Ah to rest . . .

The grove hides its secrets well,
cowering behind the decrepit shed.
That rotting wood that stands askew,
door long felled, splintered, near gone.
As if to escape, to ignore and deny
those happenings long long ago.

They argued under darkening sky.
Stars glimmered fearfully
as stealthy clouds crept in.
Temperaments turned tempestuous
till fury exploded in death,
and thunder roared its anger at their folly.

Found next day in storm soaked grove,
blood spewed over fallen fruit
mixed with rotted apples’ smell.
Their deaths desecrated this century farm,
marking 1957 as its demise
when lovers met, quarreled and died.

Grove turned fallow years thereafter,
apple trees neglected, tendered not.
That vile act didst poison roots,
stunt growth, until gnarly limbs
abandoned since that fateful night,
crouched low, berating fouled earth.

Each spring since, forgetting not,
winds gust disapproval.
Rend blossoms, so few to bloom.
Pockmarked fruit then drops to earth
as bees from nowhere find their way,
steal succor from this grove’s sad plight.

Autumn strips meager tattered cover.
Blighted fruit and curdling leaves
gladly shed by grieving trees.
With naked desire, they lust for snow.
That white soft silent blanket
to comfort limbs; cover blood stained earth.

Winter offers unconditional anonymity.
Memories of past sins cast upon this grove
retreat from souls of trees.
No fruit. No activity. No remembering.
Simply slumber, hibernation stupor.
Sweet serenity, adrift at last.

winter-1861695_1920

Written for dVerse, the virtual pub for poets, where today Laura asks us to consider rhetorical questions. She then provides six unique questions, asking us to choose one for the topic of our poem. I chose Why did the grove undress itself, only to wait for the snow?  Image by cocoparisienne at pixabay.com

35 thoughts on “Ah to rest . . .

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) October 22, 2019 / 3:06 pm

    I really like the story you tell… the neglect and scars, even the death being hidden by snow. So true until it thaws again. A very good answer to the question.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 22, 2019 / 3:24 pm

      Thank you, Bjorn! I do love the peacefulness of snow in a long stretching field or lawn or grove….untrampled. But in the city, it doesn’t last like that very long and soon the grit and grime of the city taint it with soot and make it just slush you have to make your way through.

      Like

  2. Laura Bloomsbury October 22, 2019 / 3:13 pm

    we chose the same prompt Lilian and I love the drama you created here – some very memorable lines
    “as bees from nowhere find their way,
    steal succor from this grove’s sad plight.”
    and
    “Blighted fruit and curdling leaves
    gladly shed by grieving trees.”

    the ending brings a cool clean slate

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 22, 2019 / 3:25 pm

      I really let my imagination wander with this one! I’m over to read now….looking forward to seeing how you used the question. Such a thought provoking prompt!

      Like

  3. Catherine-Jayne October 22, 2019 / 3:30 pm

    Wow Lillian, I love how you wove your story with the seasons as though they marked and witnessed and remembered. Some lovely alliteration too, thank you for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kim881 October 22, 2019 / 3:46 pm

    What an amazing journey the question has taken you – and us- on, Lill! I like that you reference the question in the first line and then wander off to explore the area around the grove. I feel sorry for that decrepit shed; as you may remember, I have one in my garden just like that. The story behind the shed in your poem is intriguing with the argument and tempestuous temperaments exploding in death – and fabulous use of pathetic fallacy. I’d love to know what the argument was about and how they both died. The blood and smell of rotted apples combine to make a powerful image – and you played with the word shed!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 22, 2019 / 3:50 pm

      Thank you, Kim. I reworked this alot trying to shorten it….but just couldn’t….so I appreciate your words “amazing journey!” 🙂 Glad you enjoyed. I found this a really wonderful prompt to think through and let the imagination wander! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lynn__ October 22, 2019 / 5:49 pm

    Powerful story-telling here, Lillian! Sadly, my husband knows true story in our rural neighborhood of a man who murdered his wife at home in a rage many years ago…I think the trees do grieve and snow tries to cover bad memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 23, 2019 / 1:53 pm

      Oh dear….my story here is pure fiction….went to the dark side in my imagination. Just think of all the things that trees have witnessed in their many years!

