Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Excerpt from winged Tale #4 - the unseen world


Adults, unlike children did not see the fairies. Despite that the fairies did have a little something to do with their lives. Very often an adult shakes their head wondering why a lost object has just reappeared even though they'd looked for it right there many times before. Or a knot in the knitting yarn seemingly impossible to unknot becomes undone almost on it's own. All the little things that cannot be explained away, that is the work of the unseen little people. They might be mischievous too and play little trick, turn the tap on a little as you walk away. Nothing really nasty, just mischief. There are rules the unseen world lives by, for instance horrible things are ever done to good people. Mischief is what monsters and gremlins are for. They don't exist in the adult world, in part because adults do not want to believe in them, and besides that because they are helped to forget. That's what fairy dust is for, to make the adults forget. Why is that? Why do adults need to forget and children don't?

Adults don't believe in fairies because they would ridicule each other for believing in them. Some might even be hunting down the fairies for research and put them in little cages in laboratories like they do with mice. Just a lot less complicated and safe for the fairie if adults do not believe in them. Children on the other hand, should believe in them, often a lonely child has only the little persons in the unseen world for friendship. The fairies just love children, fairies are very much like children themselves, always playing and taking delight in games and observing the natural world.

In the valley the only adult able to see the little unseen people was Big Slow Fred, to him they were very real, and the children soon learned they could talk to him about their small unseen friends and be believed. /sometimes Big slow Fred would even invite some of the kids to watch the goose races at his house with fairies mounted on the big fluffy geese and pixies urging them on. The fairies trusted Big Slow Fred and if he brought the children around they knew those were good children and could be trusted not to try and harm them. Occasionally a particularly nasty child had tried to harm the fairies by throwing rocks at them. the fairies with their magical quickness always got out of the way, but the geese might get hurt. Big Slow Fred would remind them that the gremlins would get them when they found out what a nasty little child he or she had been. Mostly the children in the valley were very good children, but it happened sometimes that a child did something nasty. Even here in the valley.

-- it's a start, slow week, running on an hour of sunlight

Monday, January 23, 2006

A song in the woods

The Heart Tree

In the heart of the forest
find the heart on the tree,
carved by fingers of fire
that beckon to thee.

Sharoo - whish - leen
sings the wind in the boughs,
or the voice of my lover
so gentle is she.

Claim a root for a pillow,
'neath a blanket of leaves,
and dream of your childhood
wherever you be.

For the tree is the Mother
with gold tresses I'm told,
both one with the Earth
and Goddess in me.

Whish -- whish --leeroo
see her reach for the moon,
a stairway to stardust --
you just wait and see.

Gather blossoms like rainfall
in the shade of her love,
and know I am with you
'till death set me free.

Enchanted Cork Oak

This tree has some magic about it,
the bark used to seal wine bottles
since ancient times. The tree
isn't harmed in the process, and the
bark grows back. It's just so
beautiful, its curves and foliage.
More pics on:
copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

An Enchanting Experience"

It was early on Saturday morning
2.30 am I noted the time to be.
The night before it had rained
Tropical rain after a heat wave
But.......
In the early hours of Sat 21st Jan'06
I woke to the noise of thunder and saw flashes
of lightning in the sky,they seemed to be outside my front upstairs bedroom window
I got out of bed and came downstairs
I had left the front door open,but
had locked the wire door
It was too oppresive to sleep without air.
Sometimes it is necessary to throw
caution to the wind on nights like this

Down it came rain so heavy ,but light in texture
not winter rain.. it was summer,tropical rain
I stood on the front porch
and looked across to the park
some 35 metres away.

The golden leaves on the huge elm and poplar and ash trees, huge palms,liquid ambers flowering gums p/barks ,pencil pines
allstretched out their foliage to greet the water
as if to say " Here we are,come come dance with us"
Give us the nourishment we need
Stay, stay, don't leave us..stay longer

Flashes of lightning ,thunder rolls interacted with the downpour
I thought of the past 5 weeks
I had sent numerous emails to my local government
for the mulching around the trees
and also some re/cycled water they've for sports ovals
No..they said...they came and muclched but no drink for the trees

I then sent emails to all the councillors ,
wrote letters to the local paper
took up a petition of those living near and adjacent to the park
Or Reserve as we call it..." The Garden City Reserve"
landscaped 16 acres in 1928 for the people of this Garden City
from an English plan of a village.
I enventually got my trees watered,late at night the previous week ..why at night I asked myself.....I still wonder
It was done...I had not been so forceful in 1986 when 20 trees died on the park....20 years down the track I know what to do...Do I get offended someone once said of me
No " I don't think I do" if its a small thing I let it go
If its a big issue....I GET MAD,really MAD

I stood out in this early Sat morning rain letting it run down
my back ,wet my hair ,bare feet I walked to the corner
It was a magical sight ,a sight of wonderment
that rain could fill ones heart so.
Perhaps like that of farmers in drought,those fighting bushfires
those who rely on tank water ,those whose gardens are dying
Fruit crops,paddocks of pasture,animals in danger of dying of thirst.,rivers needing a good deluge to flush their banks

And here was I worrying about a park full of trees
I pulled myself together and thought
These trees are needed to take up the impurities
in the air we are subjected to. 25,000 trucks and cars
travel up and down to the docks daily on the road behind my home
Treesare needed,they are precious,they are there for just this reason..

Did I see elves or fairies in the rain drops?
I think I saw in those raindrops small creatures
caught in the heavy deluge ,dancing, singing, playing small harps as they too enjoyed a special and rare event of late
They could have been any little creatures even butterflies,or dragon flies or maybe spiders and bees,any creatures that use the trees for a place to call home...

Lois ( Muse of the Sea) 22.1.06

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Heart of Janie

And Janie wrote …

"The sound of dried pine needs…"

an absence of the mind?
the voice of soul over will?
a Freudian slip?
a heart beat beyond my hearing?

