Sparked by Words

Plum Tree


Once a plum tree in spring, roseate petals toed on bare limbs, opens to sun,

Moth limps wet from its brittle cocoon into moonlight and raw leaf excess,

Onion swells from its torn dry shell, each layer transparent, unfurling,

Pungent odor stinging nose, swelling eyes, slimy sap burning cuts on flesh


Once a chick pecks sharp at marquise shell, totters hungry in noon warmth,

Trout slurps surface of jadeite pond, then glides through secret current,

Silent rainbow glitters after storm, melted gem colors, netted by clouds

Elusive, moves away from capture, away from certainty, to somber dark


Once evening’s sultry wind, morning’s dewy breath, vague languor

Honey from the hive, dripping sweet and gravid, orange, sage, tupelo,

Sting of the bee, startled, angry, defensive, only a brief defense,

Threat of more, to frighten, to ache, to paralyze, enough to kill


Once risen lovers, heated hearts, desperate for passion, fight and dance

Surety of souls meant to find each other, anywhere, everywhere, forever

Wisdom of warriors, aged, battered, gasping, marching on one leg, you and

I, winter now, crusted tears, tenuous, plum petals fallen from our fingers


In honor of National Poetry Month

Plum Tree image courtesy

Comments on: "Plum Tree" (16)

  1. If to write such an effervescent poem were as rewarding as my reading of it, then what a glorious time you must have had !


  2. OK, that was excellent. Writer, poet and artist. Yikes. You set the bar high.


  3. This is a treat to read. Such a burst of wonderful description!


  4. Okay, its time to add poetess to your list. Are you serious? This was amazing. The imagery was perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Holey Moley – I keep having to look up words every time I read one of your posts. This time it was “gravid”.

    Intense imagery – You’ve created such a dynamic picture with the strong undercurrent of tension and danger beneath the delicate images of nature.

    You SHOULD be pleased and proud!


    • That’s what I wanted to express – the danger of nature, the danger of relationships, and yet we engage in them over and over, whether people in love or critters responding to instinct, because there be the potential and here be we who yearn. No worries about vocabulary, you got the message, Judy. Thank you.


  6. We have plum trees at our house, and I absolutely love them. Thanks for the lovely poem. Two years is a long time to work on something, but it was definitely worth the wait. 🙂


    • We also had one at our first house and I loved the deep rose flowers, the purple trunk.

      About the two years for the poem: I don’t work every day for two years on a poem. My usual method is to start writing and then let it sit, come back after a few months and edit, and return several more times over a year or two until I get to a final day when I’m compelled to complete the thing. Altogether, maybe 18 – 25 hours spread over the two years. I read once that other poets let their work ferment much the same way, and found the process worked well for me.

      Now when I’m writing a book, that’s a labor intensive occupation for me, and I’ll easily spend 20 or more hours a week, for years. A book will drive me, usually taking 18 months to 3 years to complete and at least another 2 years to edit.

      Thank you for your comments, Cathleen, and for reading the poem.


  7. I agree with Jacqui, Shari! You’re a triple threat, my dear. The vocabulary alone is breathtaking. I’m thrilled to see a new poem from you. I do love how you breathe with such certainty.


    • Triple threat – funny. If you only knew what a mouse I can be. But thank you for your comments. Being a bit anonymous behind a blog gives me a kind of strength that’s hard to exercise in real life.


I would love to know what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: