"When, In the Acre of Leaves"
A lot of my poems have the them of movement and transition, of change over time. This is one of the ones where the theme is not only present, but is central to the poem overall. The speaker is sort of a fictional, alternate version of myself. I grew up surrounded by trees and in the woods and along deserted roads there were streams and old broken down cars and discarded things.
When, in our youth, we formed
great big words with
rounded edges, we always intended
those "i love you"s and "forever"s
and "no one but you"s
to resonate honey sweet off
the gates of heaven and overtake,
in wayward dreams,
even the divine and ineffable throne.
Hallowed be thy name.
And fallen leaves build upon
the ground, brown and yellow,
reflecting tree trunks and wind
blowing and small children running
and the dew drops forming the day
after that light sprinkle of rain,
a mist woven by a morning
ghost of a storm.
And fallen leaves wait and rot
and wilt and wash down into gullies,
collecting silt. Red and black.
Holding hands with our wide eyed stares,
looking upwards and seeing clouds,
we danced and we screamed and we hollered
and kicked up dust and dirt roads were
traversed and this, thank you Jesus,
this was our hideout, in the trees
next to the old car which our parents assured
us was dangerous
and a breeding ground
for snakes and lustful temptations.
Who was the first loved? Who was the first
given, in their hearts, to that
season of ourself? That great spring, fresh
and damp and filled with aromatic want,
misting of redemption?
Who did we first speak, breath life into,
bring out of dirt?
Who did we first forget?
Learn to hate?
And build there, in that acre of leaves?
When, as children, we painted in great big
strokes and rounded corners;
it was funny and infuriating to watch
the paint drip slightly out of place
and just ruin a perfect sunset with rainwater
color. A washed out storm aflight,
and our eyes descended, teary eyed
for no reason why, and all the heart inside
swelled to the point of bursting
and passing on into the next page of white.
This poem was written in 2005 by W Doug Bolden, and has been posted on May 5, 2006.
"The hidden is greater than the seen."