There are many songs of the forest
that one only hears in absence --
a primordial cry, perhaps
to come --
to walk --
to listen --

and then to ever wander,
becoming a forest of dreams --
in which others may tread softly --
hear a 'message gentle',
and know of needs --
and the silence
of the trees.

papa 01/19/06

Girl Wanders Through Forest

I have always admired people who are effortlessly absent-minded, and people who are not obsessed with order. The same people who perhaps might not notice mess, dirt or chaos in their own home. This is my daytime lament.

A girl wanders through the forest. Rabbits hide behind fallen branches. They watch her anonymously. The sound of dried pine needles crunching under her feet is the only sound she can hear. In the absence of distraction the girl's thoughts remain in the present. She can't even remember getting to the forest but is not bothered by this. Rather, she is proud. She knows she wastes too much energy trying to remember minute particles of details that are irrelevant to anything that is remotely important. So there we have it - an effortless act of absent-mindedness shines a warm ray of inspiration over the girl and for a moment she is of the feeling that life is alright. She wanders on, comfortable in her temporarily absent skin.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Death of Leaning Birches & Company

I've always been fascinated by Birch Trees. So here, in my own way is a tribute to them. This is an older story of mine, but one of my favorites and if you read on you will see some artwork by our very own very talented Heather Blakey...enjoy

I'm from a town called Leaning Birches; it grew up seemingly overnight around a single mining a camp.

Like any other town there’s a church, a saloon a school, a jail and shanties. There were houses on the ridges and even a cemetery. A train comes through now and then to take away the gold, sometimes the dead and it brings supplies too.

In the town of Leaning Birches men have wasted away to nothing working in the mines, they don't think about food or drink or even women when they hit those veins. No one there can remember their life before the mines, it just isn’t as important as what is under their feet.

In Leaning Birches in one way or another the Mines have claimed or spawned what's now above ground.

Once I was lost in the Mines, it was only for a little while though. I'm not sure why but I took my time walking through the darkness to the entrance. I thought I saw Miners down there, laboring, fighting, working, dieing. Only they where nothing more then shadows and whispers.

Ghosts I suppose.

Along my way I also saw carvings on the walls, in parts of the caves the miners had ventured into and then abandoned. The figure was always the same, a woman with arrows clutched in her hands. Corpses at her feet and a sly smile painted across her lips. She had no eyes and a veil of long black hair. Sometimes the figure was painted and sometimes carved. Sometimes it was life sized and at other times she was no bigger then the palm of my hand.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
image courtesy of Heather Blakey

I don't know how long I walked before I found my way out; I walked towards vaporous figures that became more solid as I approached. Their voice became solid and real too, not whispers or hints of sound.

" Christ almighty, " one said as I approached " what the hell is down there? "

" Rats, " another answered " dead rats and they must be waist deep in that one enclave, I ain't going in there again the smell is God awful "

" You're sure Amory? They were all dead? How can that be? We were just down there yesterday and everything was fine."

" Listen Del, I’m telling you that cave is full of them. They all went recent too, they're still, you know, fresh"

The voices retreated, and now I stood near the entrance, I placed my hand against the hall and my fingers danced...like spiders when they spin a web and when I took my hand away the woman with the arrows in her hands was there.

And now, so was I.

I crossed the threshold and I was topside. The town was very much alive, but I saw the shadows everywhere.

These shadows weren't shadows cast from the Sun, they were cast from the darkness and they moved liked predators stalking prey. They slid up and crossed the faces of men, women, children, livestock and they nested there.

As the shadows become darker the figures under them seemed to fade until nothing was left.

Sometimes they saw me through the Shadows. I saw traces of their faces and I also saw their fear, I saw their anger, I saw their regret. And sometimes I saw relief. They died very quickly.

The road to the cemetery was traveled almost hourly now, sometimes even at night. Later, when they all became sick the entire town turned into a cemetery and the dead were left to rest where they fell.

The town of Leaning Birches simply shut its eyes one evening just before sunset and drew one last long rattling breath and stopped.

It was done in less then 3 days.

That's how the town of Leaning Birches died. It was murdered by my hand and what I brought from the Mines with me. It was a Black Death that consumed them all. When I was done I retreated back to the mines.

I'm still down here, wandering the tunnels carved by the Miners and I still make my little drawings. Sometimes animal ventures in and I take it, sometimes it ventures back out alone and sometimes I go with it.

My little town is famous I've learned. There's a legend that over 500 souls disappeared from it without a trace over one night. The story says a surveyor came up and found food set out on tables, half filled glasses in the saloon. Money on the counter at the bank. He made it sound like all those people and their animals just got up and walked away into the hills.

Of course he lied, I know because I was there. As it would happen because I claim what is mine...no matter how far I have to travel, I found him years later in another country at another mine and I saw the look of regret on his face in the last few minutes of his life.

I didn't begrudge him his tall tale. He shouldn’t have and you shouldn't either.

He did come to the town and he sat on his horse on the ridge above the town and looked down into the ruins I had created. Bodies littered the street, the smell and silence and ugliness seemed to reach up from below and grab him by his throat.

The horseman didn't see the corpse of a ruined town; his mind simply refused to see it. I think he saw one corpse in that valley. Not, buildings or bodies or decay. A single ruined corpse.

"Somebody killed this town,” he said to himself " as surely as if they put a rifle to it's head and pulled the trigger."

Then he felt me. His hand went to the back of his neck and he saw the hairs standing up on his arms on that hot summer day. He nearly fell off his horse as he felt me approach from the bluff below. His mind slammed a door shut so hard in his own head that even I heard it.

Then I was next to him.

He couldn't see me, but he felt me. His head snapped from left to right, he turned in his saddle and his eyes were bright, defiant. I admired him very much. Which is why I didn't take him that day.

Then his horse reared and threw him to the ground. " Not here, Jesus Not here...Christ those poor people...God, God in the streets like runned over dogs...God..." he was saying from the ground. He was on all fours for a moment and then he was on his feet and his horse tried to gallop away, but I put my hand on it and it screamed in terror and stood still. It's eyes rolled and its sides heaved but it would not move past me.

I'm not sure who showed him Mercy that day but when he looked back down into the town he really saw the tale he told all those years later. He didn't see death and decay. He saw nothing except dust and empty buildings.

