Perils and Pleasures of Trees
By D. Lark Lancaster
There’s a life-flowing rhythm to this place.
Faceless spirits come from way upstream,
Arriving with fear, looking for harbor.
They cry, they hope, they laugh,
As they tip a toe to test these waters
Safe yet perilously calm near the bank.
I greet them all; only those who will see me
Know I’m Eden’s tree, offering them change
And a sight more of good-n-evil than they want.
Their arrogance swaddles them in shadow;
The grace of labor’s fruit makes them naked;
They seek my shade as the sun burns and blinds.
A sentinel, I guard from the bank, I guide from drift.
Distance is said to deny the entanglement of too much care.
Still … their spirit-mists touch my leaves, my bark
Bringing renewing life, light, lessons and love.
Their visit laps and draws at my root-grip,
Eroding that which keeps me here.
Wake waters wash around me;
Their cadence coaxes a fall
To join their journey
To feel the passion
To become one
With the river
As faceless spirits come from way upstream.
— — —
A Beautiful Life
By Deborah Reed, for her mother
How do you sum up a beautiful life
A beautiful woman, a beautiful wife
A beautiful nana, a beautiful mother
In all of our hearts there will be no other
For she was the one who could make it all better
And no matter how long we will never forget her
Her strength was amazing, as a tower she stood
Loving us all as only she could
Her voice and her face we all dearly miss
Wishing just one more time we could give her a kiss
And tell her how much we appreciate her love
But she’s flown away like a beautiful dove
To a beautiful place with fields of gold
With beautiful angels who never grow old
Filled with endless love and spiritual bliss
Forever this beautiful life we will miss
— — —
By Kristin Emanuel
There are wrought-iron benches. One is lofted
Above the others, its surface like a
Not-quite reflection. Across the room, on the
Wall, reels are projected into
Perfect squares. She watches them
From the bench, loving each wordless
Recollection: the spin, the turn, and the
Collision of one image into another.
She doesn’t know that the film
Is catching fire. Its strips shrivel and
Drip their contents like lava; she is