Saturday, August 4, 2007

The Heart of an Oak

Shades of gold and red brilliantly signal the changing season.
I’m mystically called there, although can’t give a reason.
Many believe I’ve returned, only to hunt once again.
It’s deeper than that; I’ve come to visit a dear friend.

I sit quietly in isolation amongst the elms and oaks,
For I know it is them that speak to some of us folks.
Just the mention of this would suggest I am mad;
So hesitantly I tell of the conversations I’ve had.

I remain motionless as the black turns to gray,
Knowing a twig snap is enough to keep them away.
I stare at the twisted old bark until I make out his eyes,
He’s looking much older somehow; I notice the lack of his size.

As he speaks to me I see a splintered spot in his trunk;
His voice is barely audible, lacking its usual spunk.
He welcomes me back with a warm woody smile,
“I’m glad you’ve returned friend, it’s been a long while.”

“You see, many things have transpired, not all of them good.”
I sensed he was troubled, by the complexion of his wood.
Even his posture revealed deep sorrow; his limbs drooping now,
I desperately wanted to comfort him but I didn’t know how.

I notice at his base a pile of broken limbs and dead leaves;
Then I quickly realize it’s his mate he understandably bereaves.
He tells of a terrible dark night, when the howling winds came;
They were beaten with hail and pelted by wind-driven rain.

He felt they had endured and survived through the worst,
Storms they’d seen many, but as for tornadoes, this was the first.
I could envision the devastation as he described the terrible crack,
The vial and relentless wind had finally broken her back.

I thought it ironic; usually it was I who poured out my grief.
He had always listened intently, not twitching a leave.
Finishing my story, he would willingly offer advice for free.
What would you expect, from such a wise and discerning old tree?

Before I made my way home and our talk was completely through;
I said good-bye to my friend, for the last time, this we both knew.
I promised when he passed I would honoring him in some fitting way;
Reciprocating the caring and friendship he had show me the first day.

Now as I sit in my easy chair, summer again fading to fall,
I no longer must be in the forest to answer his call.
I gaze at the timepiece made from the precious heart of his wood;
Our friendship is eternal, much longer than the years that he stood.

If you are a hunter, as am I, and often find yourself in the wild;
Let go of restricting notions, and have the faith of a child.
Let this story serve as reminder, you can take it from me,
If the opportunity arises don’t hesitate to speak to a tree.