Trees in southern Georgia
Spanish moss dripping sensuously
Like liquid off the limbs
Clinging like dainty lace
To the ancient boughs and leaves
And dipped elegantly like a woman
Feeling for a firm place
to set an expensively shod foot
Onto the murky ground below.
One tree in particular
With most interesting curves, swells
In its many wondrous branches
And its trunk bent just so
Reminding of a woman’s neck
Green tendrils of unruly hair
Wisping down and around
Draping the secret places
And keeping them remote.
- Mary O. Fumento, 2006
Years ago I saw some trees in Georgia on some sort of boat tour through some very swampy landscape. The Spanish moss dripped sensuously like liquid off the limbs, clung like an incredible dainty lace to the trunk, and dipped elegantly like a woman feeling for a firm place to set an expensively shod foot onto the murky ground below. One tree in particular had the most interesting curves and swells in its trunk, and it reminded me of a woman’s neck. The moss was like tendrils of unruly hair, wisping down and around.
What kind of forest has feminine trees? This one did, and I would like to capture what I saw. I am not an observant person, but sometimes small detail just grabs my attention and won’t let go. So I try to extract it and form it into words.
Ironically, I rarely compose poetry at the computer. I have many notebooks / workbooks where I start my thoughts, scratch them out and revise, refine, reform until I get the words where I want them. Some of the thoughts never get fully formed, but I may revisit them and rework them even if nothing comes out of them. Many times the exercise of reading what I wrote before sends me off on a new direction with a completely different topic.