Standing for the Mother
She feels the recessed veins
as stands of steadfast birch
raise lanceolate branches.
They wave them in an
epicyclic train
around the glen.
Wired to protect,
they mark each thrust
and blade  that comes their way.
The willow trees
where thoughts are sent
through minerals within their roots
steeped deep in woody earth.
There they softly whisper
‘water comes, the storm is here’.
Leaves lift as wind arrives.
They flick serrated edges to the sky,
standing by to taste the rain.
Aspens whisper secrets to their leaves
and recall dry summers past,
their stalks are hardening in lines
and the curling suckers
squeeze the essence
of dense nuts hidden near their roots.
The struggle where the vital water flows
and ovate seeds give birth to moldy death,
where fungus rots and life sap plays
with woodland dancers,
their tendrils intertwine below their loins.


Deep in the timbered forest
where the silted spring
still runs beneath
and trunks hold fast
to the courses of the mother,
there is a pushing out
to reach the hazel hands
that hold and soothe
with cool moist moss
under the canopy unfolding
to enclose these sacred lives.
We cannot live without this space
Tree Langdon
©® 2017

This traditional totem pole stood in a local park for 23 years and recently it was discovered that it was in danger of falling. After much consultation and discussion with the local Native people, we decided to move it and lay it down on the earth in a forest in the park and return it to the earth as the tradition states.

This approach conforms with traditional tribal practices for when a totem reaches the end of its life.