The town was completely abandoned by the world once it heard about the sickness there. That tale didn't come from the horseman, it came from a woman who escaped my attention entirely and I'm not sure to this day how she managed that.

So the world never came back, my presence you see...after all of this time you can feel it. You can see it in the trees and grass that don't seem to be as green and alive as the trees and grasses that grow on the opposite side of the river. The air here is still fetid and dank.

The way it is in the mines.

Still, the explores come. They try to stand in the places where buildings once stood and never seem to venture very far down what was once the main street. They don't go to the cemetery because, they tell each other, it's flat and there's nothing to see. They don't even realize it is a cemetery as all the markers were wood and when the Blackness came for them the Miners and townspeople stopped using markers at all.

But there's plenty to hear and if you can't hear it you can feel it.

That cemetery is never quiet and nothing sleeps up there. Sometimes hikers happen by and so do the hunters and the lost. But nothing stays here. The wind won't even travel these streets and sunlight doesn't come any closer then it has too.

But I walk these hills and valleys and sometimes I travel far away from this place.

But I'm from this valley and from these Mines and I am always here; I will always be here.

Waiting.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Silver Birch and Friends


copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

For Shiloh -from my archives

Wisp-Willow

When a lonely heart's your only friend,
And you stand in an empty meadow,
Then call on the maid of enchantment,
The one known as Wisp-o-Willow.

Prance in the swaying stillness
And hear the sound of the moon.
There is the mem'ry of what will be
To soon sing your fears away.

When your tasks are mountains of chaos
Along a pathway of broken glass,
Then call on the squire of the journey,
And with Willow-Wisp burdens will pass.

Prance in the swaying stillness
And hear the sound of the moon.
There is the mem'ry of what will be
To soon sing your fears away.

Within every friend there's a willow
That can bend with the burden of thee,
And between you a wisp of magick,
In faith that one and one are three.

So let someone stand on your shoulders
That you can see from their sense of awe;
And call on the Source of Creation
And know what the Will-o-Whisper saw.

Prance in the swaying stillness
And hear the sound of the moon.
There is the mem'ry of what will be
To soon sing your fears away.

faucon


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Memories of Birches

This morning I woke early and went for a walk in the Enchanted Grove. The air was crisp and cool. Animals were still huddled in their nests and dens keeping each other warm. But I wanted to see the trees. The trees which reminded me of another life in the way northern lands. The Birches.

They are like soldiers in the woods, standing tall with their crisp white uniforms. Their bodies lined with slashes of browns and blacks as to denote their ranking. Their side arms made of thin leaves which often rustle in the wind. Their helmets the greens and yellows of their foliage. They fall to attention as I wander amongst them. Not daring to show me their aliveness, they stand proud as if to guard our Manor and Magical Places.

I look toward the Faraway Tree and wonder if there are lands above it where birches are as lively as the sprites which in habit this woods. Whatever would they say if they could talk? I could imagine them dancing – the hambo no doubt, light on their feet and always with the beat. Such good dancers these fine trees would be. I wished I had worn my dancing shoes just in case.

Willow and Melisande


"Melisande"
Painting by Jonathon Earl Bowser

Why Willow Trees Weep

Riversleigh and its accompanying grove are really magnificent, wonderful, magical places. There's no telling who you'll meet up with or what you'll learn.

The trees' whispering call on the gentle wind carries to the open window of my room and is irresistible. Once again the gentle giants lure me out into the Golden Seed Grove. I follow the dirt path leading off from the Manor's back porch, staying on it as it gently veers to the right and into the grove itself. The atmosphere is more hushed and cooler upon entering the woods and the light is dimmer, dappling the ground with shifting gray shadows as warm golden sunlight filters down through the green canopy made of tree boughs. Birdsong coming from here or there high up in the trees, or as a blue bird calls as it flies to its mate and nest, provides a pleasing backdrop to my woodland walk. I am at peace here and I feel safe, knowing the rustling sounds I hear around me are made by the creatures who call this forest their home. I know they won't harm me; they're only going about their business. The woods smell fresh, clean, yet earthy and of course, naturally woodsy. I can't wait to bring this scent into my room! I think to myself, excited about the new endeavor I've planned.

Smiling and swinging the basket to and fro that I'd brought to collect things for the Forest Fantasy potpourri I plan to make, I go on further down the path before leaving it entirely as I spy a bush of cranberry red Milo berries. Going down on one knee, putting my basket down, I remove my pruning shears from it and gently snip several clusters of the deep red berries from the bush, placing them in my basket. Satisfied that I have enough I stand up a few minutes later and move on.

Moving deeper into the grove, I simply enjoy my walk, my surroundings and the well-being that fills me to the brim. I keep my eyes out, though, for anything interesting that catches my gaze, to use for the potpourri.

"Wisha, wisha, wisha, wisha..." the trees whisper about me, as the soft wind sets their limbs a-swaying and it plays with tendrils of my dark brown hair.

Pushing the tickling strands away from my mouth and cheek, I wonder idly what they're saying. There are so many different trees here in the grove, evergreens, cedars, aspens, oaks, maples and willows to name several. What could they possibly have to say to each other? I continue to wonder as I spy something...or someone?...just up ahead. Stopping, stilling, I barely breathe as I focus in on what I had glimpsed just now.

Yes, just there, behind the thick trunk of an old oak tree, someone the likes of whom I've never seen before stares back at me. My jaw drops open a little, and I can't help blinking a few times in surprise. I have never seen anyone like her, even in my wildest imagination, for her skin, a light brown, looks like wood, and her hair is a lush verdant green. Her eyes glow a similar green within her beautiful, odd face.

We stare at each other for what seems like an eternity, a magical, off-kilter eternity. Yet I know it's only mere heartbeats. Dry-mouthed, I wet my lips with the tip of my tongue in an effort to speak. What sort of creature is this? I ask myself as I open to say hello.

Before I can utter a word, however, she turns and hurries away, her brown slippered feet carrying her down a dirt path that meanders like a snake this way and that through the grove.

"Wait!" I cry, suddenly in forward motion myself, running to catch up. "Wait! I mean no harm! Who are you?"

