In Praise of Ecology

trees s

calling all the names–
circles of words and being
woven into life

branches comp s

I greet the oak, the way
its branches frame the sky–
morning and evening
preserving the winter light
holding as shadows
the imprints of birds.

Listen:  they begin
the day—robins and blue jays
emerging from the cacophony
of sparrows and starlings–
and here again—my constant
companion, Crow.

We name our streets
after the trees that once stood
there:  elm, walnut, pine, maple,
chestnut, cedar, oak.  I wonder at
the words, now only images,
memories of  a lost inheritance.

Once landmark and shelter,
the empty vertices wait–
listening for the bearers
of seeds to refill
the gaps that echo barren
now, seeking new songs.

trees close up s

For earthweal where Sherry asks us to write love songs to mother earth.

26 thoughts on “In Praise of Ecology

  1. That habit of naming streets after a defunct species is tragic really. Is it guilt?
    This is a lovely paean to nature. I especially like the image of the branches bearing the imprint of the resident birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jane. It has always struck me as odd that we think names are an adequate substitute for what we have taken away. Like alluding to something makes up for its loss.


  2. What a gorgeous post! Your art is beautiful, and your poem I drank in like cool river water on a hot afternoon. Wow. I especially noted the naming of streets after the trees we cut down to build them. Ouch. We are a strange species.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The illustrations suit the mood perfectly here–green light and shadows, bird and ghosttrees and the patience of the earth. A very rich song.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the artwork, Kerfe, and your love song to trees – you know how much I love them too! I especially like the opening haiku and the way ‘calling all the names’ links to the sad truth in the lines:
    ‘We name our streets
    after the trees that once stood
    I love the greeting of the oak branches ‘holding as shadows / the imprints of birds’.
    And you have a crow in your poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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