Peaceful Soil

The Lovely Details of Blooming

Good roots avoid the sunbeams.
They much prefer the dark
Away from light and sources bright.
They love the mysteries of night.
That’s where they leave their mark.

But leaves prefer the sunlight.
That’s where they dream to toil
And offer all until the Fall
To help their Whole stand true and tall
Then rest on peaceful soil.


“The roots are also incredibly light-sensitive; but in contrast to the leaves, they don’t like light at all.” Stefano Mancuso and Alessandra Viola, Brilliant Green: The Surprising History and Science of Plant Intelligence, Island Press, translated by Joan Benham, 2015, page 50. If you think plants are vegetables, this book is worth reading.

Linked to dVerse Poetics hosted by Björn Rudberg with “soil” as the prompt.
Linked to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads for their Tuesday Platform imagined by Marian.
Photo: “The Details of Blooming” by the author. The scene is from the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

89 thoughts on “Peaceful Soil”

  1. I don’t know about the meter, but I dug the message, and rolled along with the rhyme & poetic rhythm. I tend too shy away from structured rhyme, endeavoring to create rhythm within the dancing undulating stanzas, as my words dart & hop & play within the spaces on the page–hoping there will be a visual ( & often auditory) component as part of the reader’s experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked the message, Glenn. That is the whole point of writing anything, to communicate something. I find rhyme and meter easy. There are other ways to make words sound nice and the sound is important to keep the readers’ interest however it may be done.

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  2. I like the form here, 7, 6, 8, 6. Rhyme okay too but it tends to get lost on me. Would anothet stanza third tree part, the structure/framework (trunk and branches) have fit in? It would very likely meddle with contrast.
    ..

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    1. I could have made this longer, but I was fascinated by Mancuso and Viola’s portrayal of leaves and roots which only had two parts. Apparently trees even know their own seedlings and give them space to grow underground. That would have been another topic to present.

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    1. They all work together. I even found in the Mancuso and Viola book that trees even know which seedlings are their own and help those seedling grow by making room underground for them to establish their own roots. Thanks, Kim!

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    1. They are smarter than I realized. I also learned that 99.5% of the earth’s biomass is plant-form which sort of makes sense now that I think about it. Thanks, Rosemary!

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    1. Yes, it is a metaphor in the way I presented it. The leaves are like us, but all metaphors break down at some point which allows for other metaphors and their truths to share our attention. Thanks, Maria!

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  3. AboVe
    So BeLoW
    iNsiDe OutsIde
    all aRound Roots
    are iNtroverts and
    Leaves are Extraverts…
    saVe the
    Leaves..
    Free the Roots..:)

    NoW OtHer Than
    thaT.. mY friEnd
    Frank.. POetry
    IS A
    DreAM
    thaT LiVes on
    foreVermorE NoW as Words..
    And nOw wHen we DancE and
    SinG iT toGeTheR We BeCoMe MoRe..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fascinating! It made me think … if the left and right philosophies of capital distribution could actually work together as leaves and roots in different seasons rather than the polarised, black-or-white interpretation too prevalent nowadays.

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    1. The leaves and roots work together altruistically. They do compete to some extent with other species which seems more like what happens with left and right philosophies. If there were a way competing groups could become cooperative then things would change. Common threats may bring competitors together to help each other.

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      1. I do think they work together altruistically; what I had in mind was, in the personification of the two, the leaves might claim they are the generators of “wealth” while the roots believe they are the foundation of “society” whose sweat and toiling provide the labour for the “system”. In some “systems”, the evergreen, they don’t expect return from the “capitalists” or “elites” any more than a “tax” of glucose; but in many other, in some way or another, those “systems” expect at least some seasonal or partial redistribution of capital. Sorry if I took the random thought too far!

        On your thought about relationship between trees, perhaps part of what we thought of as competition among trees may actually be cooperation. I find this TEDTalk a wonderful science lesson on how trees talk and work with each other. If you have the time, I highly recommend it! 🙂

        Suzanne Simard: How trees talk to each other

        https://go.ted.com/Cyk3

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      2. Yes, I’ve seen Suzanne Simard’s TED talk. I suspect there is a lot more cooperation than we can imagine. I heard about Mancuso and Viola’s book, “Brilliant Green”, from a HeartMath webinar recently that also referred to Simard’s work. The HeartMath institute ultimately wants to set up a global network of connectors between computers people own and the trees around them which I think is a promising idea. However, I’m a little disappointed with “Brilliant Green”. I was looking for more research findings and less polemic in favor of plants. I already agree with them that plants are intelligent.

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    1. I’m glad you liked it, Bekkie! That scene in the Botanic Garden is one of my favorites in the spring. The blooms are breathtaking. If I see an open link day on Toads or Poets United, I’ll try to link to all those places.

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      1. I’m still trying to get back into the swing of writing and reading. It’s easy to write and share, but when I don’t get a chance to read the others I feel so bad. And I should! Taking time off always makes my readership go down but it only makes sense. Lately I’ve been so preoccupied and I can’t put my finger on it. I ride my bike, sure, but all of a sudden the week is gone. Perhaps I’m just slowing down. Here it is Tuesday again and I’ve not done much. You are always one of the first ones to read and write. How do you do it? Have a great week!

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      2. The week goes by pretty fast for me as well although I do feel reasonably busy. It is good to read other people’s poetry, but I think you have a book you are working on. That should be a priority. I only respond to a few of the poems that are available in the reader or my email.

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