What Things Grow Under A Magnolia Tree?

What Things Grow Under A Magnolia Tree?

A Poem by Wesley Dingler
"

(2016 Clay County Alabama)

"

(From The Shifting Winds of Sanity)

To Cindy Ligon--

For what I learned of poetry, thank her.

For what I did not, blame me.

 

 

 

Look closely, and I know you’ll see,

how things seldom grow under a Magnolia tree…

Other than a cluster of Magnolia leaves.

The accumulation of pods going to seed.

The drawing of the deepest shades,

accompanied by the recreational breeze.

 

And more and more pods of glowing seeds

that only seem to grow in these

threatening types of soil.

Also, I know you’ve seen

these pods of glowing seeds

burnt to a crisp

or brought to a silent broil.

 

Look closely and I’ll show you these

pods of glowing seeds

lying crisply upon the soil...

A soil that, after a rainy May,

may turn to a hardened clay.

 

As if the county-seat

were founded on these

patches of hardened clay...

 

    Nothing grows there, they say.

 

 

But, every now and again,

you may see a boy grow into a man,

shielded by these thickly leaves--

amid these pods of glowing seeds--

 

Saying to you, “No worries. The

accumulation of leaves is not only

thickly, but, well, cushiony.”

 

Shocked to see anything

growing amid these pods of glowing seeds,

I sought to see anything

the boy had interest in showing me.

 

As he stood, I could see

(as I’ve seen it often in memories),

in his hand, he

carried only a pen, a paperback King,

and his own binder of saturated loose-leaf.

 

Even at such a distance, I

saw the torment that rages

someplace behind his eyes.

 

Nevertheless, he is ageless

in the way that he smiles.

 

He knows fear...

Indeed...

But, none of that grows either

under the Magnolia tree.

(isn't it a treat to see?)

 

He has great ideas in his mind.

He is told to leave them behind--

in pursuit the of other things.

 

And, there are winters

when his mind splinters,

there under the dormant Magnolia tree--

and it doesn’t seem

like such a bad theme,

when they mention pursuing other things.

 

“But, aren’t other things,”

he will likely say,

on his better days,

“for other people--and not for me?”

 

I would say the boy

took my heart with his words;

but we have the same heart,

this boy and I.

 

The boy soon asked me to leave.

For in his home (some forty or so feet),

he heard that voices were raised.

And, like a young brave,

he stood to his feet,

his binder of loose-leaf,

now closed. I now know

what he feels in his bones...

 

The Magnolia tree--

far older than he or me--has be

come his mind's home...

A place where imagination roams;

even in houses--

even in homes--

where love and life have all but flown.

 

Vanished into thin air--

to hide in the mind

and in the eyes

of just such a child--

when his own thoughts turn bare.

 

If you will look closely,

I know you’ll agree

how things seldom grow

under a Magnolia tree--

(it is a rarity, indeed,

to see something

grow under conditions like these)

other than a cluster of dried Magnolia leaves…

The accumulation of pods going to seed.

The drawing of the deepest shades,

accompanied by the recreational breeze.

 

And more and more pods of glowing seeds,

that only seem to grow in these

threatening types of soil.

 

(i have seen imagination grow--

seen it become a home--

a house--a whole--

always home--

never alone--

 

    but

 

not crowded like

the home that houses his fears

(those threatening types of soil),

where nothing but torment seems to grow--

at least for a child, living in his own mind).

 

I know you’ve seen these pods of glowing seeds

You’ve heard them cracking beneath your feet,

like the quiet whispers of shattered dreams.

 

Look closely and I’ll show you these

pods of glowing seeds

lying crisply upon the soil...

A soil that, after a rainy May,

may turn to a hardened clay.

 

As if the county-seat

were founded on these

patches of hardened clay...

 

    Nothing grows there, they say.

© 2020 Wesley Dingler


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Featured Review

I loved every word Wesley.
"The Magnolia tree--
far older than he or me--has be
come his mind's home...
A place where imagination roams;
even in houses--
even in homes--
where love and life have all but flown."
The above lines, so good my friend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and you outstanding poetry.
Coyote

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wesley Dingler

2 Months Ago

Thanks Coyote. I was just reading over this early this morning I was still so moved by it I decided .. read more
Coyote Poetry

2 Months Ago

I am glad you did and you are welcome my friend.



Reviews

First, this nearly brought me to tears. Growing up a little different myself and often in my own head, I started writing early. No poetry, but short fiction and weirdly pieces about life and people, not genre specific. This swept me along, sometimes the breeze a little too frigid for comfort. The form is exquisite, I have no idea what form it is but it lends to the tone and nostalgic feel. Look away, nothing special here except....yeah. Thanks for this, every once in a while you hit on a truly special piece, and this is one of those.

