Aspen Grove


It’s Monday and I have now spent a week contemplating a Tuesday challenge from Margo Roby, “Today we have our monthly image prompt — I hear the cheers. I know you love the images. An image can be freeing or constraining, depending on how you approach it.

Now, I had promised a pot luck day, today, so you may happily browse the Net for a painting, or a photograph that yells ‘Helloooo!” as you go by. Or, you can look at the photograph I will post for those with no Net time this week and see what it sparks.

Things to remember when using an image as inspiration: The poem does not have to bear any apparent relationship whatsoever to the image that inspires it.

My image is this one:
To say that I got lost in this image is an understatement. I am trying my hand at haibun.

Aspen Grove

The straight stillness of the trees captured my attention first. Sense memories of Taos came later: the bright blue sky, the smell of frybread wafting through the Pueblo, the Andean flutes in the warmth of the late of afternoon sun, the lingering heat of chiles on my tongue. Yet in the forest, the trees are still and pale in the cold winter light.

black-scarred aspen trunks
memories frozen in time
les ojos de Dios

Aspen forests often grow from a single root. The largest known single organism on earth is an aspen grove of over 100 acres. Each tree is a clone of the one next to it.

rime-encrusted twigs
mirror the mother root below
speaking without sound


3 thoughts on “Aspen Grove

  1. Haibun is my favourite form. I love the way it works here — your line ‘memories frozen in time’ resonated. I have been working for some time on a poem about the Basque sheepherders who carved memories and messages into aspen trunks. The second haiku just plain resonates. the photo is stunning.

  2. I spent so much time staring at the photo and noticing those “eyes” on the trunks, as well as visualizing the twigs as dead ringers for our nervous system that I found it hard to zero in on a form, much less any words to use. There is so very much I wanted to say that didn’t get said, so I guess I’ll be “working for some time” too, to see what else I can do with this photo. The idea that this was taken near Taos, which I’ve only visited once, but which filled me with enough sensory images for a lifetime, was an unexpected piece of serendipity, as well.

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