She whispers my name... Only I can hear

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Sound of the Wind

These trees

No longer exist

Harvested in 1992
To avoid risking them
To disease
That kills red pines

Building materials…

The biggest went
For log cabin homes
Right here
In upstate NY
And in Canada

When I see people
Wasting paper
I think of

These trees

Which my grandfather
With his own hands

Which my family
For over seventy years

If not for red pine blight
The largest
Would have been allowed to grow
Would have become giants
In another fifty years or so

When I was young
I walked among

These trees

For hours
At a time

They were big magic to me


I will admit
I loved them more
Than some people
I have met

I will never forget
How they made me feel

As I sat
Among them

As I walked
Beneath those awesome boughs

The sound of the Wind
In their branches
And long fine beautiful needles
Will never fade from my memory

The sound of the Wind
In their branches
Will never fade from my memory

The sound of the Wind
Will never fade from my memory

Now the sky
Is a mighty thing
Big magic indeed
It is there
The clouds sing

High above
They hold their court
They debate

To all the world
On the breath

Of the Wind


The Wind

These trees

Like a vast
Perfect instrument

Played the songs
Of Earth

I was lucky
When I was young
For the wind
And the trees
And I learned of them
Many songs

Beautiful songs
Days long
You cannot stop

Once you start
Knowing full well
They will
Break your heart

Some Songs
I fear
I will not share
Lest you fall into them
And disappear

Into their joy
And sorrow

The basic winds
I suppose
With care
Are safe enough
For me
To dare...

The East Wind
Lifts through the trees
From the creekbeds
In the valley
They bring thunderstorms
Turn your feet
To home

The North Wind
The pines creak
Salute in formation
To the hard sun above
Breath deep
Feel it
Cherish it

The South Wind
A Silent sirens call
Sleepy whispers
Like a waterfall
Far away
Watch for rain
Come evening
The following day

The West Wind…

The West Wind
Passes time
It is the keeper
Of the seasons
And of the every day things

Waves of air
Washing the trees
Light surf
On pebbled beach
Just over the dunes

So subtle
Was the West Wind's song
That you would
Your blood pressure
And your heart rate
To it’s long
Long rhythm

Without even knowing it

You became one

These trees


human being said...

Bobbb... what a peom... what a ceremony... a spiritual ritual... i underwent a kind of change... through the magic of your words and insight... i became one with the trees...

first when i saw the pic... i remembered yesterday standing under some trees watching the sky and clouds and the sun through their branches...
when i started to read and found that these trees no longer exist and are 'slaughtered' for the sake of some profit... i was filled with despair and anger... remembering people like Hilter who justify their genocide as a way to save a better generation....
the song began... the Native American dance and ritual talking of the messages of the winds ... little by little the anger was transformed into consciousness...
i heard the sound of the wind
in their branches
and it will never fade from my memory...

and i was reminded of Foroogh Farrokh-zaad the Persian poet who wrote in one of her poems:

sound, sound, sound
it is just the sound remaining in this world
why should i stop? why?

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

I made this mosaic of the red pines my grand dad planted in 1928
The original consists of nine 8x10 photo’s laid out as you see them
The plan is to reproduce them as nine 16X20 photos and make a mosaic that will cover a wall in my Apt

The taking of these trees was a tragedy to me
A disease that kills red pines – and renders the wood useless threatened them.
And so a deal was made
And the trees taken.

The first and last “clear cutting” we will ever undertake.

We accepted a bid from a Canadian company that uses most of the tree – so little was wasted.

This is a risk that comes with planting large stands of trees of single specie.
Disease can spread quickly through them.

Do not despair at their loss; the land is in good hands
There are now a multitude of young red pines growing where they once stood
This is a natural succession – we did not replant.
The young pines are mixed with spruce, ash, black cherry, beech, birch, aspen, maple, and more.

The more diversity, the more species are protected, and the healthier the habitat.

Although our farm is small – we are surrounded by state owned property – much of which was also planted with red pines.
This was done in response to the massive cuttings in the late 1800’s – early 1900’s which left most of upstate NY denuded of trees.

Red Pines grow fast

Not many people know it – but New York State protects more habitat than any other state (outside of Alaska)

The Adirondack Park now protects over 6,300,000 acres.
The Catskill Park – Over 700,000 acres

An 1894 amendment to the New York State Constitution (now Article 14) directs:

"the lands of the State now owned or hereafter acquired, constituting the forest preserve as now fixed by law, shall be forever kept as wild forest lands.

