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Passions in Poetry

Digital Passions
Poetry Magazine

Digital Passions #9
published Wednesday, July 18, 2001


Editor's Notes by Karilea Rilling Jungel
Featured Poet - A Selection by Beki Reese
Copyright Infringement by Poet deVine
Talking to Trees - A Poetry Duet
The Language of Silence by Karen A. Hood
The Whispering Tree (Poem) by Linda Bramblett
The Final Word by Poet deVine

* Bonus Features, Poetry & Prose

All About Haiku by Nancy Ness
Haiku and Senryu Selected by Sven/Temptress
Tanka Selected by Marge Tindal
Love Poems Selected by Sven
Poems on Life Selected by Marge Tindal
Spiritual Poetry Selected by Kathleen
Poetry Buffet Selected by Karen A. Hood
Friendship Poems Selected by Lone Wolf
Teen Poetry Selected by Javier Agosto
Going Nuts (Short Story) by Karen A. Hood

Read It All (one big page)

Talking to Trees - A Poetry Duet The Whispering Tree (Poem)


Two Interviews - The Language of Silence

I always thought I was alone, in my unwritten language with the trees. Even as a child, I recognized the silent strength, that strength of character to just "be," without the all of the blabbering. And so off in search of myself - amazed to find that there were others like me. In my joy, I'd like to share them with you in honor of Spring, so that perhaps, you too, can have a conversation with one of the green beings, spoken in what I call "the language of silence." Perhaps we can teach each other how. Perhaps just to break the ice- I will start with ME. So for a beginning, here is Serenity's interview with serenity

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-- Interview with Serenity --

Serenity: "So you talk to trees, huh?"

serenity: "Not only do I talk to trees? But, SOMETIMES?" (serenity leans in toward Serenity in a conspiratorial manner) "I even talk to MYSELF-don't tell anybody!"

Serenity: "You think you're funny don't you?"

serenity: "Only sometimes. When the wind rattles the leaves and I can hear the laughter in the wood, I KNOW I am. Then there are days when there is no breeze, and the sun is relentless…and I go in search of trees in grove, where the dirt beneath is still moist, even in the midst of drought…and I find comfort there."

Serenity: "So you hug trees then?"

serenity: "I always hug back. They hug me first. I just hug them back."

Serenity: "So what is it that they tell you, when these trees talk to you?"

serenity: "They tell me stories--of hurricanes and lightning, and how life used to be a swamp---they remind me that they are still standing, and that I can too, if I so choose."

Serenity: "Really? Do they ever tell you HOW?"

serenity: "All of the time. And sometimes quite rudely too…it's the roots you see. The same roots I stumble on are the same roots, become wily, that I discover make a nice bench for me to rest upon. Trees whisper to me: 'dig deep-for nature is wild and unpredictable. Plant yourself, because there is only so much that others can do.' Trees remind me that there is strength in standing alone, and somehow comfort and beauty in the likeness of a grove of family."

Serenity: "hmmm…comfort, in the likeness of a grove of a family…."

serenity: "Yes-it's like the poets of Passions…read and listen to the wind in the trees…you will hear what I mean."

-- Interview with Nature Girl --

Serenity: "So, you talk to trees?"

Nature Girl: "Talk" is not a word I use-"communicate" is a better word."

Serenity: "Communicate? Who makes contact first?"

Nature Girl: "I think we sense each other in synchronized time (though they have a longer awareness than I) but I usually open the exchange."

Serenity: "How?"

Nature Girl: "The person needs to open the channels first, because the trees are in reserve, content to listen and exist so their time is slower than ours. There are not nearly as many 'tree talkers' about. You have to let them see you, feel your want for connection. As soon as I walk in a forest, I feel a peace about me. If I see a sapling along the road, I can touch it and my hands seem to tingle and spread, growing with the life, with the commune. I think in certain areas, all people are aware of this. For instance, in a reservation not far from my old house, there is a pine grove in the center of the forest, set apart from all other trees. Hikers could be laughing, running, or clowning around, but the instant they approach the pines and step under their cover, all was silent. Everyone felt the whispers in that place; everyone felt the power that I do, whenever I come across ANY tree when I place my hands to it and converse."

Serenity: "Is this something you are born with, or must it be developed?"

Nature Girl: "It was something that I know I was born with. I've always felt that everything around me was alive and speaking; but it is a capacity that one can most certainly develop. I believe that respect and belief are all that one needs. My advice to anyone who decides to 'tree-talk': Find a secluded spot. (As you attune yourself, you will not be a distraction; but as a beginner, it would be wise to isolate yourself for total attention.) It's preferable to find a spot with large, towering trees. These are the most wise and more willingly able to 'talk 'than' sidewalk trees. Touch the tree. Use your hands, your face, sit and place your feet on the bark-it doesn't matter as long as the energy can reach you easily. Close your eyes and clear your mind. Focus on slowing down and 'losing your skin.' Remember that you are simply energy and impulses, blood and flesh, and have descended from single cells to plants to primitive animals. Expand yourself outside of your body.

Now speak with your mind. Words are not necessary. Let your spiritual side 'pull' the answers from the tree, and eventually they will come without any persistence on your part. You may tell the tree your name if you wish, your troubles, your inspiration, or just share the power residing in each of you. Remember that 'tree' language is much, much, slower than any way that most humans communicate. You MUST practice patience and repose. I have done this enough now to walk through a forest and send my thoughts out like a bomb. Often, just a simple 'hello' to all trees that I can see. The forest radiates back to me and protects me. And I always get a 'hello' right back."

Serenity: "What is the wisest thing a tree has ever said to you?"

Nature Girl: "Hmm…this is hard to explain because the answers I get are rarely ever words. Instead, I receive extremely apt feelings or imagery. In the backs of the mountains, where the environment has been affected less, the trees emit an intensity that almost hurts. I can barely imagine what it's like in the center of jungles. There is a sensation of awe, knowledge and age. At times when I've sent out a 'hello', I've been struck so hard it brought tears. A 'wash' of the struggles of the centuries: the torture, the death, the renewing life, the circles…this absolute understanding that, as a human being I can scarcely handle.

As for a direct statement, one instance that comes to mind. I once sent out my 'bomb' and received a warning to 'be careful.' Later that day I almost killed myself on a patch of ice that had frozen over the path. Not only would the drop have been most unpleasant (about a thousand-foot drop) but also I was at an elevation of about 13,000 feet, and could have been stranded. My instincts perked up-especially with the warning in the back of my head-and the extra precaution I adopted turned a possible tumble or a dangerous seclusion into a less significant gash to my leg. Ironically, the prevention, in fact, was my grabbing onto a tree stump! Perhaps not the wisest issue broached, but certainly the most helpful. A motto I developed after that day: 'Trees are our friends.'"