I thought I’d share one of my poems with you this week. It seems fitting as we enter November and watch the autumn winding down around us. I hope you’ve been enjoying the smells and the sweaters and the burnt umber and the gusts of wind as much as I have.
This is a free-verse poem I wrote back in the spring, but its character is distinctly autumnal. In case you’re interested, I drew my inspiration for this piece from Romans 8:22, a striking verse that had been lingering in my mind for some weeks.
Sounds Forgotten on an Autumn Day
Perched on porch steps
you listen to reedy rustling sighs,
trees groaning, their bark chafed by wind.
Some tune ripples on the rim of your memory,
but these gusted leaves suggest
and distract all at once.
In fluctuating rhythm the air
pounds the weary trunks and limbs,
and the polyphony of wind throbbing
and sap in tree-veins sobbing
unravels the melody fringing your mind.
But the breezes ebb into stillness at last
and still you seem to hear the trees
murmuring in pain, or else in hope.
Maybe the moans cling in their timber
more deeply than you supposed,
echoes clasped in each concentric ring.
Perhaps those sounds reach down
into the earth itself, entangled in roots
and mingling with the drip
of groundwater and the hush
of earthworms moving through soil.
Or, more unfathomable,
perhaps the sighs of longing
come from the world’s drained core,
seeping out through such channels
as trees and wind and forgotten songs.
You can almost feel the vibrating voice
of the creaky crumbly Earth
(as it revolves more slowly
than human flesh can sense),
its hollow groans reverberating
within and without you.
© March 2015, Rachelle Ferguson