The Function of Fir Trees

comments 23
Poetry

A line of fir trees
have taken up watch,
wooden and resolute,
their tips a Gaussian congregation
of navy black steeples
hung upon a night sky
so clear and cold
you remember what it’s like
to open your door and venture out
into an endless, moaning whistle
that has frozen into place.
The trees–
they are like loaded questions,
sentries of the borealis
pantomiming secrets
you can guess at
if you pay attention
to the way their needles
dress up in shawls
of twinkling ice,
or the way their crowns
draw near to one another
to kiss with a light
you can’t even see.

Overhead,
far closer than the real ones,
are the manmade stars,
the satellites,
whizzing along through
barren territories colder still,
chirping and blinking
until the wheels fall off,
beaming messages in
all directions to whomever
will receive them,
chatterbox drones
divulging code
after code after code
after code
from their lazy arc
free-falls.

When you’re standing
below the boughs of fir trees,
looking up,
spinning along
on the surface of a planet
at about the same speed
as those manmade stars,
thinking about the way
a good solid evergreen
can sure strike up a deal
with the rigors of
a sub zero occupation,
you may not realize
you’re swimming in bursts
of bank codes
and gallery brochures, movie tickets
and maps, photographs of flowers,
babies, and nebulae.
You may not be considering
that information is zooming
through your skin
and into your bones
about the pyramids,
the migration of whales,
the steppes of Mongolia,
or the number of stops
between Chicago and Sydney.

But if you’re listening with
the whole of your being
you will realize what’s happening:
the real stars are broadcasting, too,
and fir trees in winter are devout antennae,
filling the earth full of futures–
stockpiling dreams
for the next seven generations.
If you’re listening with
the whole of your being,
you’ll realize
everything you’ll ever need
is pouring down right past you,
just beneath the bark,
and disappearing into the ground
for safe-keeping.

It could pop up just about anywhere,
you’ll think, and then you’ll laugh,
or probably stick your tongue out
at the whole universe.

Tag.

You’re it, Silly.

23 Comments

  1. Your description of fir trees in winter – utterly swoon-worthy.
    Having lived in the far north of Canada for many years I know this scene by heart, and limb, and moaning whistle. Thank you.
    Alison

    Like

    • Thank you, my swoon-ready friend. Glad you enjoyed a little slice of mystical north. (You have magnetic north, true north, called north, and then the mystical north, which has a way of overflowing the banks of “north” altogether…) I was just thinking how you and Don got out while the getting was good… There’s some wisdom! You’re nobody’s fools… 🙂

      Much Love
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  2. thegentlemanfarmer says

    Dear Michael
    Goodness!
    It is all around us, and through us, and in us, is it not?
    And so it goes…

    Like

    • Thank you, GF! Enjoyed a quick tour of your camellia japonica’s. Hope they make a strong recovery.

      Yes, so it goes. Beauty whirling… All through and around us… So great…

      Michael

      Like

    • Thank you, Hariod. I left the part out about the three foot spiders hiding in the trees, but maybe you saw one. So many reasons to shiver. What is a shiver anyway…? It’s as if your body shrugs off a news flash from the sun before you can accept receipt. I’m busy right now. Freezing my arse off and whatnot. Can’t you tell??? Tap me on the shoulder later when it’s more convenient please… 🙂

      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for spelling ‘ass’ in English as ‘arse’, presumably for my benefit; or do I presume too much? One appreciates the unassuming gestures of kindness more so than the obvious ones; do you agree?

