Tuesday, February 9, 2010

the LadY BuG's pLiGhT

Everyday I sit upon this leafy pillow top.
Tho very green—it’s holey;
I can tell it wants to drop.
“Don’t sag, dear leaf. Don’t drag,” I say
But still it dwindles on.
Perhaps it needs a little tune,
This leaf I sit upon.

I hurried to the locust clan,
To urge them with this plea:
“You see,” I said, “it’s really sad,
if you’ll just come with me
I know that you could perk it up
With your sweet symphony.

They hopped and hummed and honed their tunes,
Struck up their bow-strung legs
And thus began to orchestrate
The finest of their plays.
The sweet sincerity of their song
Swallowed the sulky leaf above
They played a song of sun and fun
Of laughing and of love.

The leaf began to nod a bit
In peaceful reverie
But when the song came to an end
It sank in its roots by the tree.

“But no,” I thought, “this cannot be!”
Why has it not aroused?
It always worked for me,” And then,
“A-ha!!” I cried aloud. “
When music doesn’t do the trick
And happiness endure
Poems, sonnets, and prose, it seems,
Have always been the cure!”

I flew into the long tall grass
To find my dear friend Chimes
He’s never failed to cheer a soul
With poetry and rhymes.
“Chimes! Old Chap! How have you been?”
Tis sad it’s been so long,
It seems there’s been a small mishap
To a leaf out by the pond.”

He decided he should come along
To see what he could do
He’d want someone to do the same
If he were in a stew.
He looked upon the listless leaf
With grasshop-buggy eyes
Struck his fiddle bright and long to
Pull the leaf from its demise.

He recited William Shakespeare
“to thine own self be true”
Ralph Waldo, Robert Lowell
And Greek mythology too!
And then he made his own piece,
Spoke of light and life and dreams
The beauty of the earth and sky
And trees and bugs and streams.

But still the leaf sat sagging on
Heavy in its woe,
While Chimes and I sat sadly
On the rotting forest floor.

The praying mantis prayed for it
(then beheaded her new prey)
The earthworms tried to grovel…but
They do that anyway.
The sun and moon and stars and rain
Couldn't lift its waning head
We all began to wonder if
It would perish in its dread.

And then one day when spring was near,
The rainy season thru
A little sprig began to spring
Green life and hope anew.
The drooping leaf was in a daze,
The blossom at its side.
It never had before seen such
A Beauty, and it cried.

It seems the leaf was lonely,
In a stupor for its kind
He needed someone else to share
Life’s laugh with, and his mind.

My plight had now come to an end,
I couldn’t seem to solve
What nature knew that leaf would need
A new life-bringing love.


  1. Please critique this poem for me!

    What would you change to make it better/appeal more to you?
    What did you wish was included with this poem? (ie: images, more lines, more solutions to cheer the leaf?)
    What do you think the strong points of the poem were?
    Your favorite part?
    What needs some work?
    Did the music help facilitate the picture painted in the stanzas? Or did it hinder?
    Please share any other thoughts you had while reading the poem.

    Thank you!

  2. As if I wouldn't have time to comment... :)

    Well, I LOVED the imagery! I loved the relation that the leaf had to real life. How we are all a little down and lonely until we find that special someone. That one person to enjoy life's happiness and sadness.

    Didn't hear any music...

    The only suggestion would be that some lines have too many words... For example, To pull the leaf from its demise. When read with the entire stanza seems to not follow the rhythm.

    Same with "There, on the decaying forest floor." There are just too many syllables to me. I may be COMPLETELY off with these. But that's what I felt could be better.

    I really love this though! I am excited to read more of your poetry. I might want to frame this one for my house or something. ;)

  3. When I read this poem I was able picture everything. I loved the images that were created. I liked how the lady bug took it upon itself to help cheer up this leaf and how it brought others to try and help but in the end the leaf was just waiting for the thing it needed most. I liked that way you described how sad the forlorn the leaf was, I think people can relate to how that leaf felt.

    At first when I read it I was a bit suprised at some of the words that were used to create the images. Such as "copulated". But going back and reading it again I found that it fit.

    The line "To tell beg them with this plea:" Seemed off to me. I don't know as though you need to use both tell and beg, I think you could leave out the tell part.
    And the line (copulated with her prey) the imagery fits but the line doesn't fit with the rest of it, almost like it was thrown in as an after thought.

    After knowing you for as long as I have known, it shouldn't have suprised me at yet another talent that you have! I really enjoyed the poem, I found myself sympathizing with the leaf and wanting to help the lady bug find a way to make it feel better and the poem made me laugh, it was great!!

  4. This is an ode to the "symphonic reverie" that lives inside Ash's head. It is absolutely telling, beautiful and full of fascinating imagery.

    It spoke to me in a wonderful way; all the times in life when i fight against the natural course of the universe. I connected with the lady bug simply because i find myself always wanting to fix everything around me. I expend so much of my energy on situations I really have no control over. "Nature knew that leaf would need", is a wonderful message for us all. I also enjoyed the fact that the sprig did not spring until after the rainy season.

    There are many clever and subtle messages to these words. Well done Ash. Keep writing!! Keep expressing!! You have a beautiful voice.

  5. I got this one! And not just the surface stuff, the deeper meaning too. I thought it was very, very good. Jasen pretty much describes all that I was thinking about the meaning so dido him.
    These lines didn't seem to flow very well to me:

    The leaf began to nod a bit
    In peaceful reverie
    But when the song came to an end
    It sank in its roots tree.
    (mostly just the last 2 lines. too many syllables)

    But still the leaf sat sagging on
    Heavy in its woe.
    While Chimes and I sat sadly
    On the rotting forest floor.

    I don't think you needed to have any more 'solutions'. There were two longer descriptive ones and then the last paragraph that had a few. I think that amount depicts that the lady bug tried quite a few things, but it doesn't make the poem drag on.

    Very well done Ash! Sorry I don't have more constructive comments. Remember, you pick up where I slack off :)

  6. I really liked this poem. I read it back a second time to Isla and she smiled. So what more critique do you need?

    But in seriousness.
    I thought it was beautifully descriptive. I pictured reading this as a brightly illustrated picture book to my child.
    I think it came from your soul. Anyone that knows you knows your sincere desire to take away any pain that afflicts those you come in contact with. This is just another way of you demonstrating that wonderful trait.
    It had a great message.
    I, too, felt something awkward with the line:

    It sank in its roots tree.

    I don't know why, it just didn't fit.

    I also LOVED the lines:

    The praying mantis prayed for it
    (then beheaded her new prey)
    The earthworms tried to grovel…but
    They do that anyway.

    For their comic relief. It was sort of a sarcastic "adult humor".

    If I had to critique something I would say the words "it seems" were used to begin lines repeatedly and not in a poetic sense that I could tell. For instance, the last two paragraphs began with It seems and I almost thought I was reading the paragraph over again. Maybe switch that up a little?

    I love it Ash, beautiful poem, beautiful soul you have.