I’m always glad to write about trees, as you can tell from yesterday’s poem, no doubt. I find the artwork in my house is mostly composed of trees, too. My dining room hosts a print of Van Gogh’s Almond Tree and my living room has a watercolor my stepfather painted of Mt. Humphreys in Flagstaff, with the dark firs and pines behind the autumn aspens.
I must’ve been dreaming but I’ve never
really been able to convince myself
that I was. I woke early (so unchar-
acteristically, for me anyway,
I, of the all night-book reading jags) and
feeling restless, decided to get up.
I’d heard a sound, I thought, a horn? Not a
car horn, but the kind maybe Susan, from
Narnia, would have. The sun was just up.
The dew was thick, this was the Pacific
Northwest, and there was a light mist rising
from the ground, tracing the world with silver,
misty distance indistinct and dreamy.
I stood on the step of the little gray
travel trailer that was grandma’s guest house,
enthralled by the magical lovely world.
I heard a sound, a horse’s chuff, and looked
to the left, wondering if the neighbor’s
horse had escaped his yard again to steal
apples. But in the little woods down the
hill from grandma’s house, was a man on a
horse, who seemed clothed in the mist. He was just
far enough away that I couldn’t see
many details. He sat astride, his horse
impatient, his head curiously turned.
The blackberry vines stood in the way, a
bramble fortress, but I could swear I saw
armor gleaming under his dark clothing.
Or maybe the gleam was just gathered dew
shining in the new sunlight. I could swear
his ears were faerie pointed, his smile, sly.
We both stood so until his eager horse
pulled away and the two of them vanished
into the woods leaving me spellbound and
wondering if I’d just had a brush with
It used to be
tended the forest.
They took trees
to ensure the forest
doing a job
feeding the need,
for toilet paper
and copy paper
and paper towels
and paper plates
clear-cut the forests
earth and maybe
Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites. –William Ruckelshaus