The Fall

from verdant green
to flaming colors
no rainbow ever dreamed
but the trees dare

from flourishing fields
of growing grain
to shorn earth
of tawny stubble

the wheel turns
once more
the year
draws to a close
and the growing season
meets its maker

whirlwinds skitter
across the path
stirring more poignantly
whatever wistful nostalgia
might have blossomed
late before the frost

this perishing moment
too
is an eternity

As A Tree

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A friend of mine posted this image on Facebook.   Such a fantastic concept!

Which prompted me to share this thought:

“How cool would it be to create a “living cemetery” of these that is a Food Forest ~ could literally feed one’s descendants, and they would be fed by their ancestors…   [see the link below for a description of a food forest]

Then someone else made this comment:

I like to think of me as a tree !!!

Which inspired me to write this little poem:

I like to think of me
as a tree ~
with roots sunk deep
into ancestral dreams
and ever nurtured
by the fecund earth
with a willing embrace
of this world of form.

I like to think of me
as a tree ~
with branches reaching
toward what is to be
and ever enlivened
by the radiant sun
with a willing embrace
of the Élan Vital.

I like to think of me
as a tree ~
transmuting
past into future
heaven into earth
energy into form
dwelling within
the omnipresent.

 

And as long as I’m dwelling upon thoughts of trees, it feels fitting to share this talk that I delivered at a 911 Tribute in 2005.  (I was speaking in front of 3,000 people, and was so nervous that my knees were wobbling the entire time.)

TREE DEDICATION

As we begin our program this evening and prepare for the invocation, I would like to first bring everyone’s attention to the tree festooned with ribbons and streamers that stands to the west of the band shell. This is a Valley Forge American Elm, a testimony to survival – it is naturally resistant to Dutch Elm disease, and it has just been donated by area businesses to serve as a living memorial to all those who died in the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Throughout time, trees have always served as inspiring symbols, symbols of hope, of strength, of peace, and even the symbol of life itself. And in our country specifically, trees have been a symbol of the political principles that we treasure so deeply. The first Liberty Tree, located in Boston, was an Elm tree, just as this one is. The Sons of Liberty gathered and held their meetings in the shade of its branches. They flew their banners from its branches. In time, all 13 colonies each had their own Liberty Tree, which served as rallying places for the ideals of the American Revolution.

The original Liberty Elm in Boston was cut down by British soldiers, as an act of war, in 1775. The last of those original 13 Liberty trees to die was in Maryland, in 1999. It died as a result of a hurricane.

So in trees we see living symbols of our guiding principles, and we also see how those principles might be lost. We find ourselves gathered here this evening with two events in our minds and in our hearts – one, an act of war, 4 years ago, the other, a natural disaster, hurricane Katrina, mere days ago. Both of these events have presented our country with immense suffering and sorrow. Both of these events have presented us with immense challenges. They have challenged us to respond in a fashion that maintains and upholds the democratic principles that we hold so dearly, “that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It has been said that the true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit – to plant trees for generations that are yet to come. The founding fathers and mothers of this country planted many trees, in the principles they fought for and the institutions they created. We benefit from these trees which they planted so long ago. And so it is now our turn to plant trees. Thus, tonight we dedicate this Elm tree, as a living memorial, as a testimony to survival, as sign of hope for healing and peace. May we also plant trees of principles and institutions that will shelter and serve generations yet to come.

 

http://www.beaconfoodforest.org

Welcome
The goal of the Beacon Food Forest is to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.

 

What is a Food Forest?
A food forest is a gardening technique or [Permaculture] land management system, which mimics a woodland ecosystem by substituting edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Fruit and nut trees make up the upper level, while berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals make up the lower levels. The Beacon Food Forest will combine aspects of native habitat rehabilitation with edible forest gardening.

 

Indigo Sky

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under twilight skies
between the tides
of black velvet night
with its sequenced stars
and the flaming colors
of the silken sunrise
ere morning has broken
when dawn is just a gleam
on the horizon’s eye
an indigo veil
of the celestial Dancer
drawn as a curtain
between the worlds
a pause betwixt
starlight and daylight
we withdraw our pleas
from the distant heavens
and release all hopes
for what the day may bring
there is nothing to remember
there is nothing to imagine
abide in the crystalline moment
of indigo sky

Breathing Into The Sun

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Since the darkest of nights
the sun has not shone
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overcast days
for overcast hearts
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when at last the pale shroud lifts
that first ray of hope pierces the sky
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as sifting through the ash
a glowing coal resurrected
from the bon fire of surrender
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the sun emerges embryonic
from the womb of the earth
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breathe into the spark
of one’s own inner sun
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kindle this ember
coax it to waken
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breath after breath
it burns brighter and brighter
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breath after breath
it burns brighter and brighter

Sin Eater II

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Upon this hallowed evening
the spirit of the growing season
undertakes its timely death
with the setting of the solemn sun
and thus creates, a thinning of the veil.

