background image
tree meditation
' ' ...
In this country, of the few
native trees the commonest
is the cottonwood. Settlers
planted it for windbreaks, for
shade; it grows in giant rows
on irrigation ditches,
and stands over the houses
shading them in the summer
all day; it grows in the draws
and in great dark glittering
groves on the North and South Platte.
It takes the classic tree shape --
a round symmetrical crown,
a trunk short and straight and thick;
up close, you see that the leaves
grow in loose swinging bunches
out on the periphery --
the interior is gaunt
and the few major branches
form powerful, still arches
that contrast with the quick leaves
throwing off sharp bits of light.
Considered thus, the whole thing
suggests perception combined
with imperviousness. But
I turn to one specimen:
* From the closing lines of the Hymn to Demeter, referring to the lady
herself: `Queen, giver of shining things, bearer of the seasons....'