Burning Tree Prayer

Flames fanned

screeching west winds

snarling monster

inks the sky in red
 frightened Witness

to death of millions
 hell looms

a stinking cloud

a scarlet specter 

 whole forests

charred beyond

 recognition

 fall.
Who will intervene?
Cease this suffering?
Assuage the pain?
Too many trees

  are dying
choked by blazes

torturing the

 Miracle Workers…

who turn
 light, air, water,

into Breath
Gifting

 Life to all

Placing my palms

on White Pine

the one that

told me

 I belong

gives me courage,

the nudge

I need to believe

Prayers flow

 through my hands

I use words too

 trusting palm to bark

I sense a pulse

 Something is listening

 spreading the message

Communication by air is

not distance dependent

 three Chickadees gather 
Oh pitch pine spruce
ponderosa lodgepole 
 you surrender

 against your will
Terpènes scream

dire warnings…

Some pray for people

I pray for you
 Spirit of Nature

gather each soul
   Trees of Life

 pine cedar birch

(too many to name)

Protect them

 Perpetrators

fear loss

of human lives

but spend 

not a moment

  weeping  

for you.


Smudged charcoal
soot and ash

smoldering skeletons

death on sticks

only you can 

purify the poison

left behind

Instead we kill you

___________________

gray ash cools

 silver rain

puddles

eons pass

________________


 one day 

Four million year old

 Patterns

 hidden behind blue sky

resurrect the holy 
 Seeds contain directions

rootlets burrow deep

Pattern and Seed convene

 in my dreams

I meet ribbed Redwoods.

  Postscript:

Witnessing for the burning of the forests in New Mexico and on the west coast feels intolerable until I drive down the road and witness the shredded uprooted forests, the bare brown mountains. Fires burn trees in the west and here in the north we slay them with the saw. One murders quickly, the other more slowly – either way, even as we lose them – death stalks humans too.

 

On this mother’ s day I give thanks for every tree that lives beginning with those on my land… stretching my heart into that forest that calls me to an arbutus* strewn woodland path to walk among her flowers…

Trailing arbutus (PICTURE ON TOP) is going extinct because we have destroyed most of its habitat. This plant like so many wildflowers has a complex and poorly understood relationship with the fungi and algae, the mycelial mat that stretches across and under the detritus healthy ( left alone) woodlands.

PS: WORDPRESS ROUTINELY CHANGES THE WAY I SUBMIT POETRY – THESE PECULIAR LINE BREAKS BELONG TO WORDPRESS NOT TO ME – I’M SICK OF TRYING TO RE-CONFIGURE THEM.

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