Friday, April 20, 2012

The Ballad of Plum, Chapter One

CHAPTER ONE–Leaving the Forest


Silence is too heavy here.
Pollen dances in the slices of sunlight
Cutting through the canopy
Of this ancient garden of moss-clothed giants.

The old trees' roots entangle
Beneath the cool soil, where the small creatures
Skitter
Scatter
Massaging the gnarled tentacles of their
Petrified protectors.

Except for one.

Quivering in the hissing breeze
Swirling around her slender limbs,
She stands in the golden pool of sun
Where her seed had landed by the whim
Of some fairy-godmother bird that carried her
From across the sea so immense.
(She still dreamed of the spray and the salt,
which the other trees said was nonsense.)

Little Plum
Too young to bear her voluptuous violet
But not too old for her roots to reach deeper                                                                   
She felt so alone, in the saturated silence,
Feeling so small amidst these colossal keepers.


She hears whispers on the wind.
Take no heed, say the old trees.
She smells odd perfumes and spices
Carried on the night.
Leave it be, say the old trees.
She dreams. She wishes. She desires.
Don’t be silly, say the old trees.
But she knows she is meant for more.

She dreams of the princes to prize her,
The knights to find refuge beneath her bows,                                                                  
The lovers who will share her bountiful gift,
making sweet, everlasting vows.
She dreams of the empresses to treasure her,
The storytellers to spin plum-laden serenades.
But not here, not in the safety,                                                                                             
In the silence of this glade.

So she yanks up her roots,
Willing them to take a tentative step
Above the soil, in the tickling grass
(Ah, so this is a tickle…how peculiar)
And Plum shakes her budding leaves–
No, hair–
And stretches her tender branches–
No, arms and legs–
And bids goodbye to the old trees,
And seeks out the wind that tantalized her so,
Following its clues towards the song and sun,
Walking until the
Silence and the Here                                                                                                                                   Are gone.

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