Susurrus

Susurrus

by Laura Summerville Reed


Her sweeping branches spread out,

Down, and back again like the arms of a goddess matriarch

The live oak, Majesty of the South

She doesn’t drop her leaves to the autumnal chill

She doesn’t cease her thirst for drink

Unlike her sisters, red oak, white and pin

They shut down; giving way to grays and drear

She keeps and keeps and keeps

There is no waste in her

Not until she feels the velvet ache

The tender newness beneath her hide

Like a thousand teething infants

(and she, the mother of every one)

Then she’ll unclasp each tiny petiole

And let the old mantle fall


The trappings she wears are a deep golden green

She basks in the warmth year round

To a tune set in three-season time

Her suitors are sunshine and sweet rolling rain

And the occasional, jealous lover

Hurricane

She’s a southern gal, full of charm and allure

Her gray, furrowed bark is adorned with lace

Tucked here and there like green handkerchiefs

She plays a lovely host to the ferns and the moss

That require nothing of her, but endurance and air

Lovers leave their calling cards

Etched upon her hardened heart

And old men entwine their silvery beards

Full of dreams, both won and lost


I’ve sat nestle in the curve of your leafy womb

When my soul needed solitude

I’ve skinned my knees and elbows

Simply for the joy of climbing you

I’ve tasted the shakers of sunshine you sprinkle

Through the tops of your breezy boughs

And dared gravity to question me

On my quest to grab a cloud

I’ve listened close to your rustling whisper

A lover’s voice, raspy in my ear

“Susurre dulces, mi amante”

Susurrus


©LSR 2010


Comments 17 comments

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Mmm...that one has got me wanting to go out and hug an Oak! Very nice, Laura!


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you, kind sir.


ralwus 6 years ago

Your best yet girl. I love all the metaphors that give it such richness. Wayne can hug all the trees, I'll hug you. (((hug))) haha ¿Qué susurros quiere usted oír? Le amo mujer dulce.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

How perfectly you've captured the grandeur of-some-trees! At first, my only comment was going to be "Oh, my." But, lalesu, this is magnificent.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

I do love to climb a tree! That's me in the last pics above. Not a terribly daunting tree, but that day we were hiking in the swamp woods, where they all grow straight up, The challenge was in finding one I could get a knee into, lol.

Charlie, my "best yet", you say? Well, just wait till you see the one I've got lying around here somewhere about puppy dogs, lol! My Spanish is really atrocious so you can rustle about and whisper whatever you like; it all sounds good to me, LMAO. Thank you so much for the compliment, it truly means a great deal coming from you.

Laurel, "magnificent?", now it's my turn to say, "Oh, my." Thank you, and thank you, I'm humbled.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Excellent imagery. A poem that truly speaks.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you so much, Ken, glad you enjoyed it.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

That's my favorite tree! There are a couple of trees known as the Angel Oaks just south of Charleston, SC on Johns Island. I've played manytimes on these beautiful trees. They have made the area a park now. But I have enjoyed so many Oaks! Thanks!


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Hi Micky Dee, oddly enough, in all my comings and goings around the southeast I've never lived in, or even visited Charleston. I'll have to be sure to see the Angel Oaks if travel leads me that directions. And thank you, glad you enjoyed it.


JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 6 years ago from Midwest

Another very nice poem. The words go straight from the eyes to the soul.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you for your kind words, JBeadle, so nice to meet you.


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

God,I miss scampering up above the mundane summer days of Kidhood to the glorious the earthly heavens perchedin the limbs of a tree, high up where no one could see me. I knew first kisses there, and initials shared using a pen as a knife, plus hours of imagination run amock, we were pirates, indians or anything our tree would let us be, and coming down was always sad, 'cept it was usually Mom calling me to luch or supper, and eating was almost as good as communing with a tree.

Loved this much~~MFB III


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

MFB, you should climb one again soon. They are still as wonderful as you remember.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

Lovely...


lalesu profile image

lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you, Augustine.


celeBritys4africA profile image

celeBritys4africA 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Very very nuce.


lalesu profile image

lalesu 5 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon Author

Thank you so very, very much!

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