The Poetry of Mary K. O'Melveny

THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT A CHERRY TREE

 


I

The soft arc of cherry blossoms

Surround all the people

Staring into the April sun.

 

II

I stood silently there,

Trees filling

My mind up with pink cotton.

 

III

There is a weeping cherry at home,

Planted to remind us of one beloved.

 

IV

The tiny blossoms there –

Springing.

They sparkle with the hint of restoration

Singing.

 

V

I am never just of one mind

About an orchard’s bounty,

Are the trees more lovely full up

With fruit or glowing with their

Fragrant blossoms?

 

VI

I think of those trees of my youth,

Beset with bodies

Climbing about, buckets held

Tight, each spill costly,

Children

Beside their worn parents,

Traveling so far for these fields.

 

VII

O young men of Galilee

What make you of the cherry wood

Now turned to the rough hewn crosses

You must carry

Up the long and dusty hill?

 

VIII

I listen for the music

That takes over a summer morning

The sounds certain,

The sure, rhythmic hum of bees

On the branches.

 

IX

When the axe fell to clear the way

Was the  noise heard

Or did we all turn aside?

 

X

The sight of glowing trees

Reflected in water

Is worth a great festival,

Even cynics agree.

 

XI

One time we were walking by

And birds rose up

From their leafed cover,

We were more startled

Than they, but all unsettled quite,

In the night.

 

XII

It is late autumn now.

Golden leaves are all aground.

 

 

XIII

My Cherry trees are silent here

In Winter’s chill.

Snow is weighing heavy on them.

I imagine birds

Hiding quietly.

                                               

 

                                                                          

Homage to Wallace Stevens and

“Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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