Thursday, April 29, 2010

National Poetry Month: Silence of the Trees

Friday concludes National Poetry Month for the United States and Canada (the British do theirs in October), and we’ve been talking it up a bit over at TweetSpeak Poetry. We’ve had a daily post that was usually a short feature on a poet with some of his or her poems, with an occoasional poetry review thrown in. We even did a random giveaway of a opy of InsideOut:Poems by L.L. Barkat, and Karen Eck of Phoenix-Karenee had her name chosen, received her book, and actually drew some illustrations in it.

The poets featured included Rupert Brooke, Sara Teasdale and Vachel Lindsay, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Robert Lowell, Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, Jack Gilbert, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Donald Hall, Adrienne Rich, Louise Gluck, John Ashbery, Gary Soto, Gwendolyn Brooks, L.L. Barkat, Robert Frost, Maureen Doallas, Derek Walcott, Mona Van Duyn, Edgar Lee Masters, Nancy Rosback, Emily Dickinson, and John Keats. (Friday’s feature is Edgar Allan Poe.) Some old, some new, some published, some unpublished. In putting this together, I had the opportunity to read poems I haven’t read since high school and college.

Take a look; the English language has a rich legacy in poetry, and the posts at TweetSpeak only scratch the surface.

For this last day of National Poetry Month of 2010, I offer one of my own. It’s not based on a true story, but it is based on a story.

The Silence of the Trees

He stands within the silence of the trees,
wind filtering morning light on
his bare limbs,
not hearing the rustling of new leaves.
Beneath a green dome of soundlessness,
he stares at the house,
unmoving; remembering.

He hears her voice, lilting in
laughter as she leans from an
upper room,
the voice of the girl becoming
young woman, a voice vanished,
a voice he hears
now only in memory.

A voice silenced in violence, a
violence that came to him,
too, later.
He listens now for ghosts,
lingering traces of ghosts,
whispering soft words
in the silence of the trees.

"Last Light," Photograph by Nancy Rosback. Used with Permission.


M.L. Gallagher said...

"He listens now for ghosts."

I am learning to not listen for ghosts anymore.

Thank you for this Glynn. it is very beautiful and sad and yet peaceful.

'whispering soft words
in the silence of the trees.'

Maureen said...

Lovely, Glynn. Evocative. Also leaves me curious.

Lines I like: "lilting in /laughter" "green dome of soundlessness", and "ghosts,/whispering soft words / in the silence of the trees".

All trees, when the wind blows, sing. I've often wondered what the story is they're sending out.

Kathleen Overby said...

Singing trees, absorbing the violence perhaps?

L.L. Barkat said...

I read this and I feel a sense of stirring inside, like the ghostly movement 'midst the trees.

Sandra Heska King said...

Your words make beautiful music. The trees are whispering witnesses. I find myself sad.

n. davis rosback said...

i have heard soft laughter like this. soft voices of those that are gone.
drifting through the evening sun sifting trees.

Nitewrit said...

This one gave me chills.


Leslie said...

There is wisdom in those trees if we could only tap into the words they have heard and the lives they have watched.

thanks for the beauty