Posted 6 Days Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wesley Dingler

6 Days Ago

Thank you so much Crowley. I'm pleased this verse sank its teeth into you so deeply.
dear Poet... "the quiet whispers of shattered dreams"...
aging is like a Magnolia blossom... it is seen in the warm
weather, especially if you have a second floor with a huge window that overlooks
your neighbors Old Magnolia tree and you can see so many blossoms because your
house is much taller than the neighbor's house. It is a pleasure to read your poem...
as it reminds me of what most of us as young children experience. I enjoy writing
poetry as it stirs all the fallen leaves into a big pile that nourishes the earth and all
that abide therein. Therefor, I understand your poetry. Be blessed. truly, Pat

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wesley Dingler

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you, Patricia. I'm glad this resonated well with you.
something grew here, something many of us can relate to. I, for one, as this took me to a couple places in my life. To Vermont, running and jumping into the pile of beautiful maple leaves in the yard of the place we stayed during vacations.
Couldn't get enough of it. Even as a little kid, I had an imagination that saw things a little differently.
Eventually I grew to start writing thanks to the influence of a close poet friend and being in college listening to Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel albums...
I started writing in a frenzy...and compiled 10 notebooks worth of stuff. My dad said to me. "nice hobby but don't take it to seriously, you can't make a living from this"---
the leaves fall, the seeds lie but then poems grow, and as poets age, the tree they have become is noticeable ....
j.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago


Wesley Dingler

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you J. I love it when my work takes someone to new places or back to places they could never f.. read more
WOW!!
This is so very well written,
I love this, it was very nice and nicely written

Posted 1 Month Ago


Wesley Dingler

2 Weeks Ago

Thank you May. I apologize for not replying in a timely fashion.
Very lengthy write but worth the read. Love the imagery you write with, very well written and quite an awesome read.

Posted 2 Months Ago


Wesley Dingler

2 Months Ago

Thank you for enjoying Ang
I must've read this back when I had severe memory issues & I could not remember anything I read . . . so it's to your credit that I vaguely remember reading this poem before. I remember loving the opening about things not growing under the magnolia tree, excellent analogy for so much in life. I don't remember such a long rambling storytelling aspect to this poem, but it's done with interesting fresh attention to detail. I just read a review wherein a poet-friend shared her experience with her abusive dad who beat her as a child, yet in his 80's, he turned a new leaf & became a better man. That goes to show that every once in a while like in your poem, something does grow in the most inhospitable places. I am not a fan of repetition & to me, this poem is too long to repeat the first 1/3 of the poem (for the most part) at the end. The first 1/3 is good, but not good enuf to repeat after such a long read (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Months Ago


Wesley Dingler

2 Months Ago

Haha I love you Mark. You once said you preferred the complex poetry of Wesley Dingler over the shor.. read more
A gorgeous poem dear poet. We do need some soft soil to grow things literally and figuratively. Sometimes we see some weed coming though hardened places like cement and they beg the question how did they do that? They might have found a crack or just by sheer force!
I feel a story unfolding sir and an eye opening experience. To jot down and let it out is therapeutic.
You are talented...

Posted 2 Months Ago


Wesley Dingler

2 Months Ago

Thanks Sam my man. Even your reviews are poetic.
Roll Tide.
Sami Khalil

2 Months Ago

You are welcome my friend. My pleasure. Roll tide and War Eagle.
I loved this poem. It tells a connected story in clarity and stream of consciousness. It was certainly a pleasure to read and I enjoyed the entirety. I love Magnolia trees too, especially when they're in bloom. Kudos on a job well done. F.

Posted 2 Months Ago


Wesley Dingler

2 Months Ago

Thanks Fab. I'm happy you enjoyed it. I'm the same way when magnolias blossom I put one on the dash .. read more
This makes my soul wear a smile.
You've come so far, my friend..... nothing grows there they say.
Well, we did, and may I say, I think quite beautifully.

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wesley Dingler

2 Months Ago

I agree. I think we've done an excellent job all things considered.
Allie Brumfield

2 Months Ago

Absolutely, we gotta give ourselves a little credit sometimes right? :)
I loved every word Wesley.
"The Magnolia tree--
far older than he or me--has be
come his mind's home...
A place where imagination roams;
even in houses--
even in homes--
where love and life have all but flown."
The above lines, so good my friend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and you outstanding poetry.
Coyote

Posted 2 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wesley Dingler

2 Months Ago

Thanks Coyote. I was just reading over this early this morning I was still so moved by it I decided .. read more
Coyote Poetry

2 Months Ago

I am glad you did and you are welcome my friend.

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Added on January 27, 2020
Last Updated on April 13, 2020

Author

Wesley Dingler
Wesley Dingler

SC



About
I was born in Central Alabama February 27, 1985. I'm a Piscean and love it. I began writing poetry and child stories at age nine. I began home schooling after the Sixth Grade, having a lot of troub.. more..

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