...quiet, about a lot of things...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Magnolia Plantation for Poetry Thursday

Touring a small part...ok, a very microscopic part of the south, on vacation was fascinating for me. There is a sinister graciousness to the cities I visited.

The people are certainly more graceful, more lyric than I. But a beautiful lace doily or a wonderful berry souffle can only distract, not hide.

Our tour guide at the Magnolia Plantation, spoke in barely veiled disgust of the union soldiers who burn the plantation house to the ground. It was a shame to lose all that history. True enough. But humans are more valuable than Chippendale furniture, and bone china.

The tram guide said very little about the civil war. Just this. That her grandmother, a very gentile and proper southern woman, only referred to that time as " the unseemly and distasteful unpleasantness with those others."

We drove by the slave quarters..and witnessed the acres and acres of trenches dug by the slaves to irrigate and drain the rice fields. Rice gave slaves enough energy to work to build the many mansions and prosperous cities. Life was considered a fringe benefit for them. While I suppose, wealth was considered a right for others.

Still, through all of the human treachery and turmoil, nature hangs simply unchecked, everywhere. Thriving in the moist air, fed by the wind. Carried by the rivers,to the great untouchables, the unknowables..where humans are but a brief distraction.

Magnolia Plantation

My eyes close.
It is Eden.

So many scents
mixing to form
Where all
gives all
self to be
here and part
of this.
A sum better
than it's parts.

The breeze
carries moss
to trees
adorning creation
with ribbons
wrapping beauty
in finishing detail.

My eyes open.
A tomb where lays
the first master
of this land,
though I am unsure
who made him so.

A good steward
it seems,
if measured by
one yardstick.

Gardens still
are ripe with
more abundant
fullness than
these banks
can contain.

This tomb,
a white mans tomb,
bears round granite
cherubs who look
serenly skyward .

Yet one is
missing his nose.
Shot clean off
by a soldier
with gun in one hand
and torch in another.

Taken in passing
I imagine,
as he stormed
up soft garden paths
to burn at
seats of power.

To pile new bones
on the old bones.

I fear he felt
no emancipation
coming that moist night.

He was just
a messenger.
There to tell
of a new
masta in town.

As wild winds rage
fueled by flames below,
the moss gently fled
from tree to tree.
To find a place
of peace high
in oaks
and unafraid.


Off to Poetry Thursday.....


posted by wendy at 10:20 AM


so much yummy imagery! i love it...and so powerful. love that last stanza...

7/19/07, 12:35 PM  

I sense the sorrow in your words. The slow pace and thoughts of a time in black and white.

7/19/07, 1:02 PM  

Fine post! I always wonder if you write them out longhand first, and then type and post them...? Or do they just come perfect the first time?

7/19/07, 1:03 PM  

That last stanza is amazing, as per usual!

7/19/07, 1:06 PM  

Amazing indeed, enjoyed that.

Got your entry in the contest too thanks.

7/19/07, 7:14 PM  

Great take on an ugly part of this place we love. I like the moss taking flight from the madness of men.
Also read your Dentist byte and am still laughing. I could be tempted to recline in his chair. The perks sound better than chamomile tea!

7/19/07, 8:34 PM  

I like the complications you've unearthed, how moss tells the story, "To pile new bones/ on the old bones."

I find The South complex. I love a lot of it, love "them" (family), but I think it's difficult for me, a westerner, to understand the culture.

I think you captured that, not only in the poem, but your introduction. I particularly appreciated the quote (of the woman who did not actually say anything, but pointed with her words.)

7/19/07, 10:11 PM  

It goes in and out. The flow, the usage of words, thoughts are so good in here.

7/20/07, 2:26 AM  

Exotic (to me) poem. Beautiful images - very strong and evocative. Powerful and political.

7/21/07, 9:01 PM  

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