Storm's Journal

between the branches

walking through the woods today
under the boughs
of a great old tree
looking up and seeing
the sky between the branches
trees budding
water rushing
and moss on boulders
thousands of years old
to be stepped on
snap a twig
in the rising of the sun
on this day?
no words talking
listening, in the quiet,
the birds begin to come to you,
and send a message
landing on your outstretched arm
like a branch
sings hello
i asked the sparrow,
and he darted away immediately
in search of a recipient
wonderful birds
wonderfully heard
singing, singing on this other day
between the trees
water rushing
tree swaying
sun shining
bird calling
water rushing by
the small fishes in the shallows
swiming between the shafts of sunlight
animals between the branches
gathering nuts
birds flying, nests, fruits,
budding flowers.
some young trees and mature trees.
some places, some spaces
two trees growing together
as one like lovers,
strong healthy trees
with vines hanging over them, and
patches of moss and ferns
some boulders which have fallen
here centuries ago
as they slowly gather towards the river
young trees. trees of all ages.
other places old worn trees, leaves,
years of leaves lying on the forest floor
small violets and brilliant white trilliums
budding, blossoming forth in patches
between the moss and boulders
amongst the bed of leaves.
squirrels jumping and frolicing
high up in the branches of the trees
running from tree to tree
along with the birds who proceed
in strange ritual song and flying formation
following some unseen unheard instinct
together, as one thought
moving through the wood
sun moving slowly by
bright small violet wildflowers
the soft scent of cherry blossoms
the cherry blossoms bloom beautiful
flowers which in turn generate the bodies
for the flow of sap into the forms of cherries
flowing into the forms of cherries
forming a seed and a fruit
so they may fall in the fall and
rise up again next spring
amongst the other trees
blossoming, budding. life,
rising, green, colours
intensify themselves
in this intensity of spring
the forest rising up
like a living flame of budding life
it does not burn with heat
but in beauty through and
through the tree
enlivening it with life
which shapes and forms the sap
along it's forces
feel the branches
like stroking a cat
so slowly...
a tree is a spirit
a chandelier like a tree
shedding it's light
and casting shadows
in fortuitious harmony
dangling in the wind
i am rushing
through your chimes
and brushing through
your hair
caressing your supple branches
i blow like the wind
and carry sweet scents
for all to hear
standing so slowly
still like a rabbit
moving it's nose
pausing to draw near
beside the mushrooms
played in a ring
a squirrel gathers it's nut
up into the trees
between the budding flowers
and into the seas
of sky turning crimson blue
into a sunset and shadow
of another day
to sleep in the cool moonlight
with the breeze gently by
quietly warm
beside you
swaying together
we breath
like the wind.
a forest of pictures of trees
look at me like a photograph
see the all in the picture
every note has a sound
has a shape a mood and tone
playing and responding
singing a tone
humming a tune
riding by down this road
trees moving slowly by
birds singing
trees budding
blue grey sky overhead
silently land budding
turn yourself over
your arms like branches
head like a leaf
with it's back facing the sun
catching it and holding it
stretch forth to it's rays
holding still like a painting
birds calling through
branches twisting in two one
if your life were a painting,
would it be a good one?
picture this
a painting of a tree
another painting of a tree
stretching as far
as the eye can see
a forest of paintings of trees
living paintings
of trees swaying
in day
at night
leaves upturned towards the sun
together in radiance
bringing forth the fragrances
from their deepest bowels
up and through the earth
offering their water
back up into the sky
to rain down and bloom
through yet another flower
by a river
by a channel
by a stone
by a leaf
a bird picked up
in it's mouth,
and flying high
above the sky
soaring on the currents
between the clouds
between the beams
of sunlight
which stretch themselves
back down into the water
to sing it's calling forth
of the tiny blossoms
hidden in the fall of the earth
a tree
i have been standing here
for the rising and setting
of many suns
and moons
and seasons
here i stood
as the ice melted slowly in the spring
and i rose up my head to meet the sun
and bathe in it's glory
growing all the time towards it
like the others around me
each in our places
some of us were eaten as seeds
and other ones were choked
by the those who were
not kind enough to share
and others we
spread our branches up
into the summer
standing long and calm
in the cool night
until slowly the dark
is less dark
and the light is more light
the birds singing their praises
for the dawning of the sun
the beginning of a new day
which again follows the night
standing still
and swaying slowly in the breeze
sun crosses it's shadows across me
a bird nests in my branches
i am a bird,
i am a tree,
i am the water floating by me.

(john roland penner, may 18, 1997) 

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SUBMIT AN ARTICLE posted: april 5, 1999 updated: april 3, 2004