We run and run, past and between trees, new and ancient; we crash--or rather I do while she nimbly and gracefully seems to pass--through the forest brush. My pants and light teal sweater catch and snag on the protruding branches of the bushes and my hands and forearms sustain minor scratches from them as well, but heedlessly I ignore them as I press on, doing my best to keep her in my sights. "Wait for me!" I plead.

We run until I think I can no longer follow. Breathless, chest heaving and doubled over, I take great gasping breaths as I brace my hands on my knees. My leg muscles quiver in a thank you for the sudden halt. Weak, they collapse beneath me and I sink to the ground, grateful we have reached the end of our flight, wherever it is. All I know is I've never been this far in the woods since moving into Riversleigh. Finally having my breathing under control I look up and take in our surroundings.

The strange wood-like lady has stopped in a wide clearing, with a lone magnificent willow tree presiding in the center. Stepping towards it she caresses its great trunk with long graceful woody fingers. Gazing calmly at me she waits till I've recovered enough--she isn't even breathing hard, dash it all!--to join her at the willow.

"Wisha, wisha, wisha, wisha..." the willow whispers as the wind moves playfully through its draping limbs and leaves.

I look at my magical companion, for she can only be magical, and wait for her lead.

"It is good Riversleigh has people now," she says. "It's been empty too long." Her voice is husky, earthy and sounds a bit like rustling leaves as the wind soughs through them. "You humans have become so caught up in the fast-paced life of the city anymore that you fail to remember Nature is around you, wants to be one with you as it--we--once were. You neglect us now that you have these...machines that you say are progress. These machines that take you places, over land, across the Great Waters and through the air. These machines that heat and cook your food, that you type on and letters appear on the glass before your eyes.

"Yes, it is good that you and your companions have come to be with us, to remember and to learn what we know and have to offer."

I say the first simple thing that pops into my head, my mind awhirl. "Who are you?"

She half smiles at that, trailing her woody hand along the trunk as she steps towards me. Taking my arm, she guides me to a cluster of big flat gray boulders not far from the tree and indicates I should sit. She follows me down onto a boulder of her own, smoothing the knee-length skirt of her spring green dress.

Looking curiously at her, I rub my arm where she'd touched me. "You feel like wood," I marvel. "Alive and warm, but like wood.

"Who are you?" I ask once again after a brief silence.

"Willow," she answers, looking up at me. "And this is my tree." She gestures to the graceful old willow whose long limbs move softly with each gentle gust of wind. "I'm a tree spirit."

"Wisha, wisha, wisha, wisha..." the willow whispers.

"It's a beautiful tree!" I tell her sincerely, letting my eyes feast upon the wide and gnarled brown trunk and arcing limbs festooned with the long, wispy leaves particular to the willow. Suddenly I'm hit with an acute feeling of homesickness for my grandparents' farm in Idaho. It has a Weeping Willow in the front yard near the road that I just loved to admire and wonder about as a kid. I wondered why it was called the "Weeping Willow" and what had caused its sadness.

"Wisha, wisha, wisha, wisha..." the ancient willow in the clearing whispers again, bringing me back from old memories and long-forgotten imaginings.

I smile softly, remembering what we were told upon arriving at Riversleigh by the Enchantress. The trees, when they whisper, are talking. But to whom? Is it us, or amongst themselves? I question silently.

Watching me while I ponder and puzzle through my thoughts and questions, Willow waits with a slight smile and knowing expression on her woody face.

"She's talking to you, you know," she informs me, breaking the peaceful silence.

Startled, I ask, "What is she saying?"

"Why don't you go put your left ear to her trunk?" she suggests. "You might discover the answer to your childhood question."

"How...?" I start to ask as I slowly stand and make my way back to the tree, gently moving the hanging limbs aside to crouch down and put my ear to the tree as instructed.

"I'm a tree spirit, remember?" she says as I go. "A part of Nature. I can be with any willow tree at anytime, anywhere. I saw you as a thin, shy and studious child, often visiting your mother's parents' home in the country. I saw you watch and wonder about the young willow tree on the farm; I heard your thoughts and shared your flights of fancy.

"It was the trees who told me you were here, at Riversleigh," she continues as I look at her from my position by my new friend, the stately willow. "Great-Grandmother Willow heard as well, and knowing of your childhood questions from my travels, she called to you and bade me bring you here so she can tell the story."

"I thought they are called Weeping Willows because their branches and leaves remind people of falling tears?" I ask.

Willow smiles tolerantly and simply urges me to "Listen."

I turn my attention to interpreting the whispers of the tree, and a few minutes later I am transported to a long-forgotten time and to a place I've never been before. Medieval England, the era of knights in shining armor, noble ladies to whose beauty ballads or lays were sung, bards, quests and courtly love. Great-Grandmother Willow's voice is soft, creaking yet melodic on the wind. I have to concentrate to hear her as she begins her tale.

"Listen to me, child," she says. "And I will tell you true, the tale of why we willows weep. It's a sad tale indeed, of two lovers who courted beneath a willow tree, who loved well and true, but oh so unwisely. Our story begins 870 years ago, when the willow that witnessed their love was young. It stands (with other trees now) on the south bank of the River Esk still today, along the Scottish border near Carlisle. In those days the river and tree marked the northern boundary of a wealthy and powerful earl's estate. Greensleigh, it was called. (The ruins of the castle are still there up on the hill, but only tourists wanting to walk with ghosts ever go. The locals refuse, unable to bear the feelings of sadness and love lost clinging to the stones. They say the place is cursed, that if lovers set foot on the land of Greensleigh and pledge their troth to each other, their love too will end in tragedy. There have even been reports through the years of sightings of a beautiful young maiden dressed in white and gold, standing in the morning mist beneath the willow tree. They say she waits there for her lover, hoping he will come for her at last, but always she waits in vain. And with the last of the mist burned away in the heat of the sun's rays, the young noblewoman disappears, as if she and the mist were just a dream.)

