“The Palo Verde Weeps” #Haibun

I always love the beginning of the month’s poetry challenge because poets choose a form and write about the things that mean the most to them.

As the number of coronavirus infections and deaths continues to climb in Arizona, I leave at sunrise for my early morning walks to avoid contact with others. I’ve discovered it’s the best time of the day.

The Palo Verde Weeps

The coolness of the early dawn wraps around me like a shroud of mist, palpable but unseen. Perched high above, two mourning doves murmur a soulful greeting. The sun crowns the Palo Verde trees like a nimbus surrounding the mother goddess in celebration of another day.

light reveals the morn
with the first heat of summer
saffron blossoms fall

My mission is to visit this place undisturbed, for I seek no human contact, only the companionship of the desert spirits who live nearby. The shady path follows beneath a tree framed in brilliant light, its branches humming with bees dressed in pollen while the golden blossoms fall to the earth like rain.

the Palo Verde weeps

For this is the meaning of all life, the feel of the land beneath, and the tears from the trees above. Let this moment witness my sorrow and joy, grief and gratitude, for I am still alive. May the spirits of the land and sky bless us and those taken away too soon.

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Author: Colleen M. Chesebro

Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Novelist & Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction. She loves all things magical, which may mean she is experiencing her second childhood—or not. That part of her life hasn’t been decided yet. A few years ago, a mystical experience led her to renew her passion for writing poetry and storytelling. Colleen sponsors a weekly Syllabic Poetry Challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on her blog where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry. Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and several other publications. In November 2017, she won the “Little and Laugh” Flash Fiction Contest sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community. In 2018, she won first place for the “Twisted Travel” category. In 2019, she placed second in the Three Act Story category, with her piece called “The Game.” Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and black cat, Freyja. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.

52 thoughts on ““The Palo Verde Weeps” #Haibun”

  1. This is so heartfelt, Colleen. I can imagine you communing there in the early morning. Those photos are stunning!
    I had to look up these trees, and I discovered that the bark is green because they also take in nutrients through their bark; they can live to be over 100 years old, and you can eat the seeds and flowers.

    I also take my walks early though it’s usually a bit after dawn now since sunrise is at about 5:30–when I’m up but not ready to go out walking. 🙂

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    1. You know, when that sun hit the trees, I thought of you and your mom. It really struck me how precious life has become. This was a spiritual moment for me. The Palo Verde trees are my favorite. I planted them in my backyard as well. The leaves don’t process the chlorophil, the trunk does. The Sonoran desert is a special place.

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      1. When I first saw the photograph, I couldn’t figure out the two different colors of the tree, gold on the top, green on the bottom. I’m so glad you shared that special moment with us.

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      2. It was magical. When I talked further down the path, I stood under the branches and looked up at the blossoms. The bees were so loud but their humming was pleasant, like the rhythm of the tree breathing. ❤

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  2. Hello Colleen! Another great piece from you!

    I find that avoiding people when I take walks is very beneficial. Seeing empty streets is a great moment for self-pondering. I always come home refreshed, ready to continue writing poetry, taking photos, and working on my many projects.

    Taking the time to enjoy what we have is very important. Stay safe!

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    1. Oh, gosh… I’m still writing and researching for my new poetry book. No worries. If I seem absent, that’s where I’m at. We’re still staying inside and hiding from the virus. Hugs to you and the family. ❤

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  3. What a lovely walking path. Our neighborhood has sidewalks… (Not all in our area do) so even if there are many out walking it isn’t that hard to avoid others. I think though that most folks are friendly and wave and say hello in greeting and offer well wishes. We had a cold snap (yes some freezing in May!), but I am hopeful that the coldest weather is behind us.

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    1. Our neighborhood has sidewalk’s as well. This is the neighborhood across from ours. They have this lovely long rambling path for walkers that skirts the edge of the housing area. On the other side of the wall is the desert, in all its natural beauty. ❤

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      1. Years ago we had relatives that lived in AZ – though build up now, then only had to walk a couple of blocks to find desert. Does the wall keep the scorpions away, or just some of the bigger critters?

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      2. I’ve not seen any scorpions or snakes, but my neighbors share photos. I’ve seen a coyote, but nothing else. One friend captured a photo of a desert bobcat creeping along the wall. We’ve encroached on their territory, for sure!

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      3. Now I haven’t seen them, but neighbors say coyote live across the creek (in our back yards). I have seen red fox. We actually had a bear in the city last year!

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    1. Saffron colored-the Palo Verde tree is quite unique. The trunk is green as that is where the chlorophyll is made, not in the leaves like most trees. The Sonoran desert has some of the coolest plants.

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    1. This is my housing area. The desert around us is dry as you would expect. The Palo Verde trees grow wild. The trunks are green. All the photosynthesis happens inside the trunk instead of the leaves. The Sonoran Desert is an amazing place. ❤️

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