They shall not be leased, sold or exchanged, or be taken by any corporation, public or private, nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed."

Here in New York Article 14 is simply known as

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Sound indeed
I'm glad my words brought through that idea
That you can hear the sound

Like a big bell after it has been rung - the vibrations continue - sometimes for hours
So the woods still vibrate with that sound
In my mind

Not just trees, not just wind...

I'm glad too
That you picked up an the nature and feel of the songs I chose to share
The the wind is a mighty minstrel indeed, and I wanted very much to make this about the sound of the wind as much as the beauty of the trees,

I'm sure by now you can see where this is going...

Honour said...

hard to describe how *appropriate* your words are ... how they do great honor to the trees

and i appreciate your honesty in saying how you love these trees better than some people you have met

and why not?

i had to read your poem
more than once
to get the full impact

and upon the second reading -
i thought
which wind calls me?

of course, the west wind.
for i am from the west ..
she is of the everyday
world, see --
and i like no drama
just being present
and presence.

thank you for this.
i wanted to read the poem
one more time before i left
for the mountains

some needed time with
mother nature
and her graces

and it puts me in the right
frame of mind

... i always used to wonder
"oh the stories that trees
could tell - if they talked
- they've seen it all -
heard it all
whispers of love
tears shed
promises to oneself
all voiced under
the branches of a tree"

beautiful concept? isn't it?
i tried to work it into a book
but it doesn't quite work in prose

... ah!
a poem inspired
we'll see how it takes shape
over the next days
away from the city

now, i owe you double thanks!

human being said...

wow Bobbb,
now you can be sure that the bell chiming in your soul never stops...
its vibrations travel around and chime other bells... resonating... returning back to you ...ringing a new tune in your soul...

how i was excited to read Honor's piece... she was chiming so beautifully...

sounds... and the wind... the wind...
i have an unfinished work with the name of 'Wind Is a Musician'...
i was not satisified with the images i wrote there... i found that wind is not just sounds... it's got 'touch' too...
one can be fascinated by all its songs and rhymes as deeply as he might rejoice in its touch... whether soft as that of a breez or vigorous as that of a storm...

the wind which blows through your poems has got that tactile sense...
rejuvenating... transformational...
because it brings about awareness...

thanks for all the information about these trees ...
all our fears and sorrows come from 'not knowing'... now i'm much relieved coz i know more...
thanks for letting us to share your understanding of the world...

human being said...

sorry: letting us share...

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

No need to apologize
Sharing is a big part
Of the purpose
And so we grow

I heard this song in 1969
It started me thinking
About the thoughts of trees
And their unique perspective
Rooted to the Earth

I am afraid
That I cannot hear this song
Or even read the words
Without shedding
More than a few

Eskimo Blue Day

Sun cuts loose from the frozen
Until it joins with the African sea
In moving it changes its cold and its name
The reason I come and I go is the same

Animal game for me
You call it rain
But the human name
Doesn't mean shit to a tree

If you don't mind heat in your river
And Fork tongue talking from me
Swim like an eel fantastic snake
You can take my world when it's free

Electric - feel with me
You call it loud
But the human crowd
Doesn't mean shit to a tree

Change the strings and notes slide
Change the bridge and string shift down
Shift the notes and bridge sings

Fire eating people
Rising toys of the sun
Energy dies without body warm
Icicles ruin your gun

Water my roots the natural thing
Natural spring to the sea
Sulfur springs make my body float
Like a ship made of logs from a tree

Redwoods talk to me
Say it plainly
The human name
Doesn't mean shit to a tree

Snow called water growing violent
Dam the end of the stream
Too much cold in one place breaks
That's why you might know what I mean

Consider how small you are
Compared to your scream
The human dream
Doesn't mean shit to a tree

[sounds of axes as the tree dies]

Grace Slick / Paul Kantner
Jefferson Airplane - 1969

Hopper said...

When I was a little younger I had a special affinity for a forest behind my father's house... it's where I spend so much of my youth running free on the trails and listening to the sounds of the wind and the the creatures and the forest... it had a voice all its own...

I started to become concerned about logging and unsustainable use of natural beauty... I joined a group called Earth First and learned about tree spiking... spiked lots of trees to thwart companies and sabotaged more than a few pieces of heavy equipment... some fights I lost and the trees were cut down but one in particular was a huge victory for me...

