I was in a wonderful 'awakening feminine energies' workshop so missed posting this for Earth Day. One day late, here it is, a poem that was read aloud to a gathering on Earth Day a few years ago, in Angell Woods.
Angell Woods Poem, Or Finding our Roots
“What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.”
From Inversnaid, Gerard Manley Hopkins
Branches groan & crack like ship’s planks
in wind swell. These woods we crawled out of
one diluvial day, abandoning
the forked branch for a dry cave, eager
for a house that stood still. Here, in these
woods, a new development, larger than large
homes on smaller than small lots, tidy,
tucked in, no wild or wet to blow in.
Once lush maple & hickory forest:
tree forts, secret kisses, unmapped unpaved
and wild, a place of wonder for a child
where rabbits lurk, a Cooper’s hawk, a fox,
a marshy bog, or labyrinth for dogs.
While winter drags on in ice & slush,
in these quiet woods, we halt the rush
to stand with trees in mountain pose or
leap into ecstatic spring!
To find common ground with a tree, sit
at its root, let cool air ripple your hair.
Know that this maple exhaled so that you
Elders, we listen to their
counsel: longevity, flexibility.
Their casual loss is our casualty.
(Trees, like fairies, must be seen
to be believed.)
Now that the whole world is going green, and we are no longer just 'tree huggers' advocating caring for the planet, our earth mother, let us watch the tight buds unfurl with wonder, and praise the songbirds that make the trees their home and bring us such delight.