Conversations With The Oak
I spoke with the oak about the years
and was their treatment fair?
She moved her knowing leaves as if
like a cat its fur did stroke,
and with the breeze the silence broke.
Among these limbs a lesson learned
as centuries pass and this tree not spurned
would set the monument for forests gone
to be the last to sing the song.
When the red man picked up winter’s wood
to warm his lodge, you were young,
and could not pass the test
or perhaps, the farmer let you stand for shade
your place proved, at least to him, to be the best.
The fox squirrel carries your acorns to his lair
for this is the year the hickories felt they
could not bear and sparrows that peer from twigs
atop like other generations that have made this stop.
In the meadow she stands alone. The question how?
The answer may come if you sit quietly, and listen
intently beneath her bough.
Nicholas Johnson (deceased)
From: A View From Sheepranch Hollow
Because I learned the language of the leaves
Before I learned the complex words of men,
My mind is a loom on which the forest weaves
A tapestry of memories. And when
Any tree is stirred by any breeze,
My heart records each whisper, notes each mood.
My spirit finds a fellowship in trees,
With them, I know I shall be understood.
These things the trees have taught me since my birth:
To keep my feet well planted in the sod,
To cling with love to the abundant earth,
But to keep reaching toward the sun and God.
John D. Engle, Jr. (deceased)
From: Tree People
On Nature’s Trail
April rains had come and gone
Leaving profuse new growth.
I did not rush to find the quarter;
I stopped, listened,
and wanted to drink the whole.
Ferns pushed heads
like curled canes
above last years leaves,
Clumps of violets, mayapple patches,
and distant sounds of birds.
Hundred year old tree,
clinging to life with desperate need
to show young saplings strength.
I walked carefully not to crush
a fragile hold on life
while wading shadows
of nature’s rhythms.
Lena Nevison (deceased)
South Shore, KY
From: Echoes Of The Wind