I put nails into a couple hundred trees that were destined to be harvested for the pulp and paper mills... I wrote letters to the company and told them what I'd done and put up signs at the site... I guess they examined the area and found that it would be too expensive to cut all the trees down because it may damage their saws and mulching gear... this stand of trees still remains...

Nice post Bob...

Also... I hope you don't mind but I quoted one of your lines from some comments in a post I put up today... seemed to fit with what I was trying to say... if it's a problem let me know...

See ya around...

human being said...

wow what a song ... it cuts deep down through your heart... really impressive...
and i just read the lyrics .... i found the song on Utube but couldn't open it because of the filterings here...

Bobbb seems tears are inevitable when something's singing the song of our soul...
thanks for sharing this
thanks for everything..

-most of the songs from 70's are awesome
- Jon you really did something... appreciate your bravery and concern

Hopper said...

also been sort of looking around your site and actually put your long and lat into google earth and found that you're in New York State... close to Albany from the looks of things... you know that you're not too far away from me here in Toronto... if you decide to cross the falls some day let me know and we'll have a coffee somewhere...

The Clandestine Samurai said...

You said you have to admit that you loved the trees more than you loved some people you know. There's nothing wrong with that, trees treat you much better than people do.

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

A bit of eco sabotage Eh?

Like the man on the beach
Who throws starfish into the sea…

All along the shore
Thousands of starfish stranded
By an unusually low tide
Dying in the hot sun

The man knows
He cannot possibly make a difference
Being only one man
And the starfish
So many

But he couldn’t help thinking
Each time he raised his arm
And threw…

It made a difference
To that one

Of course the quote is fine
It is in fact
An honor…

You are right indeed
I live right outside of Albany, NY
The Co-ords given are in fact
Those of the Schenectady Museum
Which is a block or two from where I live

I do quite like upstate NY
A nice mix of urban – rural
The tree farm is about 50 miles (84km) west of here

Yep HB
Those songs are awesome
I took a great many to heart
“Wooden Ships” was on the same album
Sorry bout the “utube”
I’m sure you can find it other places
Rhapsody – Lyric depot…
This then is the way it started for me
Thinking like trees
Understanding them
And the forest

I thought you would also like to know
That when we harvested these trees
The “profit” was added to a legacy trust
Enabling my family to maintain the tree farm
As protected wilderness habitat
For generations to come

More on this to follow…

True C Samurai
They treated me very well
Very well indeed….

human being said...

'The more diversity, the more species are protected, and the healthier the habitat'

you know i've got a 'bad habit'... many things are waiting there to be read, but the crow reads and re-reads what she's read before! you are among a few i read again and again...

i was reading the comments again when i found that gem above...
i think the best books are written by nature... just we should look carefully... what you said about trees think may hold true for humans and their societies...
even i see it in blogland... that diversity...
oh can we hope for the man to 'produce' a healthier generation?
despite all the negative points available ... i think something good is at the end of this track... maybe i'm just fooling myself...

what you wrote for Jon was what i really needed

'It made a difference
To that one'

i can rarely find any appreciation for the time i spend for some of my students who need a listening ear...
all i get from others is that, 'there are lots of them... what do you want to do about them?go and mind your own life...'

these words were really soothing...
thanks also for you other words... where i can find the songs ... that legacy trust regarding the trees (wow you and your family are the gaurdian angels of this world!)
and everything...
see you soon...

Miladysa said...

Absolutely fabulous!!!

Lynn said...

The new quilt group on line I have just joined is first making a quilt (each of us, its a challenge) to make a small (8 x 12") piece in the theme of trees.
I might if allowed by you use some of your images in that quilt?
Such beauty I see there...your childhood trees, your walking among them, the wind blowing a big circle of wind...I see a spiral of wind...

Beautiful poem, simply beautiful
and sad.

Lydia said...

Honour suggested I come read your poem on trees after I published a simple little one about an old oak in my blog. Wow. This is beautiful. I'm so interested and happy to read that the land is in good hands and loved and growing with diversity. My husband and I purchased the small lot behind us that was about to be developed in order to save three 85-year-old giant Sequoias. We love 'em beyond measure. They are family.

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...


Yes you may use any images you like
Some are not mine
Any that are not – are public domain
I love your quilts

So …
In the making
And in the using
Like a love circle

Thank you

I loved your poem
It was beautiful

I’m happy for your Sequoias
And for you
Another starfish thrower

Thank you

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Thank you too Milady

So glad to see you back from holiday!