Redbuds in the Spring – dVerse OLN

Tuesday for dVerse Poetics, Mary prompted us to write in response to someone else’s poem – in agreement, disagreement, in similar vein, especially if it is a poet who has deeply influenced us. We also in the pub comments. talked about those poets. Great way to learn about people and also, discover different writers. Walt Whitman was an early influence and his writing is still an influence. I missed the prompt but submit here for Open Link.  Whitman was the “Father” of free verse. Many people go towards Ginsberg but many times, I find his style too much of a rant. The simple form and verbiage of Whitman touches my heart and mind more. I am attempting to write this in the style of his elegant and soulful elegy, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”, parts 1 – 4. If you have not read, I hope you will and that you will read more of his poetry – love, sexuality, patriotism, nature, nobility of spirit…here is a link to Poetry Foundation where you will find this and other Whitman poems: Here is a link to Mary’s Poetics:    Come visit us at dVerse for a great variety of poems from all around the world

public domain image Eastern Redbud

public domain image Eastern Redbud

Redbuds in the Spring
”The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.” Walt Whitman (1819-1892), U.S. poet. Leaves of Grass, preface (1855).

In March, the redbuds bloom.
Among the spring bare trees and in spring green pastures
like gaudy sunset clouds captured in the delicate branches.
Young heart shaped leaves flutter in the breeze,
softly breathing in the pink shadows.
What once I watched with joy at early spring
now I weep and will always weep
for the pain of the loss of him I loved,
now sleeping in a country yard.
And now in April the redbuds
Have wept their blooms onto the ground
And heart leaves are still.
I stand beside the simple white stone
and brush away the fallen faded blooms.
From the new spring forest comes the wistful
song of cardinals – the sweet call and silence.
From another tree, a response and silence.
and silence and one last response fades away.
The choir, sad and respectful in this quiet country place.
I stroke the green leaves and with my finger
trace a name upon the leaves.
Papa, and Papa, and yet again, Papa.

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whimsygizmo
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 15:16:17

    Walt Whitman! This took me back. Thank you so much.
    These lines are such a lovely moment of stillness, a “small stones” kind of slice of time:
    “I stand beside the simple white stone
    and brush away the fallen faded blooms.”

    And, OH. Those last lines. My heart.


  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 15:36:50

    Oh this is so beautiful.. The emotions carried by the nature and the precense… The sense of being there… Really feeling memories.

    I realise I have to read more poetry.


    Jan 21, 2016 @ 15:47:33

    Such a touching poem and beautiful produced.

    Young heart shaped leaves flutter in the breeze,
    softly breathing in the pink shadows.
    What once I watched with joy at early spring
    now I weep and will always weep

    Very detailed and so vivid. I can envision myself seeing this in my subconscious mind. Brilliantly stunning my friend. 🙂


  4. Sanaa Rizvi
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 15:49:45

    Love how Walt Whitman served as inspiration for this gorgeous poem 😀
    Beautifully executed!

    Lots of love,


  5. Waltermarks
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 16:30:10

    Walt would be proud; the rustling and silence of the heart leaves tells a story of love, life and death and sadness.


  6. Carol J Forrester
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 16:55:44

    Incredibly touching and I like how you paralleled the imagery of the flowers with the story of the piece. You worked them together so well.


  7. Mary
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 16:57:03

    Certain seasons of the year seem to really be associated with people we have loved and lost in the past. You have written with strong feeling, so much that I too feel that missing and can just visualize the tracing the name upon the leaves. Definitely really Whitman-esque. Smiles.


  8. navasolanature
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 17:18:57

    This is so beautiful and thanks for the links to Whitman. I only really read Leaves of Grass a long time ago.


  9. Linda Kruschke
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 17:33:27

    The repetition of some words and half-lines in this sets the perfect tone of sadness and loss. Beautiful. That last line hit me hard because I lost my dad over 20 years ago and I miss him still, though it is the fall that reminds me of him and not the redbuds of spring. Peace, Linda


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 21, 2016 @ 21:17:54

      And this is why spring is not my favorite season and almost one of dread. I lost my father, grandmother, and grandfather, in the same month of the same year. I think we are blessed we had such fathers that the grief is often fresh.


  10. Bodhirose
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 17:57:40

    Your words are so quiet and gently tender as they describe the scenes of nature. I love how the calls of cardinals fade as they answer each other. The use of the fallen redbud flowers of spring being brushed aside the stone are so poignant and then your last line…brought such a feeling of loss to me that I was surprised at my reaction. Superbly written. I think Mr. Whitman would be proud.


  11. Grace
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 18:33:36

    Such a beautiful response Toni and the ending lines moved me very much ~ I admire this part very much:

    From the new spring forest comes the wistful
    song of cardinals – the sweet call and silence.


  12. thotpurge
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 20:29:05

    Beautifully articulated gentle sorrow….


  13. ghostmmnc
    Jan 21, 2016 @ 21:07:15

    So soft and sentimental. Exactly how we all have triggers that bring back memories. You’ve written a beautiful piece.


  14. The Literary Doc
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 01:14:28

    Yes, this does sound so much like Whitman, especially his “Song of Myself.” Wistful, melancholic, and sexual all at once. A wonderful read.


  15. MarinaSofia
    Jan 22, 2016 @ 02:54:47

    Ah, the budding and flowering we usually associate with happiness and rebirth, but the way you associate it with mourning and loss is sad, yet with a sense of calm about it. As if it’s part of the natural order and cycle, and yet the sorrow never goes.


    Jan 22, 2016 @ 05:41:12

    Power to your pen, in thanks for this fine poem.


  17. Gay Reiser Cannon
    Jan 23, 2016 @ 14:05:27

    This is so touching and you more than captured the spirit of Whitman here. (He is the reason I began writing poetry–oh so many years ago). This poem is elegant, the song of the cardinals needs to be known to be understood yet you employ it so dramatically here. Quite effective and so beautiful.


  18. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jan 23, 2016 @ 15:04:17

    I love Whitman, though it’s been a while since I’ve read him. And you have done such a good job in transporting me back in time, to the appreciation of the birth of free form. I think, if he were your professor, he would certainly approve. You have given another life to the Red Bud for those of us who are in a climate which is unfriendly to them.


    • kanzensakura
      Jan 24, 2016 @ 14:09:17

      Thank you Victoria. Actually, in my Senior year in high school, I was in the honors College English course. I truly was the pet of our teacher, who was a great Whitman, Salinger, and Eliot fan. We hit it off like two old friends. He worked my butt off but I loved it.


  19. Bryan Ens
    Jan 24, 2016 @ 16:11:52

    Heart wrenching and beautiful


  20. magicalmysticalteacher
    Jan 25, 2016 @ 12:14:30

    Some names never go away. “Papa” is one of them…


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