"But she did exist those 870 years past. In life she had been the earl's only child, whom he doted upon. Melisande of Greensleigh was her name, and with long hair like golden silk, eyes like the purest blue sapphires and a sweet and cheery disposition, she was the fairest and most sought after maiden in all of England. Many lords and knights sought for her hand in marriage...but her heart was already won. Melisande loved a poor, landless knight by the name of Sir Roarke who hailed from Breckinridge. He had naught to offer her but dreams and his undying love. Because he had no land, and because almost all marriages back then were made to form advantageous alliances, their love was forbidden. So they met in secret whenever they could, underneath the willow tree, and courted. There they pledged their everlasting troth to one another, my sister their only witness.

"Soon after the lovers made their promise, word went out that King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table--yes, there really was a Camelot, my child--were on another quest, this time seeking the Holy Grail. Sir Roarke knew upon hearing the news this was his chance to make a name for himself and be able to claim the Lady Melisande for his wife. If he could join the quest for the Holy Relic valued by you humans and be the one to successfully find it, then the king would richly and handsomely reward him. Melisande's father, the Earl of Greensleigh, would then have no viable objection to their union.

"And so, having gotten King Arthur's permission to join the quest, the two lovers approached the earl with Sir Roarke's intentions. Seeing how his beloved daughter looked at the tall, dark-haired knight and how he looked back at Melisande with his dark eyes, the earl was reminded of his now-deceased wife and how lucky they'd been to have love in their own marriage. He could not, nor did he want to, deny them their happiness or love. He liked the young knight besides; the earl knew him to be an honorable and just man. He knew he would protect and cherish his daughter. He readily agreed and gave the two his blessing, wishing Sir Roarke good luck and God Speed.

"'The sooner you get back with the Grail, the sooner we can celebrate your union, my son,' he said jovially, clapping the young suitor on his back.

"Mellisande's and her knight's hearts were overflowing with joy. They had found a way to be together at last, and they had her father's approval. Three days later the illustrious King of Camelot and his followers left for the Holy Land in search of the Grail. Melisande stood on the battlements of her father's stalwart castle and watched longingly and with hope as her love rode away to join the questors, his yellow and sccarlet banner with the rearing rare black unicorn waving in the wind after him.

"As he disappeared over the horizon she whispered to herself, 'Hurry home.' For he had vowed not to return to her until he had the Grail. And a true knight always honors his oaths. He'd made that promise to her beneath their willow tree and asked her to meet him there upon his triumphant return.

"Days passed into weeks and weeks into months. Sir Roarke wrote Lady Melisande when he could and she him. But as a year went by then two without any success, frustration and disappointment plagued them. She pined for him and missed him dearly, going daily to my sister, where she read his letters and cried, knowing in his stubbornness Sir Roarke would never give up and come home to her until he had the Grail in hand. After all, he had promised her and her father. And a true knight always honors his oaths. The stubborn knight pined for his lady too, and he missed her terribly, but his pride and honor would not allow him to give up.

"Back here in England, more lords and knights continued to seek the Lady Melisande's hand in marriage--many would have made highly advantageous alliances her father noted, but he had given his word, and he wanted his daughter to have the love he and her mother had had.

"But sadly, it wasn't to be, this love of Melisande and Sir Roarke's. Not in this lifetime or the next, I'm afraid. Not until a descendant of his can let go of his or her pride, recognizing there is something more important--like love--in life and that it's ok to admit defeat. Until then, the curse that keeps Greensleigh and its unhappy, haunting souls hostage will continue to bring nothing but tragedy to the place.

"How and why was the curse formed? you ask. I'll tell you, child. Amongst the Lady Melisande's most persistent suitors was a marquis quite used to getting his way. He wanted the earl's daughter. And her extensive dowry. In fact, it was her father's lands, gold, renown and power that made the maiden so attractive to him. And he would stop at nothing to make them all his. Nothing.

"He was Roger of Arnsworth, their nearest neighbor to the southwest, whose lands were but two days ride from Greensleigh. He knew, if united, the two families would be a formidable alliance against most who dared to oppose them. Not only that--and this was one of his main purposes for wanting to marry the beautiful maiden--Greensleigh, which contained some of the best land and resources in England with good hunting in the forest bordering its eastern limits, would be his. He would be envied by the majority of his fellow noblemen, both for the lands he held and for the power and connections he had.

"He was patient with the Lady Melisande at first, thinking that with time, artful wooing and charm he'd win her over. But steadfastly she refused, remaining unmoved by the flowers he sent her, the poems and love songs he had written in honor of her beauty. This did not sit well with the marquis, for as I have said, he was quite accustomed to having his way. Rejection was a rare thing for him. Determined to have his way no matter what, Roger of Arnsworth refused to take 'no' for an answer. He tried a more insistent, less subtle, gentle tactic.

"He lay seige to Greensleigh. All Lady Melisande had to do to was say, 'Yes' and he would end it. But still she refused, and Greensleigh was quite well prepared for a seige. Its storage and larders were well-stocked, enough so to last several months. Even more frustrated and angry by being thwarted in this latest attempt and from the lady's continued rejection, the marquis became quite ruthless and dangerous after this in seeking her hand.

"His patience and good humor were at an end. Since fair means had merited him naught, it was obvious and most unfortunate, that his chosen bride would have to be coerced to the altar by foul means. Three weeks after the failed seige the earl was injured in a suspicious carriage accident. Though he survived, his right leg was lame for the remainder of his life. Melisande was saved yet again and once more refused her unwanted suitor. Nothing was proved, but all at Greensleigh knew, or at least suspected, Roger of Arnsworth had been behind their lord's accident.

"Furious at being constantly denied for seven months by a mere slip of a foolish girl, the marquis turned to his mother, the Lady Delilah, who was a witch. It was she who put the curse on Greensleigh. She vowed the young knight, Sir Roarke, would never come home and all of Greensleigh would know only sorrow and bad luck till the Lady Melisande agreed to be her son's wife or a descendant of the stubborn knight's, like unto himself, realized what was most important in life.

