Thursday, March 20, 2008

After Reading Haiku

I sit in the sunroom,
looking at the yard I have given back to nature.
It is time for wildflowers and weeds
to grow tangled and tall
in the orgiastic bolt that is spring.

But there are words—

old pages yellow
the story of small kisses
roads in deep green woods

that I cannot shave from my tongue
with razored thought grown dull.
They grow reckless, wild,
like ivy that will stitch the trellis
until it falls over the windowsill,
circling my bed on a night
when I dream of love.

I must bolt from middle age
without manicure, without edging,
a sprint to the last breath
that will see disorder weave foolishness
and disregard into ruts of routine.
The papers on my desk must not be left too neat.
My clothes must be found on the floor,
shoes tossed in the hallway
in a manner that will puzzle progeny.

Beyond the sunroom,
blades of grass are hatching conspiracy.
The ox-eyed daisy has poached the loam
where roses and lilies held sway.
Decades hence,
people will say my final years
were roads in deep green woods.

Picture: public domain


Miladysa said...


I like this very much :-D

Jo said...

Yes, excellent.

SandyCarlson said...

This is the loftiest aspiration I can think of:

Decades hence,
people will say my final years
were roads in deep green woods.

Janice Thomson said...

I love this - the last lines say it all.
Like the structure of this too - similar to haibun.
A knock out poem William!
There will be the odd one of us remembered this way.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

beautiful!!! This would be a great one to read out loud.

gautami tripathy said...

"that I cannot shave from my tongue
with razored thought grown dull."

Intriguing lines..I had to read it again..

Lisa said...

"I must bolt from middle age
without manicure, without edging,
a sprint to the last breath
that will see disorder weave foolishness
and disregard into ruts of routine."


Lane said...

This poem illuminates something you said in the comments of your last post 'older people should be more foolish'.

It takes courage to shrug off routine and 'let go' a little. Surrendering the garden to nature illustrates this beautifully. Far better to be remembered for 'roads in deep green woods' than a tidy desk:-)

jason evans said...

Roam those forests, my friend.

Bernita said...

"people will say my final years
were roads in deep green woods."
Oh, oh, perfect.
Of me too, I hope.

Billy said...

Miladysa, glad you liked it -:)

Jo, thanks. I appreciate your visitng my humble blog so often :)

Sandy, with any luck, I'll make it. The woods around my town have thinned since Katrina (and subsequent construction for displaced New Orleanians), but it's still close to some great forests.

Janice, good point. How many people will be able to finish their lives away from the madness and the concrete?

Andrew, true I suppose. In all the years I wrote and published, I never did one reading.

Guatami, I wasn't sure if those lines were too bizarre LOL. Thanks. I thought they fit!

Lisa, too kind as always :) Thanks!!!

Lane, I think the word "foolish" did stick in my mind somewhere after my response at your blog. Routine strangles me, although I can't find a way to escape it for long enough -:)

Jason, I never was an outright hippy, but maybe I was born a little too late. Call me "nature boy." I love Wordsworth.

Bernita, thanks. Cities and asphalt--ugh!

Suzan Abrams said...

Hi Billy,
This is truly one of the rare and more clever poems I get treated to online.
It's completely different from the ordinary with ponderings that go down deep and beautiful into a search for the subconscious. The lines in italics seem to reflect the power of this poem and it's aptly placed.
Have a happy easter weekend, Billy. :-)

Raven said...

This is such a wonderful poem... There are so many lines that I am in love with...

yard I have given back to nature
words I cannot shave from my tongue

weave foolishness and disregard into ruts of routine (boy do I relate to that)

and of course the whole last stanza..

In other words... I loved it.

Lana Gramlich said...

*Bouncing through gleefully* Spring! Hooray, it's SPRING! Flowers are blooming & the butterflies are back. SPRING! Happy, happy SPRING! *bounces away*

Billy said...

Suzan, thank you for the detailed comment. Happy Easter to You as well!!!