        Like

        • Hariod, I guess this goes to a thread I recently read over at your place, about how we adapt to who we’re communicating with. Is that not in some way a genuine act of compassion and good will? I’m with you on that. I find it makes a huge difference in all communications… I haven’t used or typed the word arse… ever…? But it just kind of popped out… It wasn’t intentional, but it was natural. Like when I’m writing something and a word pops in I didn’t know I knew. You receive these gifts when you’re not paying attention. I guess I was just feeling “Hariod-ness” and observing how to communicate with it… with you…

          Michael

          Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, well that’s really lovely Michael; and I truly appreciate it. I am also moved that you would recall a minor reflection I made at my place – I believe it was in response to Marga – and am grateful for your approval of its content. As I see it, you are right, it is indeed an act of goodwill when we embrace the character of the other by adapting our ‘natural’ inclinations so as to fit. I actually see it as an act of generosity, and also as skill in communication of course. Others may feel it is being disingenuous, that we always ought present a consistent face to the world. Yet I see that has the potential to be somewhat suspect myself, as most us are more or less walking contradictions in some degree; and what, therefore, is our consistent face? I have a more or less default manner, as do we all, but I cannot say that it’s entirely consistent – it morphs and flexes in accord with whatever it meets in encounter. Anyhow, I am moving even further away from the function of Fir Trees, and must leave room here for the many arborists to have their say in response to your exquisite words.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You brought to light something in your comment here that I had reflected upon briefly while writing my earlier statement, which bowled me over since you leapt right to it, which is that some do feel it disingenuous, but perhaps those persons are enjoying the fleeting luxury of knowing precisely who they are…? Ha! I’ve lost that ability to an appalling degree. I’m wearing, like yourself, a certain familiar wardrobe, but you do get the sense it’s a convention. If we’re honest, the contradictions are there, and not only the contradictions, but the plausibility of newness. Which of us truly feels we are done growing, becoming, digging into that illumination that sneaks up on us from time to time…?

          Michael

          Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, John. You blew me away with your use of the word crackerjack in the same passage as an evocation of Gaia’s beauty and depth. I enjoy the juxtaposition of the playful and the sacred at times. As in, I enjoy a little Thomas Pynchon with my Rumi… 🙂 We’re all it, after all!

      Michael

      Like

  3. swooning and shivering, here. i was listening to a station just a fraction off from this one at the same time, allowing a bit too much of the hissing white noise of minutia to block out the wonderful code transmission – most certainly coming in clear for you under this wonderful sparkling speaking twinkling arching blue black dome. I’m so glad I tuned in here – no message ever missed!

    Like

    • Two steps to the right, and the signal comes in clearly. It’s like hunting for cell phone reception in an underground parking garage. I can’t remember if I mentioned this here before or not, but there was a time when my day wasn’t complete without a walk through this park near where I was living. I needed that walk, sometimes an hour or so, sometimes late at night, to get to that one moment of full presence. It was like I needed to take that time to work my way back to it, to touch it, taste it, contact it, even if only for an instant. Then I could call it a day. Now writing feels like it has taken over that role.

      In either case, I am fortunate I haven’t had to worry about alligators! Wishing you a fervently peaceful abiding this evening.

      Michael

      Like

      • I saw a J. Campbell quote today that immediately made me think of your precious park and now writing space: “Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” It only makes sense that this space would transform as we do. Today the light shining on the water as I waited for renters felt like a sacred portal beckoning me – luckily I didn’t dive in…or maybe I should of – one day I will and I will send you a report of where I land. The sacred follows me around, waiting for a lull and a remembering whenever it may come. 🙂

        Like

        • I like that definition. Your note about the way the light shining on the water drew up close and beckoned to you suggests to me that “sacred space” is forever expanding. We start out carving out little sanctified places and times, and we build on them, and slowly allow more of the world to inhabit those spaces. We catch these glimpses of it peeking out at us from everywhere we turn, alone with the trees, in between the breath, and waiting by the water for strangers to arrive and offer support to our paths.

          Do send updates from you dive into the sparkly portal! I think that’s what you have been doing…? 🙂

          Michael

          Like

      • Thank you, Shailie. I am grateful to you for sharing that. I cannot help but think we’re all sort of portals for one another. When we really see someone, or a work of art of expression, it’s a window into something more of which we are all a part… You even read poetically! ❤

        Michael

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Art is happening in my house! A special request…fill this tree! | Fiesta Estrellas

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