Flakes of grace

 Why did the grove undress itself only to wait for the snow?" ~ Pablo Neruda

Trees do not come naked into this world
at the splitting of the germ, with one emanation
two forces flee from each other, filigree of root
feeling out darkness; a stem posits sunlight
pointedly, draped in the first bold blade

In seasonal procession, covert fibres encroach with worm
and mould into the chthonic continent of Dīs
and under the heavens, twig and branch prostrate
as sun worshippers, decked with flower and wreaths
of victory, as vanity gallops green and quick-silvered
through the many venial veins

The fated fall follows, as it must always do
after the puff of pride, after gullible bait taken in the garden
at the end of the Dionysian play, Autumn arrives
an avenging angel, unmasking to the last fermented fig
the fabulous firmament of reds and golden amber
brought down to humble brown

Sober in the frigid light of winter
the undressed grove stands silent, awaiting
the first white flakes of grace

Selecting one of Neruda’s posers for my poetics prompt: The question as Poetry

44 Comments on “Flakes of grace

  1. ‘Awaiting the first white flakes of grace’ is such a beautiful description and I love the alliteration and half rhymes in this passage ‘the fated fall follows…unmasking to the last fermented fig
    the fabulous firmament of reds and golden amber
    brought down to humble brown.’

    I have a very word-talented poetic Mum!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thank you for your appreciation Catherine – as you know I shy from straight rhymes so make do with the half!
      p.s. your talents are also touched by the Celtic!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I love the way you describe the fall as an avenging angel… as the fall of Lucifer is a fall from grace… and then the trees have to be standing there naked, waiting for the grace of snow…

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  3. oh this is absolutely wonderful!
    “filigree of root feeling out darkness”….to the seasonal procession….decked with garlands and wreaths….to autumn as an avenging angel and glorious leaves that turn to brown….then fall and await the snow to dress them again. You’ve captured the life, death, hibernation, and cycle of a tree so well here!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a stunning picture, Laura, and I love where the question took you! I particularly enjoyed the imagery and colours in the lines:
    ‘…filigree of root
    feeling out darkness; a stem posits sunlight
    pointedly, draped in the first bold blade’
    and
    ‘… Autumn arrives
    an avenging angel, unmasking to the last fermented fig
    the fabulous firmament of reds and golden amber
    brought down to humble brown’.

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    • thank you Kim – it took me a while to ponder the question but that opening verse finally emerged like the emanation it was – and from there it grew and grew like Topsy!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the idea of the trees cavorting here: “sun worshippers, decked with flower and wreaths
    of victory, as vanity gallops green and quick-silvered
    through the many venial veins”

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  6. A stunning poem with the seasonal progression specially with: Autumn arrives
    an avenging angel, and awaiting the touch of winter’s light and flakes of grace.

    Thank you for hosting.

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    • thank you Grace for your words – I did enjoy hosting this and always find Neruda a thought-provoker to stir the Muse

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  7. A very complex and well structured poem, very enjoyable. I have always disliked winter, but so many of us tonight have cast Autumn as a villain, bellicose, coarse, almost evil. I get the vibe of the trees being like the Jews undressing before the gas chamber.

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    • Autumn strips us of the lazy hazy days and so perhaps we resent seeing the landscape reduced to skeletons yet in the process we have some of the best blue skies and foliage colours

      [the association you make is unbearable and at one Holocaust Memorial day I remember seeing a cantor singing the Kol Nidre in the forests at Sobibor – it was too awfully beautiful for words]

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  8. Wow Laura, you went right down to the DNA! Fall, the great destroyer. Winter the deliverance. Powerful write!

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  9. A book, a book my dear Laura with pix and your poetry as it touches the very heart. You really are one of the greats, at least in my mind. Oh, give us a book to hold in our hands and dwell upon your vision of the unseen realm that leads us ever on and on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ahh I am touched by your plea! I am currently putting collections of past poems into book form by years and having collated them all as such with pick the ones I like best and publish with illustrations from some of my photos (though the presentation will not have to be directly matched). Your encouragement spurs me on

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  10. Love the last stanza, particularly “the first white flakes of grace.”

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  11. I love that nakedness, and how the snow dresses it, as much as the finery of other seasons. Your words grow, expand, and shine. (K)

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  12. Your reply to Neruda’s question is deep-earthed, a thoughtful heart laying in the dirt of this enwintering moment to say Yes. A marriage song between this Earth and that cold sky. Great response to a challenge which I think is one of D’Verse’s best.

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  13. Lovely language in this Progress Through the Seasons – it reminds me of the royal progress queens and kings once made from stately house to stately house. There’s something regal about the poem that honors the tree.

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  14. The alliteration in this poem is really next level. I was reading about the evolution of rhyme in the English language, and how in Old English and Old Norse, rhyme matched not the vowel sound, but the consonant sounds. You’ve demonstrated why this also constitutes “rhyme.” Beautiful.

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    • and apologies for late reply the comment catcher does not alert me!

      Your feedback is most welcome and well read – I think its called consonance – and coupled with assonance and alliteration is a device I tend to use because I am more comfortable with it rather than straight rhyme

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  15. Beautifully don Laura! I really liked this line…
    decked with flower and wreaths
    of victory, as vanity gallops green and quick-silvered
    through the many venial veins

    I am late posting this week. I was gone out of town this past week.

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  16. There may be ‘white flakes of grace’ on our mountains tonight. Spring has been rolled back, we have a cold snap. I sit by the fire wrapped in a rug.

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