Raven, this poem was inspired by a newstory I saw about ten years ago, in which a suburban housewife bucked the neighborhood and decided to let her yard grow wild. There was opposition until she opened it for tours since new species of birds and flowers had appeared. I thought that was so cool!

Lana, it may be a bit chilly for us at night, but it shore is purty in these parts right now, ain't it LOL.

Kim said...

Raven sent this to's just incredible! And brings back a memory, too...

We, too, let our back yard grow, years ago, just because we had 2 small children and didn't want to spend the time and energy on cutting the grass...we got a registered letter, telling us we needed to take care of the "noxious weeds" or the town would do it and bill us.

Thanks for your words and the memory!

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today, Billy.

I wish you a blessed weekend.

(By the way, OSI's prompt for Sunday will be spring....Hope you'll join us!)

Beloved Dreamer said...

Billy what can I say that others have not already said? This is such a powerful and wonderfully deep rich lovely poem. You have such a grasp of thought and words. They seem to drip from you as If you were a fountain.
Your images alone are beyond compare.
I loved it, each an every lush generous word. This is a very precious poem.
I can but hope my path in life takes the same road

SnoopMurph said...

I came by Raven's suggestion and so glad that I did. What a truly outstanding poem-such vividness and perhaps my favorite are the final three lines.

I've read it four times in the last few minutes. Thank you for sharing.


Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Spot on. As always.

lluvia said...

you are as young as your dream of love...! beautiful !

Billy said...

Kim, thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked the poem. I knew somebody out there must have let there yard grow wild or gotten tired of the mowing and the neighbors -:)

Sandy, thanks, and you're welcome. Happy Easter!

Melanie, you are so very kind. I do my best -:)

Linda, thank you. I'll have to start giving Raven a commission. I'll stop by your blog today :)

Julie, I have to admit I have occasional yearnings to clean things up, like when I see a beautiful English garden !!!

Lluvia, like the old Sinatra song, "Young At Heart!"

Tina Trivett said...

This is a lovely tale of Spring. My thoughts are always with New Orleans.

raine said...

"Decades hence,
people will say my final years
were roads in deep green woods."

My favorite lines of an excellent poem.
Verra nice, Billy.

Billy said...

Tina, glad you liked it. And thanks for thinking of New Orleans, which is still on hard times. I was born there and lived there until a few years ago, when I moved north of the lake, about 60 miles away. (Far enough to save my butt from Katrina--had a lot of damage but wasn't flooded. My little town got on its feet within six months. It was an ordeal I shall never forget.)

Raine, why you are ever so kind to this southern boy LOL. I appreciate you stopping by -:)

Casdok said...

You can loose yourself in this.

---Michael--- said...

My favorite line was "shoes tossed in the hallway///in a manner that will puzzle progeny..."

It made me think about archaeologists of the future and what our leavings will say to them about us...

And our libraries, if they somehow survive the ages...

And because we must assume our blogs are mere electrons with no tangibility, will our progeny twenty generations hence even know us?

But that is all too morose... as you point out, there are roads in green woods to roam, and we owe that much to our own well-being...

Billy said...

casdok, thank you--I hope I can lose myself in it too when my time comes -:)

Michael, thanks for the kind response and for stopping by. I'll visit your blog today. Take care!

paisley said...

i so loved reading this,, as i too let my entire property go "natural" all winter... come summer she will be shorn for fire season,, and will be brown and barren all summer and fall,,, so in the winter and spring,, i allow her to grow to great heights ,, flowers spread and bloom at will it is beauty,, often a beauty no one seems to notice but me... i will save this poem and reflect upon it more later,, as i love my big unruly yard,, and this poem makes me love her even more.....

Billy said...

paisley, I'm glad someone else appreciates the wildness of nature and doesn't try to manicure everything. And thanks for saving my poem. What a lovely gesture. Thank you -:)

Geraldine said...

This is just wonderful Billy! I felt like I was there, sitting in your sunroom, feeling the warmth of the sun, radiating inside.

There are so many layers in this piece. I read it over twice, just to savor it again.

Billy said...

geraldine, thanks!!! I did indeed try to layer this with a lot of imagery :)