Adventure TreeQuercus Palustris
I step into the twin looped harness
that fastens firmly around my drumming torso.
My helmet secured, my heart elated, I buckle
on to the submissive double ropes and raise my arms.
This stunning tree towers over the terrain.
Surely, she's stood here resplendent for a century,
not static as her wrinkled trunk would suggest
but dynamic in innumerable complexities.
Spreading her radicles beneath this gracious ground,
her rootworks finger out into a wider weave,
amassing her measure from the luscious loam,
sucking greedily the seasons' sustaining showers.
The nutrients sipped up by mere inches of outer sheath
into the enormity of branch and bud above.
Her history inscribed in concentric circles
she's pressed into her core, detailed now but dead,
paradoxically, supporting, supplying her strength
to immense boughs that twist into twigs,
where leaf buds burst forth from winter's restraints
into the intense enthusiasm of spring.
Male and female flowers together in riotous fancy
fling and seize the mystic pollen prize,
to swell maternally into golden hooded fruit,
the reason for her endless restless urging.
Reverently I rise beside her regal mass.
I push and lift, push and lift, like echoed heave and sigh.
Is it wind in her leaves or my awestruck breath
as I lie back and behold her elaborate beauty?
Jillie Norton - May, 2014
Written after climbing the Red Oak (Quercus Palustris) named Molly at EarthDance Farms.