Holy Roots

For dVerse “Holy Places” prompt and for Real Toads #30 in 30, day three. I have done this now for three days.  Five is usually my limit.

Holy Roots
My roots burrow deep into
the red stony iron rich soil
from which my parents coaxed almost
year round vegetables and tomatoes so
full of acid a slice on your plate would
jump up and slap your face before
you could cut it with a fork.

My roots burrow through golden sand
and sensuously lap at salt water –
my roots drift through foreign soils
and drink the icy torrents or
slow moving warm rivers or
sky blue lakes or water colored
a rich cedar red from the tannins
in the earth or wander lazily
through meadows and forests.

My roots sleep beneath the low ground cover
and silently sip from streams and dew
and stay buried beneath years of pine needles
and rotted foliage and rocks
holding trees straight and tall or
sometimes slumped or even supine.
Small things dig beneath my roots for food
and worms and bugs live their tiny lives
and creatures sleep among the roots
and build their daily homes.

My roots spread far and wide on
This earth – they have nurtured
loved grew danced buried –
They have listened to the steady
vibrations of the earth, sung
along with the rain, stretched beneath
the sun, wandered beside paths
made by animals and humans.
My roots have prayed
at all of these holy places.
Wherever my roots touch is a holy place.
I carry my holiness within.
I am my holy place.
I am my cathedral.

 

roots – fair use

 

 

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Frank Hubeny
    Apr 03, 2018 @ 17:11:00

    A good place to carry one’s holiness–within.

    Reply

  2. qbit
    Apr 03, 2018 @ 17:41:54

    Excellent!!

    Reply

  3. Sherry Marr
    Apr 03, 2018 @ 18:05:49

    Oh this is so beautiful. It put me into a trance as I was reading about all of the beautiful places…….I especially love “My roots have prayed at each of these holy places.” Loved it.

    Reply

  4. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Apr 03, 2018 @ 18:29:21

    Fabulous and wonderful. Publish, publish!

    Reply

  5. Jim
    Apr 03, 2018 @ 22:42:32

    Love those ‘praying roots,’ Toni. It is nice to visit the famous and very old cathedrals when traveling. We try to. Once I had seen enough, instead I walked through the cemetery while Mrs. Jim was inside. In Germany, I found a tombstone with our family name, Hufendick. We are all related, this man was my dad’s age.
    ..

    Reply

  6. rothpoetry
    Apr 03, 2018 @ 22:43:37

    I love your southern colloquialisms! I too find the place of my roots to be very sacred and keep drawing me back to them. Great poem.
    Dwight

    Reply

  7. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 01:54:02

    I really love the way you tied the holy place of yourself to the roots… awareness of roots and how they tie to taste, scent and the way the soil feels in your hand is for sure holy

    Reply

  8. kim881
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 02:32:35

    This is a beautiful autobiographical poem, Toni, which reminds me of ‘Where I’m From’ by George Ella Lyon, a poem I used when I was teaching. The repetition of ‘My roots burrow’ is hypnotic, like a prayer, and very effective – strong roots. I love the different kinds of soil and what they produce, including you in your holy place!
    My favourite lines, I think, are:
    ‘My roots sleep beneath the low ground cover
    and silently sip from streams and dew
    and stay buried beneath years of pine needles
    and rotted foliage and rocks’

    Reply

  9. sanaarizvi
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 07:08:30

    “my roots drift through foreign soils and drink the icy torrents or slow moving warm rivers”… this is so beautiful!💞

    Reply

  10. Rommy
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 07:42:26

    I love the idea of feeling the holiness of the places we live on and feel emotionally connected to.

    Reply

  11. coalblack
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 08:03:24

    But of course.

    Reply

  12. memadtwo
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 08:42:17

    A tree is such an apt image for a sacred place. (K)

    Reply

  13. Magaly Guerrero
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 12:11:07

    What Coalblack said.

    Reply

  14. Jo Aylard
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 12:31:01

    I love these lines:
    “from which my parents coaxed almost
    year round vegetables and tomatoes so
    full of acid a slice on your plate would
    jump up and slap your face before
    you could cut it with a fork.”

    Excellent work!

    Reply

  15. Rall
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 13:09:31

    Your face slapping home grown vegetables made me smile.

    Reply

  16. Gospel Isosceles
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 13:59:48

    I can smell the soul and rejoice in every fiber of its holiness. What a fine poem, Toni. As someone who literally feels no affinity to one particular place, these lines spoke to me most, as my utopia would be no property, no boundaries, no nativism. Just that we would all feel home wherever our soles touch the earth. “My roots spread far and wide on
    This earth – they have nurtured
    loved grew danced buried –”

    Reply

    • kanzensakura
      Apr 04, 2018 @ 14:12:23

      Thank you Amaya. This prompt truly spoke to me. I have travelled so extensively, moved about so often. My mother died back in June and I said to myself, now I am an orphan. Now I am truly alone. I lost that feeling of holiness within myself. I lost that feeling of being at home in the world. Through my grief I have started fresh. It has been a hard journey but at least I am on my way back home to my ho!iness. I am one for climbing trees. For a bit I stopped doing that. But I am climbing again and finding places to rest and feeling those feelings again. The other day it was snowing. I went to my best friend in the woods that border our property and clambered up. I stayed in my place for several hours, just being silent and still. I could feel the tree sharing his place with me. I am not sure what I want to say but thank you for this prompt.

      Reply

  17. alisonhankinson
    Apr 04, 2018 @ 15:24:54

    You always exude spirituality and I think it does come from within. I loved your tomatoes. I love how connected you are and your sense of belonging.

    Reply

  18. Laura Bloomsbury
    Apr 05, 2018 @ 07:22:08

    you dug deep for this poem and found treasure –
    “My roots have prayed
    at all of these holy places.”

    Reply

  19. Frank J. Tassone
    Apr 05, 2018 @ 17:14:54

    Beautifully imagery, framed by that powerful repetition and tight rhythm, and you’ve evoked a wonder here, Toni. Great write!

    Reply

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