The Golden Seed Grove Of Lemuria

A Field Guide to the Trees of Pennsylvania
Linda Plaisted
copyright 2001, all rights reserved

A coarse county,
a gnarled gray tree.
A seedling
A steep hillside strewn with shale.

Tree of life,
will you not emerge
from your pale bed
this chill season
to bend with the unbending wind?

The soils of sustenance
evade your need,
erode your depth,
betray bare roots, entangled and infirm.
Have you bowed
at last to your false master?

The pale growth
on your rough surface -
an illusion.
Bristling with parasites,
those ghostly translucent miners
must bore ever deeper to stay out of the light.

From the fruitless nurseries,
issue arborists and specialists
to diagnose disease:
A pestilent blight,
a vile affliction within your veins.

Dutch Elm, Wetwood,
Black Knot, rot,
moths, worms, weevils, beetles,
mildew, scab, rust and dust.
Desiccated by your desire,
your limbs ringed by decades of decay.
Do not delay,
the men say with their eyes grown closed,
It is the only way…

Axes are sharpened,
Saws flash aloft.
Armed with shears,
and unsoiled,
they confront you to slice through your spirit,
green thumbs
gloved in white.

Sharp incisions.
Stems are shorn.
Pruned back beyond the bud,
your branches lie
where once you stood fixed.

Once upon a time,
climbing up into the curving shelter of your arms,
Standing before you,
Now. Imposing,
above you.

Pierced to the heartwood,
you exist-
a wooden thing-
your smile a splintered wound.

Bereft of shade,
you hide from the sky.
Eyes cast down,
you startle to see a barren stump-

the remains of your family tree.


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The Golden Seed Grove belongs to all those Lemurians who have planted here.