Within the twilight’s glimmering
and his passage gained admittance
Jack-of-the-Lantern passes
across the threshold of the spheres.

From the nether world of shadows
to this world of blood and flesh
attend his rustling footsteps
as he treads upon the corpses
of countless fallen leaves.

As deeper grows the darkness
his lantern burns the brighter
the Sin Eater beckons all
the living and the dead.

As loathsome ghoul reviled
glowing eyes and garish smile
oft mistaken for incarnate evil
a holy calling he bears instead.

A purger of sins unrepented
he gathers with his lantern
as moths they fly from withering souls
their guilt at last surrendered.

Upon himself he takes these burdens
the cardinal and the venial
then with the sacred star shine
eerie alchemy he works
and transmutes the dross of souls.
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While we now tend to celebrate the Celtic Cross-Quarter day of Samhain with Halloween, the actual mid-point between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice falls somewhere between the 5th and 7th of November, being November 7th this year.

http://www.archaeoastronomy.com/2014.html
“Cross-Quarter moments are interpolated as the midway points between the Solstices and Equinoxes measured in degrees along the ecliptic. Former NASA scientist Rollin Gillespie uses this spatial method rather than simply splitting in half the time interval between a Solstice and an Equinox.”

Background info from different sources:

The term “will-o’-the-wisp” comes from “wisp”, a bundle of sticks or paper sometimes used as a torch, and the name “Will”: thus, “Will-of-the-torch”. The term jack-o’-lantern “Jack of [the] lantern” has a similar meaning.

A will-o’-the-wisp /ˌwɪl ə ðə ˈwɪsp/  are atmospheric ghost lights seen by travellers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travellers from the safe paths. The phenomenon is known by a variety of names, including jack-o’-lantern, friars’s lantern, hinkypunk, and hobby lantern in English[1] folk belief, well attested in English folklore and in much of European folklore.

There are various explanations for the Will o’ the Wisps, the most general being that they are malevolent spirits either of the dead or non-human intelligence. They have a mischievous and often malevolent nature, luring unwary travellers into dangerous situations. Wirt Sikes in his book British Goblins alludes a common story about a Welsh Will o’ the Wisp (Pwca or Ellylldan); a peasant, who is travelling home late in the evening sees a bright light travelling before him, looking closer he sees that the light is a lantern held by a “dusky little figure” which he follows for several miles, suddenly he finds himself standing on the edge of a great chasm with a roaring torrent of water rushing below him. At that moment the lantern carrier leaps across the fissure, raises the light over its head and lets out a malicious laugh, after which it blows out the light leaving the unfortunate man far from home, standing in pitch darkness at the edge of a precipice. They were not always so dangerous, and there are tales told about the Will o’ the Wisp being guardians of treasure, leading those brave enough to follow them to sure riches.

A Waltz Among the Autumn Leaves II

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the surrendered dancers
coupled in nature’s rite
destined to become one
with Earth and Sun
and come to know
all the intimate seasons
of their celestial lovemaking

waking from a winter’s dream
the tender Earth yearning
for the rousing touch
of the burgeoning Sun
slowly pirouettes
within the circle
of my arms
turning all the contours
of her resplendent body
though the steady grasp
of my caressing hands
aching now
as the flush of spring
life beneath the surface
urgent to blossom

the breathless gasp
of flowers unfolding
to move through her
as slowly
as the electric Sun
on a long summer’s day
across the arching sky
drawing the folds
of every petal
at they trace the Sun’s
measured path
upon her undulating body

and then ardent autumn
at the climax of the rite
exclamations of color
vibrant intensity
pulsating through her landscape
then, once more, release
of sanguine cascade
and so the dance
begins again
hand in hand, arms encircling
play afore
the sweet surrender
* * * * *

image from:
http://s655.photobucket.com/user/soulphyre/media/spirit_elements.jpg.html