This Poem was Submitted By: Rick Barnes On Date: 2005-03-17 18:07:15 . . . Click Here To Mail this Poem to a Friend!

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A Leaf Blooms In Maine

Always the source of such surprise, Such was the look that March In your eyes as one green leaf, On a blank white canvas Stretching across Maine, Arrived too soon. And I’ve no doubt, Premature as that, It would have succumb To the cold and acrid air Had not your glance Found it there And warmed it  Welcome to this world. That same leaf is somewhere leafing, Not leaf as we knew leaf But leaf being leaf after leaving, When leaf no longer leaves.

Copyright © March 2005 Rick Barnes

This Poem was Critiqued By: Turner Lee Williams On Date: 2005-04-04 02:27:25
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.69697
Rick–I've studied on this from several angles and feel it is two pronged. IMO, the first two stanzas present this post in one sense as a simple up front plain read: a sparse piece of flora germinating too early in a snow covered area in this particular seasonal state while being assisted to live by the sun. On the other hand, it can easily be a perplexing/complex metaphor for an early/troubled birth of a child-with its survival due to intervention from the creator. The tongue twisting allits saturating the 3rd stanza infer that the enity is no longer recognize- able to us and no longer available to us because it has gone on to fulfill its true destiny. Surely much deeper than it and its title appears. Sorry if I've misstated your intentions, but glad to read anything from you-smile. TLW

