Thursday, September 3, 2015

Messaging In the Country

They each have their own gossip, their own sound, their own rustling

whispers and smells. 

                 Charles Lint


In the  warm wind,  trees text each other,

leaf flutter

                    the  ripe scent

                    of  berry and  pine, the breath


of sawn wood --

until a woman interrupts

                 crossing their  path on wheels.


Again, the texting starts

a shake of leaves, a sway of branch,

            the  quandary of what to say.


Cyclist or Hepburn,

            the latter seems more savvy;


her wide-brimmed hat

floating black with a scarf


           the signature

                        of Go-lightly,


Her shadow making it two

for the road

              instead of one,


and her eyes, large and lovely.

Their chestnut light

              falling into a glide, you gaze at yourself

              and the charade


of Autumn pretending

to be Summer. Its surveillance of birds

           heading south.




Marie-France's whimsical painting , "Bonne Rentree" inspired this poem which has a light-hearted supposition. If trees have a language of their own, thoughts and spirit, how would they feel in a rustic world underscored by modern tourists and technology? They might communicate with each other through an invisible scripting of leaf /branch movement, scent and shadow, the angle of light and wind. It would be their version of "texting". And having witnessed the urban arrival of people from different parts of the city and suburbs,  they would become acquainted with the more sophisticated ways of  the cosmopolitan world,  even perhaps, have viewed their own countryside being used for a  movie set/location.

So what happens then when a woman rides her bicycle through their region resembling the late actress, Audrey Hepbrun? How would they define her? What word would they use to describe her presence? That becomes the capricious debate in this poem. Using a vernacular  term like "cyclist" would be commonplace, general and  lacking a certain "savoir faire". It would make them seem as rustic trees that have never expanded their horizons , typically used to seeing hikers, bikers and woodsmen who rather look all the same with their gear and clothing. Yet, this sudden intrusion of a chic  woman crossing their path on wheels gives them a chance to employ their wit and imagination. A singular, ingenious word that would convey their savvy intelligence. And that would be calling her "Hepburn" because of all the similarities in her look, motion and interaction with the scene that makes them reminiscent  of the actress and her film history.
Those movies would include:  "Breakfast At Tiffany's",  "Two For the Road" and "Charade".
More of Marie-France's wonderful art work can be found at :


Yvonne D'Angelo said...

I like the idea of trees texting each other. That's putting the poem in current times!
Unique and fun!

Gwendrina said...

Hi Yvonne

Yes, that was the point of writing it plus some wonderful memories of Terri Windling's older blogs on the "Language of Earth" and "The Blessings of Trees"
The painting was done by a French artist who is also a good friend of mine. She lives in Paris with her husband and son and works in the medium of pastel chalks and water color, occassionaly, acrylics.

again thank you!