyond itself, I enjoy the willow and its invocations and understand and am there, though I've not known a willow.

Thank you,
Joneve

 
At 10:53 AM , Blogger Roswila said...

Thank you, Joneve. It's so wonderful to share the beauty of that willow again, all these years later. And to feel the spirit of her presence. I even chose Hecate years ago as one of my main deities precisely because willows are sacred to Her.

I think we all have a "willow" (if we are lucky, more than one "willow") in our lives.

May the Holidays bring you and yours many blessings and much prosperity!

 

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