• Wendy Jean MacLean

From Ancient Trees

poem by Wendy Jean MacLean accompanying artwork by Oneta Cole


"In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous branch to spring up for David."

- Jeremiah 33:15

Branches torn from ancient trees

reproach the rutted logging roads

with a clear view

of an angry sky.

The forests are desolate and deserted.

Beech and larch and redwood

have been sent to Babylon.

The canopy has been shredded

and the tabernacle sold, empty now

of scrolls and bark

and only stumps are left

to chant.

Each ring holds the history

and the primeval prayers

of the old-growth forest.

Sprouting from the desolation

of these stumps

outrageous suckers persist

in drawing energy from the roots

into a new covenant.

The sacred wisdom of the earth

is relentless in longing

for the righteousness

and consolation

of the integrity of Creation.

When we are restored

to a new relationship

with all life,

we will hear the singing

and see the dancing

of slug and sapling

on the forest floor

as they teach us

scripture.

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