Hunting for weeds or worse

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Hunting for weeds or worse

Post  tsukany on Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:49 am

Barren Fig Tree

A master came looking for fruit,
a return on his investment.

He moved under the canopy,
looked deep into a barrage
of foliage, deep toward the core.  
He scoured eye level, up, then down.  

Expectations. Unfulfilled.  
   Drop that trunk
   and let the cord wood dry.

Today, Marla came in
just as the rest of the class
was leaving.  She’d been

a week in The Ward, nursing  
her core, looking for figs. She
was still close to feelings that
she’d been a waste of space,

taking up so much soil, when others
clearly are fruit full.

--Todd Sukany  17 March 2015
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Barrenness

Post  Pat on Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:06 pm

Parable.  I remember, but I looked it up anyway.  Big judgment.  No mercy.  Frustration with the tree not producing fruit.  (Usually fig trees do produce after 3 yrs.) I like "Drop. . . . dry."   Well said.  Then, you brought it into the present with Marla.  Actually, I expected you to have the teacher condemning, but no, you have Marla showing herself as barren.  Human stuff.  Aren't we hard on ourselves and the last to forgive ourselves and seeing others as having lots of fruit compared to ourselves.  She'd been in rehab or the ward, so she was at the end of herself.  No pride here.  May expect condemnation (the worst) from the teacher too, but does not get it.  I like it when a poem is on two or more levels.  Parallels.  I think you achieved that. 
  Stanzas are interesting 2,4, 3, 3, 4, 2.  Easy to read.  No puzzles. I like that you are showing more human stuff in your poetry.  Drawing on the Bible.  Nice how you showed barrenness in our common world. 
  Sparseness still there.  I'll be interested to see if others can weed this garden.  I don't see anything to pluck.  Good job.

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Re: Hunting for weeds or worse

Post  Karen on Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:28 am

I love juxtaposition, and the parallel drawn here is compelling.

I don't want the woman to have a name, though.  I don't know why.  Perhaps it's the parable feeling.  I want to offset the master in the first part with a similar designation for Marla in the second part.  I can't settle on a word.  Perhaps set the stage ("past the crisis"?) and refer to Marla only as "she."

I also want the two parts of the poem to mirror more closely in form, but that is probably my pitiful tidiness running amok.
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Barren Fig Tree

Post  Dewell H. Byrd on Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:12 pm

"Marla" didn't fit with me either.  I like "she".... or a modern version of Ruth, Mary, etc.  And the title: try deleting fig and putting it in first stanza... might add more mystic.  Loved the parallel scenes... and the poem being left open at the end so my imagination could drift with the poem.
I read the poem to my fig growing neighbor who saw Biblical connotations.  No hard digging, struggles with this poem for me... I saw what I wanted to see first read in spite of author's real meaning.  Loved it.  Dewell

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Hidden fruit

Post  dennis20 on Sun Mar 29, 2015 4:47 pm

Todd,  Ignoring the parable, the poem has balance as Pat pointed out. 2,4,3,3,4,2 makes it eye appealing and easy to read. I think the line that stands out is "expectations unfulfilled."  We tend to want to judge ourselves harshly thinking what we see is what everyone else see.  We forget that others aren't privvy to our private thoughts.  They cause us bias. And, we tend to "always" want the harshest punishment--drop the trunk and let the cord wood dry. The healing process is when we own our weaknesses. The name didn't bother me, but may have made it too personal for some of the others. It may have jerked the reader back to reality, back into the here and now.  I liked it.  For the parable--Master should have been capitalized.

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