Dance of Leaf Flames


I dance with the dead,
revel in the fallen splashes
of color as they haunt the wind.
Oak leaves that summer stained blue sky
with paint brush leaves of green now
fall in cascades of orange and red.
Limbs stripped to their wooded bones
speak of winter coming to frost night
with sparkled shivers of dreams roaming indigo.
Caught in swirls of leaf flames I feel
my childhood open its door of wonder
to memories of the oak cradling my secrets.
Standing on sturdy roots I let them feed my spirit
the power of resiliency to grow even in a world
that seeks to mold me into something other than myself.
Dear Oak, you mothered me when I had no voice.
Taught me how to bend without breaking, find the song
in my tears and find grace when smothered in drought.
©Susie Clevenger 2023






Sherry Blue Sky said…
Susie, I love this poem so much. Your imagery is wonderful, so many visual pictures, appealing to the senses. And your closing stanza says it all - "taught me to find the song in my tears". Wow. I'm so happy you stopped by What's Going On.
Mary said…
Stunning writing, Susie. Filled with color and feelings. I enjoyed reading what the oak taught you. And I feel as Sherrie does about the last stanza! Beautiful.
Susan said…
"Caught in swirls of leaf flames I feel
my childhood open its door of wonder . . ."
Color takes me there too, particularly color in motion, as this poem very much presents it--aswirl and aflame! Weren't we lucky to learn our lessons from trees with such deep and connected roots?
Sumana Roy said…
It's a beautiful feeling to be lost in the colors of the tree and wake up in its truth. Lovely.

Your poem reads of your close bond with that oak tree.
It is as a family member for you and your memories.
A most beautifully descriptive experience told vividly.
Loved this poem very much.