Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bare Trees (Van Gogh), Sonnet #330

I came upon an old woman in black,
Holding in her gloved hands an ocre oud.
The leafless trees seemed a mind-twisted wrack
As she passed underneath them with a word
Not a word, which I could still understand.
A branch scratched me with an arthritic hand.
I walked beneath soft shrieking of the elms,
The ancient ruins of defeated realms.
Some trees seemed older, but with memories,
Synaptic limbs full of ageless stories.
(The language of trees muffles in summer --
All leaf, bud and blossom, they turn mummer.)
I listened to rachitic damns and praise
Of those with many, not unnumbered days.