"Though belief in magic abounded in the land, and Merlin, Morganna Le Fey and the mysterious Lady of the Lake were powerful practitioners of the art, the lord of Greensleigh, his daughter and people refused to be intimidated by any curse. They hoped and thought that if they didn't believe in the curse, it couldn't harm them. Oh, how wrong they were!"

The ancient willow sighs sadly, her arching limbs moving delicately in the wind. She continues her tale as I shift into a more comfortable position on the ground, using an exposed root of hers for a back rest.

"Though they tried valiantly to ignore the turn in their luck, the series of tragic accidents and other events and the discord that began breaking out across the estate after the witch's unwelcome visit, they couldn't deny them forever. They were, indeed, cursed. Angry, heartbroken and thoroughly unhappy though she was, the young noblewoman refused to give in to Roger of Arnsworth's evil. She continued steadfastly in her refusal. She would not be his bride. Roger was sure, however, that with time events brought about by his mother's curse would force her to come to him.

"By this time four years had gone by, without any success in finding the Holy Relic. King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table knew they had to get back; they had been gone from the realm long enough. But once again, Sir Roarke's pride and honor kept him from quitting. He promised the king he would return home once he found the precious artifact. After all, a knight's word is his bond. And a true knight always honors his oaths. So, the failed questors sailed west, towards home, minus one.

"Each day the Lady Melisande visited my sister, either reading or writing a missive from or to Sir Roarke, or remembering happier times as they courted underneath her graceful limbs. Tears had replaced her cheery disposition and were shed unchecked till there were no more, while her poor heart, as you humans like to say, 'shattered into thousands of pieces' over and over. My sister, the young willow tree on the south bank of the River Esk, heard and witnessed the girl's heartache and sorrow and sought to absorb them while striving to give peace in return.

"All seemed hopeless to Melisande. Everyday was the same now, melding one into another. So easy was it to forget Time, cloaked as it was in a cloying, dark heavy mist of misery. The happiness and peace once prevalent on her father's estate seemed a distant memory, a fading dream in the dismal reality of Delilah of Arnsworth's evil curse. Everything she held dear had fallen--or was falling apart: her dreams for the future, the peace and joy that had always been a part of her beloved home growing up and the lives of the villagers who depended upon her father as their liege lord. Her love refused to come home from the Holy Land without fulfilling his promises to both her and King Arthur, in spite of her fervent pleas and insistence that if he came home, he'd still get the recognition he sought for having stayed behind and giving it one more valiant try at finding the artifact. And she refused to marry the villainous marquis. Though the lady was terribly unhappy, her heart was breaking and she carried the large burden of guilt for the sorrow and misery her people were suffering, and she knew she had the power to end the hated curse, she couldn't bring herself to say the one necessary word, 'Yes.'

"Greensleigh was doomed.

"The marquis waited, letting the curse devastate the once prosperous estate. He was sure it wouldn't be long before he welcomed the beautiful Lady Melisande into his hall at Arnsworth. But one last time he would be denied, this time forever, by her tragic death a short four months later. The poor young woman died of a broken heart underneath the willow tree that had witnessed the happiness with her love and the pain and sorrow Melisande suffered as she pined for him.

"With her death all lingering vestiges of hope left everyone at Greensleigh. Things continued to worsen, people began fleeing the village to escape the curse and the once generous, compassionate lord turned into a bitter recluse, who soon went into a decline of his own. He too died the same way, following his daughter to the cold, dark grave three months later.

"Mother Nature, feeling my young sister's pain and distress, visited Greensleigh and was told the tragic tale, much as it has been told to you by me. Greatly touched and sorrowed by what happened and by the willow tree's unhappiness, Gaia decided there should be a symbol in Nature that would never let others forget the events at unfortunate Greensleigh. She gave my sister, the lovers' tree, and all other willows the ability to "cry" in remembrance of the ill-fated love of the Lady Melisande and her knight, Sir Roarke. Our leaves, when they fall, resemble tears falling. And so we weep, my child, for the tragedy of Greensleigh."

It isn't until Great-Grandmother Willow ends her story and a wet splat lands on my hand that I realize tears of my own have been making silent damp tracks down my cheeks. I swipe at them with the backs of my hands. "How sad!" I cry, slowly getting up with Willow's help who had come close towards the end.

"They never can be together, unless a descendant of his breaks the curse." Frowning, I pause and wonder aloud. "Is a descendant of Sir Roarke's alive today?"

"Yes," Willow said, leading me out from under Great-Grandmother Willow's long limbs. "She's from your country."

"Then..." I start to say, but the tree spirit interrupts, "It's getting late, we should be getting you back to the Manor."

Being caught up in the tale I hadn't noticed the passage of time, but now I see she is right. Dusky gray twilight has begun to fall over the grove and Riversleigh. Tall dark shadows have taken over where dappled light used to be. The woods are almost completely dark. My stomach rumbles hungrily, demanding food. I nod in agreement and start to answer Willow, but then something stops me.

"Wait!" I cry and hurry back to embrace the ancient willow's trunk, disregarding its roughness. "Thank you!" I whisper. "I promise to come back and visit."

As I leave her I feel a graceful limb full of leaves lightly touch my cheek, as if in a caress. Willow guides me back to the spot where I first saw her, and I notice the basket I carried into the woods sits on the path where I dropped it upon chasing the tree spirit. I pick it up and we continue on till we reach the edge of the grove, where we say our farewells.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Beyond the trees

Before leaving the Grove, I did a search of my 'ancient sayings' archives for tree references.

I found only this on which to ponder ...

as you sit on a pavilion cushion in comfort
your spirit will rush out
to the fields and trees of dreams.
as you recline on grass and rocks by a stream
your soul will dash back
to sheltered walls and veils of yesterday.
find instead someone with whom to sit
on a billowing cloud where there is only –
here and now

the scrolls of Eskiyalı

Monday, January 09, 2006

but a stream

excerpt from "Limora Gate"

There is a faint deer trail sneaking between the Dogwoods. Not much used -- it must be unimportant, of little value -- leading no where. I might get lost! Yet Limora knew that all paths cross in the forest. Sally was still less confident and whistled a bird call to linger for an hour or two to mark her passage.

