Dave Bonta at the marvellous Via Negativa is hosting this month’s ‘Festival of the Trees’. He had to explain the idea of blog carnivals to me, which is a blog event similar to a magazine which happens regularly and consists of a blog article with permalinks to other blog articles on a particular topic.
The main Festival of the Trees site is here, and last month’s issue is here. My modest contribution is a photo my partner took when we were on holiday in Dubrovnik earlier in the year, and a couple of poems about trees. I hope you enjoy the rest of the carnival at Via Negativa.
It’s just a tree most of the year
but in October it cracks open like an egg,
becomes the colour of fights, of lips
men would kill to kiss.
The leaves are lit up from within
and bursting with banquets,
chandeliers, all-night dancing.
Unable to bear their own brightness
they let go of their twigs too soon.
The tree can hardly wait to be red again.
It is cold. I sit in the centre of a circle of nuns. They are lying
under the grass, their heads or feet pointing towards me.
Each sister is marked with a stump of stone. A silver plaque
shows her name, how long she had, when she was taken by God.
Off to the left are trees, and to my right four fat pheasants
are wandering around the convent gardens. Further away
the hills are under mist. I think a fire is gently crackling
somewhere hidden in the trees until I turn and really listen.
It is the orangey leaves – they are glancing off each other
as they fall, snapping, pattering and landing with a whisper.
There are four more stones a little way from the others.
Here, holes were dug for Annie, Irene, Frances and Joan,
all of them children. Sister Elizabeth had ninety-six
chances to hear this burning. Annie had ninety less.