What the Earth Remembers

The willow clings to memories
buried in the mud of the riverbank.

Vessels skirt the ruin of wind-
buffeted bluffs, forgetting
when the stones trembled
in fear

and the stain of death crawled
from the sea.

A final nail seals a coffin.

Shadows form her corona
as she attempts to brush
away grief like a tangle
from her hair.

storm coming

storm coming (Photo credit: Grant MacDonald)

Written for the Sunday Whirl wordle.

Shared at IGWRT and dVerse Poets open link night.



Filed under Poetry, Poetry - Prompts

41 responses to “What the Earth Remembers

  1. MAN, this is powerful, Mark. I started to cut and paste a couple of my favorite lines, and then realized I’d be repeating just about the entire poem. LoveloveLOVE “and the stain of death crawled/from the sea” and that last line, especially. Strong verbs, great descriptions, flawless wordle.

  2. Oh, this is lovely. Great imagery all through this and yes, powerful.

  3. Terrific poem. I’m loving the Whirl and exploring you guys.

  4. Beautiful, Mark. You’re the second to have a coffin!

  5. Mark, this is so lovely. I’ve read it three times. The earth is beautiful in your words.

  6. This is beautiful, Mark. The last stanza is awesome.


  7. Love your title, but also love poems about nature. This is excellent, but especially like that final stanza.


  8. So sad – so much grief in such a short space. Powerfully written.

  9. I’m with de as far as the cut and paste for various lines – you don’t have a weak one among the bunch here … love the artwork you used as well … this is such a poignant, strong piece.


  10. Love the opening stanza the most…the idea of memories buried, but still held by the willow.

  11. “The willow clings to memories
    buried in the mud of the riverbank.”

    Love this. This alone makes me weep for the earth.

  12. I believe this– every word in the order give– and sometimes fear that entire histories will leap up my legs into my heart when I merely walk on the earth that witnessed.

  13. Loved every word. Wonderful writing!

  14. hedgewitch

    The opening stanza is classic–it holds a potent image and sets the mood, and is about as good as a couplet can get–the rest of the poem rises to meet it. This made me think of the japanese tsunami, though that may not be what you had in mind, and the loss, and the unsuspected violence under nature’s calm, so similar to our own emotions.

  15. She must remember it all, I suppose. Nothing is lost. Energy changes but is eternal. She must remember it all.

  16. Great Mark. Powerful poetry. Thanks for this.

  17. ah, excellent. and it takes quite an effort for me to work the tangles from my hair 🙂

  18. Your use of nature to illustrate the build up of emotional tension in is magnificent. Really strong piece.

  19. Like Adrian, I just love the last stanza too.

    Shadows form her corona
    as she attempts to brush
    away grief like a tangle
    from her hair.

    Rings so emotionally true! You used the wordle words exceptionally well. They are lost within your poem!

  20. Late to the party…I too like the last stanza. I remember as a child having awfully tangles in my hair…perhaps from the tossing and turning of nightmares? I had to deal with death early, though I didn’t get much help from the adults around me at the time.
    I’ve a story verse this week:

  21. Very nice work! I had a coffin in mine as well. Good wordling.

  22. hedgewitch

    Yep–still good–well worth a second read (and this time I’m really liking the last stanza.) Thanks for sharing this with us at dVerse, Mark.

  23. Such a strong piece, Mark.
    Really works when read aloud, the words are so well chosen and complementary. Terrific!!
    ~ j

  24. poemsofhateandhope

    beautifully written…that second stanza I just soooo good

    Vessels skirt the ruin of wind-
    buffeted bluffs, forgetting
    when the stones trembled
    in fear

    Such metaphor in here as well….the memory of the trees, remembering the storms return… I guess we’ve all been here in our lives…we know when the winds pick up that sometimes we gotta brace ourselves….great poem

  25. vivid and intense imagery…and great emotion as well in thsi mark…this is top notch stuff…

  26. Line after line, this one just keeps coming. Excellent!

  27. Powerful and great!!!!!!!!

  28. oh wow, another fabulous poem, open link night is rocking this week…
    you had me at the first two lines, but it just got better and better from there, love the ending!

  29. ihatepoetry

    Very powerful, esp the last line.

  30. Strong images, accented beautifully by the picture below. Nice write, Mark.

  31. so strong throughout, Mark. From the clinging willow all the way to the tangle of grief. Great stuff.

  32. Oh those tough women…lol. Wow this had a great underbelly. Sweeping scope and controlled phrasing. Loved it.

  33. The opening to this was the hook to get me to read the whole poem..so glad I did.

  34. lovely and haunting….great use of ‘wordles’

  35. Great poetry and that last stanza is stellar.

  36. vivid images – sold personification

  37. Laurie Kolp

    I love the image you left us with!

  38. “to brush away grief like a tangle from her hair.” YES! The proof of a good poem is when you have worked the Wordle yourself this week and still the words don’t pop out at you. Also, “forgetting when the stones trembled in fear” might be a bad storm, or even the creation of humankind from the waters. Now THAT’S something to scare Nature, if we’re paying attention! Loved this, truly. Amy Barlow Liberatore

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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