Steep! Too steep for safety -- go around. Golden carpets of pine needles can slip or cover depressions and roots. Greying lichen make granite boulders perilous and might stain your cloths. A walking stick -- find a stick. Beware! It might be a snake. Limora had Sally close her eyes and reach out with here focused need. She paced to the right behind a rock protrusion and found her gift -- a perfect length of ‘strangle wood’ -- a branch broken off by a falling rock from the cliff above. Its twisted, gnarled shaft gave proof of another life -- a vine long gone that had also fought for sunlight. Sally rubbed the ends against an offered boulder to remove splinters and surrendering bark. With a new balance, Sally continued up the trail; drawing up energy from the earth. “Good job, Lord!” she sang.

The lake was no surprise. Memories of ancient Baba Yaga tales told of a troll that would drag her in. Sally laughed but stood well back from the muddy edge. The mark of beaver was everywhere. It saddened her a bit to see a whole stand of sapplings chewed off at their knees. Yet, she sensed no lingering cries from the destruction -- as if the trees new they would serve a useful purpose.


Partially gnawed trees whimpered in dismay, though Limora was no adept enough to know if this was from being chosen and rejected, or not being chosen at all! “The beavers are becoming too human,” she thought. “Any job worth doing is worth doing well!” She drug some stumps and rocks to the low side of some trees in faith that the beavers could continue their work. For other trees not too badly scared, she sang wordless songs -- nurturing, healing. Several animals gather about to join in the praying. An egret lifted gently from a cane break, giant wings but a sky ripple to match the echoing wave pulse tickled by dragging feet. She knew the beavers would return.

She would not have known of the stream bed beneath her feet save for the tactile crunch of hidden gravel. Only in early summer did a trickle eke its way down this shallow course, now buried in leaves and windfall branches. She followed. Down to crack in the shale wall where it was swallowed up again to appear as if by magic in a spring below somewhere. Up between patches of dried up ferns. Up through hints of velvet moss. Up to an elfen cave behind a thorny bush. She lay on her chest to breath in the cool, most air. There was water still! And music! Tiny chimes as chrystal drops rained on a hidden pool inside. Limora cupped her ears to shield out the rustle of the pines.


Ping-g-ggg. Ploink. Pledupe. No stream appeared at the lip -- a special balance of birth and death having been achieved in this crack -- womb and tomb the same. She reached carefully in -- barely large enough -- an adult never could. Her fingers dipped as in a font of holy water to touch three stones -- three alone, no bigger than pearls. Dare she? One by one she extracted them to lie on a leaf by her chin. She thought to take one -- but which. They seemed the same, yet cannot be, formed as there were by antiquity. She closed her eyes and listened to the thunder from the tiny cave -- a storm raging within -- her soul that is. She sensed a movement. Open! The tiniest frog imaginable had emerged from the pool’s protection. It could have been a fly had she not have been so close -- irony. Its skin slowly changed to match the color of the leaf -- then gone; only to appear again on the farthest stone.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Wandering - Canna Lily Forest



A diversion from the picnic in
the Enchanted Wood takes
me to a kind of grove of
Canna Lilies that are
human tall. It feels like
they are alive, fresh
from a sprinkling of rain,
in the humidity of the
morning...
copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Happy Birthday Aletta!

carved flower.jpg

I found this flower somewhere in the Roman Forum.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Deep in the Woods

After settling into my special room, I toddled off to explore the woods that I could see from my window. At first it was hard to get accustomed to the darkness, but soon the silence of the woods began to touch my heart. I could hear the 'whispa, whispa, whispa' .I always love to feel the softness of the carpet of leaves on the ground - the silence, the stillness the clarity of the birds as they busily enjoy their haven. This is really soothing my soul. I have all the time in the world.



"Whispa, whispa, whispa, come over to me" I heard. There in front of me was the most magnificent gum I have ever seen. I could only stand and look, absolutely in awe of her immensity. Slowly I edged closer, and tentatively put my arms around her. I could feel her strength, and knew that her roots reached deeply into the earth.

Speak to me of the Feminine Spirit
Rooted deeply within Mother Earth
Your arms reaching out
Shelter for all
Limbs torn away
Scarred by the fires
Still standing tall
So beautiful to see

Dance Aletta



For your birthday I would send the warmth you need,

or be there to hold your hand, and watch you draw,

and dance on the edge of life's creation --

but all I can package is a word of thanks,

that I can share your dreams.

faucon

Friday, January 06, 2006

Midnight Seeds



I came to the Enchanted Grove with the Shadows.

I’ve brought a present for this place.

Look here….

In my hand I hold these seeds.

I robbed them from Corpses and Witches, Ghouls and Ghosts. I’ve sailed cursed ships and traveled through airless catacombs to find them.

They are mine and I’ve traveled to dark, dark places to find them…to bring back each one.

It wouldn’t be fun to keep them all to myself. I’ve brought them back here to share.

I’ve come a long way to share them all.

The Nightshade and Wolfsbane, Mandrake and Thistles and Weeds. The inspire me, they speak to me they are beautiful to me. I want to make them all live. Each and every one of them.



I wonder, was it you that saw me last night?

Were you the one that stood behind that tree with your notebook clenched in your hand, your eyes opened wide in terror, horror and revulsion as you saw me for what I am? Were you the one that wanted to scream and runaway but just…didn’t?

Were you the one that watched as I did my Midnight Gardening?

Did you see me on my knees, digging into the earth with my bare hands, laughing as I dropped each rotted seed down into the dark wet soil?

I wonder what you did when you saw me lean down and kiss the Dark Earth. I wonder what you felt when I looked up and you were positive I saw you.

Well, I did.

After my seeds sprout and grow and reach up to the dark, dark night sky I’ll be back to harvest them…and I’ll tell you their secrets.

Because that’s what I do.

And that’s what you want, but it will be our little secret.

I like Secrets after all…especially the Dark Ones.

Anita Marie's Garden....Enter if you dare....

