Friday, March 6, 2020

the forest calls

I walk in their beauty

“Whose woods these are?”
Whose forest?

I love to walk in woods,
wherever I can find them,
trees can draw me,
as almost all of us are drawn by a waterfall,

we humans love right angles,
what we make usually has 90 degrees
as what is most right,
the tree grounds itself in the Earth,

and then reaches to the sky
in opposition to gravity,

the gravity which seeks to deny the sky
and hold us close to the beginning,
their journey up is of the right angle, reaching for the sun,
and establishing themselves as worthy of the light,
they can tell their story with shape, with flower, with grandeur,
and seek to continue the story with seed and nut,

or even with the quaking aspens’ answer
of roots remembering, and asserting with new trunks
the beachhead won, the advance continuing,

flowers draw me into the woods,
those most ephemeral gifts
who usually have to wait till the cold retreats
so that the phase change of water into ice
doesn’t wreck their dream
of making more of themselves,

witch hazel intrigues me
as it waits to flower,

winter pulls its flowers into being,

February is ending today,
snow and ice sit upon the mountain above,
and all the early wild flowers I sought today
bide their time and do not show themselves to me,
in the next weeks they will leap upward into profusion,
to grab the light before the more cautious trees
push themselves to the front of the line
to dominate photosynthesis as much as they can,

we humans love to break in line if we can,
so daffodils, forsythia, even flowering quince, 
huddle where they’ve been planted and sing their flowering today,

in between tree and flower are bushes,
they who have found different niches,
some evergreen, maybe huddled by water, 
some tough enough to handle the dryness of exposed ridges,

whose woods these are is beyond what I can know,

but I do want to learn their moods and to walk within their beauty.

by Henry H. Walker
February 29, ‘20

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