Diane Martin – Two Poems – 4

On Ripping up Ancient Trees
by Diane Martin

Up on a hill overlooking
Al Waliya, the ancient strong
roots of an olive tree dig deep
in earth, its supporting, sustaining

old home all a-tremble, awaiting
the grumbling machines of destruction,
the metal bulls down the road. Keep
watch dark olive eyes; quiet clinging

fear; reach out your slender, sun-shaded
lean tendrils with branches suspended
from peace-keeping duty. Now strife
symbols. Stoic stay. Caesar’s been rendered

what’s God’s to build battlements. Hindered
by no earthly power, thus slandered
with barbed-wire and concrete lies, life
is erased, this light source interred.

October 23, 2015
Šibenik, Croatia

Frost Forest
by Diane Martin

“The frost is thick upon the pane.”
                             (Edna St. Vincent Millay)

Hurtling into the frost forest, 
I reel without steeling my sense
against woodland travail, or wrest
clothing for stinging cold. So dense.

Is it mist or steam, smoke or fog?
I can’t see the forest for the etched ice
twigs, branches that crackle and flog,
incandescent? Will this suffice?

Do moonbeams invert tall spires,
negative signposts—a cross tops
that one—or are frozen rime wires
blinking a message? “Your pass stops

here.” Danger surrounds. Do not lure
fancy further. Snare dawn. Demur.

May 24, 2018
Sansepolcro, Italy

Diane G. Martin, Russian literature specialist, Willamette University graduate, and winner of the Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction, has published poetry, prose, and photography in numerous literary journals including New London Writers, Vine Leaves Literary Review, Poetry Circle, Open: Journal of Arts and Letters, Breath and Shadow, The Willamette Review of the Liberal Arts, Portland Review of Art, Pentimento, Twisted Vine Leaves, The Examined Life and many others.