Tuesday, December 22, 2015

below an old growth forest

a community in the soil

it’s easy to be impressed by visible thrusts
within an old growth forest, 
the great trunks of trees whose lives match countries
and dwarf the human life-span,

now I’m intrigued by the roots below it all,
they who have intertwined and commingled 
since the last ice age, never dying away completely, 

individuals pass and dissolve away back into the whole,
now the hemlocks die so much en masse 
that sun and blackberries have their time on the ground,

I wonder what consciousness imbues the roots,
what connections? communication? community?

the roots as a community have endured for millennia,
and though I probably can never know just what goes on
in the intertwined mass of their lives,
I care about them anyway.

the whales sing to each other,
and we don't quite understand it,
and it is enough for me, for now,
to appreciate that something extraordinary exists below
that I cannot yet fathom.

by Henry H. Walker
December 27, ’15

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