the smell of wood, the scorch of fire …

stumpsthis rough-barked sequoia stump, sitting in majesty
in its coastal home, victim of wildfire, burned down
to its gnarly roots, its nicks, holes and char, eons
of scars, life seemingly cut off, goddess snake alive
inside the concentric circles, the smell of wood and
scorch of fire, at the verge of our infinity, in its truth ~

pristine

rugged

pulsing

haunted by the geometry of limbs, the calculus of green,
the algebraic eloquence of a world within a world  ~

So present.

So essential.

So primal.

it sings to itself in the marrow of our bones

- Jamie Dedes

Victoria Slotto’s Writers’ Fourth Wednesday inspiration is the “Wilderness,” in preparation for Wilderness Week starting on Sunday, August 31. The wilderness around here is rich in Sequoia. Hence this poem. Please join us at The Bardo Group blog today and link in your own work. Details are HERE.

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~Bay Nature.org: “The Bay Nature Institute, based in Berkeley, California, is dedicated to educating the people of the San Francisco Bay Area about, and celebrating the beauty of, the surrounding natural world. We do so with the aim of inspiring residents to explore and preserve the diverse and unique natural heritage of the region, and of nurturing productive relationships among the many organizations and individuals working towards these same goals.” Read more HERE.

on their shoulders …

Madonna of the Plains

out of the womb of Time they slide
peasants and kings, artisans and queens
murders, warriors, healers, peacemakers
the grandmothers and grandfathers
on whose shoulders we stand

they are with us, their spirits sensed
though unseen
their hearts are in our mouths
as they guard and guide

feet rooted in the mud of Earth
we drink the wine, eat the roots
and sing the songs we inherited
their sayings are our sayings
their voices are our voices
carried on breezes
like the music of cathedral bells
they chime and summon
they sum what came before

from their gnosis
whispered in the ear of silence
we learn: we are nameless but not lost
we too shall echo
shall be the shoulders
shall be the grandmothers and grandfathers
shall be the Hope and the Light
along the path . . .
. . . . beckoning

© 2012, poem and photograph, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved