What the Trees Say

From KJ 75: BIODIVERSITY, BY TAOLI-AMBIKA TALWAR,
photograph by Sato Tokihiro

 

[audio:http://www.kyotojournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/What-the-trees-say-new.mp3|titles=What the trees say-new]

 

Birds had stretched their wings for a while

knocked on trees, called from tree to tree

yawning with dawn peach-gold sifting

 

her way into our sleeping minds. Awaking

even the copper green sage lichen

leached into barks of tapering cedars

 

tall, stately, fragrant with longing.

I walked into a cathedral of trees,

where moss hung in filigreed strips,

 

where wood eaten by time

awaited the hymnal of its form,

before turning to red dirt. Or brown.

 

Trees were green with gloss; crowds filtered

into my little head while my feet longed

to curl up, be still from all this searching.

 

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When I have wandered into forests,

trees have held me, told me of their origins—

the miles they have traveled; Now, they show me

 

their enmeshed roots like our destinies

intricately criss-crossed before time revealed

our beginning and our endlessness.

 

I asked for these myriad roots to travel farther

through the core to other ends of earth

so each tree could know sister and cousin

 

so each tree could sustain earth layers, relatives.

And when time comes for the devastation,

I asked for trees of all genes and systems

 

to keep the dirt whole even if waters

spill over and when they dry in creeks.

I know they listened, for sap on my fingers,

 

a leaf twirled tracing the morning air

fell on my cheek; insects, birds called fiercely

from 11 directions.  Even a butterfly

 

fluttered near me in an innocent twist of time.

Squirrel scoured broken trees for morning victuals.

All I could hear was the hum of beginnings

 

as wings brushed leaves lichen longing.

Our common destiny rests in damp earth deserts

rocks rivers whose skies remind with stories

 

old and new across borders lands planets cosmos

woven with grammar of divinity. When shall we

celebrate our skins filigreed with dirt? When awake?

 

As forests have done and we have ached for!

Is it true that we hunger for nourishment?

Do we have the food to salve our hunger?

 

To feed each other in bowls of gold before

time runs into its own cave, curls up, goes to sleep?

All Taoli-Ambika knows is to write what the trees say!

 

This time.

 

Is it not true that everyone hungers for nourishment?

Is it true that everyone hungers to feed another?

 

 

 

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2 Responses to What the Trees Say

  1. Stephen Rosen Ph.D says:

    The poets journey and searching…reminds me of my eternal journey

  2. lin ostlr says:

    I adore the loamy, sylvan ecosystem that grows in the soul here. Thanks for raving up my 46th Earth Day celebration with poesy.

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