      Like

      • lynn__ October 23, 2019 / 6:46 pm

        Good, bad, and ugly…

        Like

  6. msjadeli October 22, 2019 / 5:54 pm

    Magnificent bit of writing, Lillian, and the answer to the question is understandable. Blessed relief. Favorite lines:
    “bees from nowhere find their way,
    steal succor from this grove’s sad plight.”
    and
    “Simply slumber, hibernation stupor.
    Sweet serenity, adrift at last.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 23, 2019 / 1:53 pm

      So glad you enjoyed. Sometimes stories just weave their way through one’s imagination, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. kanzensakura October 22, 2019 / 7:42 pm

    What a journey. There is a story in NC about a man who killed his lover and buried her in an apple grove. From then on the apples had flecks of blood in them. This dark tale reminded me of that. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 23, 2019 / 1:55 pm

      Flecks of blood on apples henceforth….oh my! Now if it were an orange grove, I could have write of blood oranges. Why didn’t I think of that? But there is not much chance of snow on orange groves.

      Like

      • kanzensakura October 23, 2019 / 1:56 pm

        Nope. But sometimes there is frost!

        Like

  8. Glenn A. Buttkus October 22, 2019 / 8:03 pm

    Powerful, dynamic response to Neruda’s inquiry. You did create a complete journey, a sad scenario, a wonderful bit of poetics–excellent word-smithing and internal rhyming. Also, it shines when read aloud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 23, 2019 / 1:56 pm

      Thank you, Glenn. I always look for your response…means a lot to me.
      Yes — I almost always read my poems aloud as I edit them for their final version that gets posted here. But then, I’m a very verbal person! 🙂

      Like

  9. Grace October 22, 2019 / 8:07 pm

    I so admire the seasonal theme with winter providing retreat from souls of trees – sweet slumber until spring comes again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 23, 2019 / 1:57 pm

      Yes, and for these trees, sweet slumber and blessed relief from the nightmare they live in the other seasons.

      Like

  10. Rob Kistner October 22, 2019 / 8:56 pm

    I was drawn in effortlessly to the epic essence of this poem Lillian. I really liked the sense of winter as a type of absolution. Beautiful photo as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 23, 2019 / 1:58 pm

      Winter as absolution — yes indeed….especially for these trees. They receive blessed relief.

      Like

  11. georgeplace2013 October 23, 2019 / 10:16 am

    Kudos and this “Blighted fruit and curdling leaves
    gladly shed by grieving trees.” wow you made me shiver at winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian October 23, 2019 / 1:59 pm

      I played with different words for the leaves descriptor here….and finally settled with “curdling” — from your response, I’m glad I did! Glad you enjoyed.

      Like

  12. memadtwo October 23, 2019 / 1:09 pm

    The last two lines encompass the act of forgetting. I love your lush language, so reminiscent of Neruda. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Vivian Zems October 23, 2019 / 2:34 pm

    A poignant tale. The sense of grief shared by the trees and their leaves as they await the snow is powerful.

    Like

  14. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar October 23, 2019 / 11:06 pm

    “That white soft silent blanket
    to comfort limbs; cover blood stained earth.”

    to hide from it all… Nicely woven story/poem.

    Like

  15. Christine Irving October 24, 2019 / 9:59 am

    Great story! I used the same prompt, but found a different tale. I never look at the other poet’s offerings until I’ve written my response because when the images are as vivid as yours it’s hard to go somewhere new. But afterwards, vive la différence! It’s fascinating to see where we go using the same starting point.

    I particularly liked these lines:

    Autumn strips meager tattered cover.
    Blighted fruit and curdling leaves
    gladly shed by grieving trees.

    I like internal rhymes very much and found your use of this one to mark the turn in your poem very effective. I also liked the way larger nature – autumn, winter – come in and take over to heal and restore the grove. This is actually a wonderful show-don’t-tell environmental poem.

    I hope you don’t mind one tiny quibble – the word “dids’t” didn’t work for me, its seems anachronistic, especially since the date is so explicit, and, for me, interrupts the flow for a second.

    Like

  16. Xan October 24, 2019 / 10:53 am

    A chilling answer to the question.

    Like

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