All That Is Left

The primeval forest at the Toft Point Preserve

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

Underneath
undisturbed giant trees,
beneath the soil,
the mycelial web—
a fungi galaxy of life,
connects all the trees
together,
one species next
to the other for a reason—
a dependency for life.

Lichens drape
the forest floor,
even over the fallen trees,
covering them
with a green blanket.

Tree trunks grown
for four or five hundred years
climb into the clouds.
My heart seems to grow
at least as tall.

A bird’s song
I do not recognize,
plants I cannot identify.

The air thick with oxygen
and the icy breath
of a thousand Wisconsin winters
gathers around our ankles
as we stand in a primeval forest
on a small finger of land—

all that is left.

Note: Based on the scientific discoveries described by Peter Wholleben in The Hidden Life of Trees.

8 Comments

Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, poems, Poetry

8 responses to “All That Is Left

  1. Reblogged this on Becoming is Superior to Being and commented:
    Trees are fundamental to life as we know it. — kenne

  2. eremophila

    You paint a wonderful picture with those words.
    I’m a fan of all Peter’s books, he’s a rare man.

  3. Some poorly misdirected outgrowths of the human family have much to answer for. 😦

    ~~~~~ ~ ~~~~~

    Lovely words from you as ever, Ethel.

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