When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

-Maya Angelou

Backwoods

farmhouse by the side of the road

dogs loved and lost

sumac fading to rose

where have you been?

what have you been told?

a warm rain dribbles on my mountain pained skin

alerting me…simplicity must come around again

there has been no shame to the backroads, traveled from within

lost in the wandering towards autumn’s color

reminds me of the hot touch of sun on cotton

have I traveled so far that there maybe a rejection of nature’s law

or, is there possibility that I can wait until spring’s thaw?

Why go to the woods?

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms…Henry David Thoreau

Why do I go to the woods? The nature of things will always understand me better than I know myself.

Do You Hear…What I Hear

I hear the angels of the golden age sing

I hear it and I know you do too

Raven-ly delicate Blue Jays, clear and virginal, as they sing

Morning Doves in the clasp of joy

Gray squirrels cattle calling for autumn’s deliverance

This is a bell that tolls for only me

and…

This is the bell that rings for those unlike me

This is a clamour from the untamed

This is where the earth will remain