In quiet morning dew
I’ve walked the depth of forests true,
where once the giant firs had stood,
now blackened ashes, simply wood.
I see there midst the sooted scorch
where earth is silent from the torch
that laid its heart out bare –
and in the quiet solitude
I see recovery there.
In places only trunks are scarred
while boughs hold green and turning brown,
in others there is nothing left
but holes where roots once clung to ground
and now a blackened hollow.
Across the elevations seen
are perfect poles in black, serene,
whose shadows cast of perfect tines
cut angles to their perfect lines
and so create a lathe of death.
In fields where grass and sage brush stood,
now boney fingers of sprawling wood
reach to heaven from the plain,
yet green the grass and earth remain.
So walk, did I, in places where
these feet and heart have walked before –
today to feel the pain –
to sense the death and injury
and look for what remains…
The scent of quiet solitude
replaced by charred and blackened wood –
the soft and rich depth of the floor,
frail and aching in its sore
and rich exposed state.
Midst the standing dead I find
great giant’s cores who’ve tumbled blind
from where they held a hard earned home,
to land disjointed and alone
in fragments of their former self.
Yet through this walk I’ve realized,
by witness of the smallest ties
that life continues on –
For near my feet are stands of grass,
stands of sage and other class
of flora that’s meant to be
the pioneering starts of youth
that give to forest floor its truth
and nourish what remains.
I see the soil stand in hold
to grow against a rain’s hard pull,
and there imbibe the love of God
to start again, to build a sod
to nurture what comes next.
And years will pass,
yet within a few,
pines and aspens and sweet young yews
will spawn a virgin forest –
That time will lot its kindest care
to bring all birds and sweetest fare
of chipmunk and of marmot –
And so the woods will grow again,
and one day will invite me in
to sit amongst is oldest green,
to sit and write amongst serene
and alpine settings.
Tho’ today its pain I am regretting,
tomorrow will bring us more,
birthed within this forest floor
of scorch and soot and honored elder –
I walked today among the dead
and injured wood to clear my head
and pay homage to all the good –
the good past love it’s granted me –
and through its heart I clearly see
its love and nothing more.
We are of this nature,
Thank God for that, I’m sure.