This Poem was Critiqued By: Claire H. Currier On Date: 2005-03-26 08:27:09
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.29730
Good Morning Rick......did not know you ventured into New England but to find this green leaf, alone, premature, as someone ventured across the opening picture you painted and the entire read that followed..........Of course I think of Spring time in New England, perhaps you have other thoughts in mind but the joy of reading and seeing belong to me now, you had your pleasure in presenting and sitting back waiting to see and feel the responses of the readers...... In closing I also enjoyed the way you played with the leaf using it over and over in so many ways.......kinda like you bounced it along till it was able to find a life of its own......Hope you are well and that this long winter was good for you. Thank you for posting, be safe, God Bless, Claire Maine is so beautiful even in the worse snow fall of the the ocean and the effect it has on me.......and the seagulls how they amaze me with their flight..........and this one leaf my friend could be an early arrival of new life as well............okay, I'm off to have more blood work.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne Duval Morgan On Date: 2005-03-23 08:43:01
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.80000
Oh Rick, I love the last quartraine, it's great using leaf for leaving, it just rings with such a pun, yetits placement is worthy of the poet you truly are. It's a neatly worded word, it creates drama, wondering what possibly can be next, and you take it to the etreme. It just makes sense to me, and I love the projection. Once again you write a poem of poem, carrying sensation, a lot of feeling contained, and it's so unique, I've commented on many of your works, but in my book this time you outdid yourself, and his poem deserves merit.Place, sensation, emotion, wow. When leaf no longerleaves, sums up the intent so well, great job my friend...congratulations. Best regards always...JoMorgan
This Poem was Critiqued By: Thomas Edward Wright On Date: 2005-03-20 10:34:40
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Ever the wordsmith: Barnes' barn never de-horsed, His poems, filled with fillies, Eat they from the hand? Sugar cubes no doubt. Laced with a fourletterword.
This Poem was Critiqued By: arnie s WACHMAN On Date: 2005-03-19 18:02:55
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 9.22222
Hmm. Is this akin to re-incarnation? That leaf may well be here where I live on the west coast. I live in a true rain forest so there is lots of leaves leafing and leaving. Whew. Quite the tongue twister. Note: should not "succumb" be past tense? ... succumbed? But behold, your white canvas will soon be adorned by colour, and then it is spring. Thanks for the post Rick. Nice one. Good title that fits the poem well.
This Poem was Critiqued By: Dellena Rovito On Date: 2005-03-19 15:53:02
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 8.83333
Hi Rick, Well put on your laughing hat! First of all a leaf is born/wrong time-premature. It is thought to die, but because of being noticed it was warmed with love. So it continued.... Reminds me of a child without love can hardly live..... That same leaf is somewhere leafing, Not leaf as we knew leaf But leaf being leaf after leaving, When leaf no longer leaves. Now this bit reminds me of everything changes from moment to moment until gone. Each moment is different from before so viewing would continually change. The time, the angle, the viewee, weather, emotion, neighbors, and it could never cease, the variables involved viewing that 'leaf'. Change seeims to be the idea I get.... always you write a thought filled poem. this is one to chew on. Hope your leafing too. dellena
This Poem was Critiqued By: Joanne M Uppendahl On Date: 2005-03-18 00:02:49
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick: It has been so long, yet ... no time. I think perhaps for me this poem is about the ephemeral nature of things. The first line hooks me; I settled there for quite a while, though I speed read the poem at first to hear it. My response to the poem is going to be completely subjective. I felt that like everything in my life, like every single day and each hour, each event, the poem surprised me. And the first line's "always" is always the way it is! What was the "green leaf" that arrived "too soon" -- perhaps the blossoming of a relationship, or a bit of hope, or maybe expectations -- or someone investing more meaning or permanence in what might become more real but was as yet undecided. But something did happen, something did change -- as in the 'ripple effect' when any one thing affects everything else. I am holding the image of the leaf arriving "on a blank white canvas/Stretching across Maine" in my mind's eye. It is enormous. And the "too soon" simply moans, for me. The deep vowels have a resonance -- a keening sound for what was lost. That may be me, projecting. But then something else surprising happens. The leaf doesn't succumb, because the glance of the 'you' in the poem "warmed it/Welcome to this world." And then again, it's 'about' the permanence -- not quite -- the persistence of things. Flash on, flash off. On, off. What is it that flickers? Who is it noticing the flicker? Now for the dessert, the part I raced to find, devoured: That same leaf is somewhere leafing, Not leaf as we knew leaf But leaf being leaf after leaving, When leaf no longer leaves. No one but you, Rick, could possibly write those lines. There is an eternity, an infinity there, "leafing." I am reminded of the test item in which logic questions are asked. Something like, "If all loofahs are quagmires, and some quagmires are orange, then some loofahs are orange." True or false? <smile> What is "leafing" -- "leaving" -- 'love' -- 'living' -- 'life' -- 'lifing'? But if you had to ask, it might spoil everything. I can't leave this one alone in my head. Yeah, it's me and it's late, but not that late. :) Man-o-man, as you might say, this is pure RB. Wait -- I forgot, "leaf being leaf" -- that hit me as perhaps the crux. The essence of being, being itself. Nothing can be lost -- and I forget that and am constantly surprised that it (what I believe I've lost) only needs welcome, again. If we were talking on the phone, I'd half expect you to hang up by now. But then again, you might be smiling and thinking, "What can I say to this bird-brain? If she doesn't get it, she's at least having a helluva good time trying to figure it out!" You've been heartily MISSED! Best always, Joanne
This Poem was Critiqued By: Troy D Skroch On Date: 2005-03-17 23:15:05
Critiquer Rating During Critique: 10.00000
Rick, I've read this poem so many times I have a headache. LOL That's just me being obsessive. First of all your writing is excellent. Great word choices, balanced, reads well, etc.... The content is where I see the genius of this work. First I read it as the observer seeing a leaf budding out to early in the spring and then almost suffering the fate that more cold weather brings. I get to see that in Wisconsin. Just when you think it's spring-bam, 12 more inches of snow. And we are going to get that tomorrow if the weather man I've been watching isn't just drunk or something. LOL But of course that's not what this poem is about, that's just the metaphor you used brilliantly to bring out the deeper meaning in your poem. Very good, time appropriate and above all communicable in it's reality and believability. Also very subtle and smooth in voice. Again, as I believe, good writing. Anyway, I take this poem and apply it to, lets say, an individual that is an overachiever; a person who's natural talents drive him or her to "leaf" out a bit to soon because of overconfidence or ignorance or false belief or whatever. The point is that they moved along to fast and got themselves in trouble. But, they're in luck. I think your stanza below saves this individual, whether it's a lover, teacher, friend, family member or just somebody who cares about life. Very touching. Had not your glance Found it there And warmed it Welcome to this world It's the last stanza that I really appreciate, because to me it says the author of this poem sees beyond the original character and has the ability to empathize with other similar situations. I derive this from the first line of the last stanza. That same leaf is somewhere leafing It's the following lines that give me some of the clues that I've struggled with. Not leaf as we knew leaf But leaf being leaf after leaving, When leaf no longer leaves. No I was wrong. That "same leaf is somewhere leafing". "Not leaf as we knew leaf," meaning not the state of the leaf we originally see at the beginning of this poem, but that leaf being leaf "after leaving." So it's about leaving, moving on into new ground. Oh that just fits. Duh, you would have thought I could have figured it out a little earlier. So in the last stanza you describe that leaf after it has left and no longer "leaves". Wow, what a play on words. I'll be reciting this tomorrow when I'm shoveling snow. Beautiful expression man. Loved it. And probably got it all wrong, but hey forgive me for my out loud thinking, and fill me in if you are not opposed to my asking. This definitely goes on my list. Thanks for your patience, Troy
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