Frolicking through the Woods

Yesterday and the day before I took some time out to sit on the front verandah at Riversleigh Manor. The verandah looks over a rambling cottage garden, and you can see beyond the fenceline to the enchanted forest. It looks like a plantation Pine Forest, the kind you can wander into from any side. As I gaze towards the forest I imagine that I can hear the crunch of dried pine needles beneath my feet, I begin to feel the peace and quiet of the forest, and can almost smell the mustiness of the damp ground. There will be a different kind of tree in the middle of the forest. It will have a big, thick trunk and plenty of branches that we can climb upon. This is the Magic Faraway Tree.

Sitting on the lovely old verandah at Riversleigh Manor and looking out over the forest has inspired me to do some artwork. I have also planted a variety of fresh herbs in an old wheelbarrow, and unshackled a poor little bonsai tree that I found imprisoned in a tiny ceramic pot. We will be able to use these herbs for our evening meals, for picnics in the forest and for making mugs of hot or iced herbal tea. There's lemon balm, mint, parsley, oregano, basil, thyme and tarragon.

Everybody welcome to pick and taste.

Happy Birthday to Aletta

With this bunch of roses,
Beautifully perfumed,
Birthday wishes
Are coming your way
-----
The table is set,
The party is on.
All delicious goodies
Spread out before us.
-----
We sing Happy Birthday
To you dear Aletta
Sending hugs and love
From us all.

Happy Birthday to Aletta

Aletta: Enjoy your special day!

A Happy and Authentic Birthday

A Happy birthday
Is one that simple pleasures
are magnified
because after all this is the most
special day of all
The day that you were born Aletta

*********************
Take time to sip a cup of tea in the sunshine
first thing in the morning
Give the cat a special cuddle
Give the dog an extra bickie
Write a letter to yourself
post it and when it comes in a few days time
Read what a nice day you had
*********************
Cook yourself a delightful tasty morsel,
just enough for one.
Place it on a favourite fine china plate
Find a treasured book,poem or something you have written
Sit and read it with pleasure.
If possible buy yourself a bunch of flowers
or better a plant in a pot for your balcony
This way you will remember this was a special day
A birthday celebrated in a simple & genuine loving
way to yourself....
********************
Much Love x Lois (Muse of the Sea) 6.1.06

PS...Put all of our wishes to you Aletta
in a little book to look back on .......

Just for Aletta

I'll wager you never had this picnic treat --
wear a flannel shirt to serve as a napkin,
with pockets for your flask of ale.

faucon
................................................

Picnic on a Stick

Each wanderer will receive a willow stick
stacked with treats that can be eaten while walking.
The base end can be grasped like I giant popsicle,
and the cloth sack drawn down to serve as hand protection
and a bag into which to place the 'remains'.

First is a whole Cornish Game Hen,
rubbed by gnarled hands with seven herbs;
roasted with dragon breath,
and stuffed cold with pickles and cherry tomatoes.

Above this in fine array are slices of raw veggies --
jacima, turnip, sweet potato and celery .
This is crowned with a slice of fresh pineapple
and a chocolate strawberry.

Ribold stories are expected during the 'amble'--

save the sticks for marshmallows later



Happy Birthday,
Little dancer

Lemonade for Country Picnic Birthdays

Happy Birthday Aletta!
No Australian picnic is complete
without fresh home-made
lemonade on a hot day,
so here it is, ready to go.
copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Fairy Bread for the Picnic

I have brought Fairy Bread for Aletta's
Birthday Picnic. Can we play party
games as well?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I Have The Birthday Cake

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

I have the cake on my bicycle and am headed towards the Enchanted Wood and the Faraway Tree ready to celebrate Aletta's 52nd birthday. Perhaps the Land of Birthdays will be at the top of the tree. But first Dame Washalot will have to give us a scrub in her big tub. Could everyone bring something else to eat so we can have a party. We may call in at Nina's Treehouse on the way or drop in at Luna's Tea House for tea. So many places to be!

Old Wisdom - Nature Ancestral Tracks

Coming to the Golden Grove I noticed the grass had
turned golden, the summer grass, that almost glows.
Ancient Monterey pines stretch out in rows and
forests, among the poplars, elms and hedgerows.
Then I realised everything was allright as it was,
that where I was had its own intelligence, one
that is not always understood by humans.
A little way further on the path, a water fowl
with her young were making their crossing. Sensing people
nearby, she quickly fled with her babies, hiding them in the
tall, golden grasses. She stood guard herself, playing dead.
The water fowl had nothing to fear from me, and she
was beautiful, young and brown, with a sheen of
peacock coloured feathers. She was going on instinct.
Then I moved away and she flew off, as if she expected me
to chase her, which I didn't do, and then raced away from
her babies. A companion on the road said she was
acting as a decoy. Clever. The confusion about her
seeing a nature-loving human as a threat disappointed me.
Why do they have to fear humans so much? And who says
ducks are dumb? I just thought she was beautiful
and felt very proud of her. No doubt this worked with
foxes, where she would make herself a decoy and then
fly off, once the fox was diverted away from the babies, and then
immediately circles back to the grasses back to them.
(You can see her here, far right on the road, although very slightly, because she
wouldn't let me close. The babies are parallel left of me, completely invisible in the golden grasses,
as I take the picture, so she is far away.)

copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

DESERT ROSE - For Megan

DESERT ROSE - For Megan

Tree Tag

There is a game -- a child's diversion,
and least one that I played,
alone --
as it must be and then not a game;
and no one taught me,
and I have never told of this,
before.

Walk deep into the woods,
beyond where you are allowed to go,
and find that space of needled silence --
trees like sentinels and warriors,
where shadows are soft and alive
and only furry smalls are watching.

Grab a tree -- any one will do,
and it will be the right one,
must be -- and always will,
to start you on the journey.
Hug it close and still around
and release yourself to its will --
Dig in nails and scrape your palms
with buried nose and fluttering eyes
so close to rills and thrills of canyons
barks stretched to then
and memories.

Then in defiance of soul pain,
drag yourself free and launch into space --
a universe of lonely sighs
that dwindle shimmer slow
from the wisdom of that tree alone.

Do not be afraid! Reach out and feel,
the lingering caress of the secret branches
which will cradle your leap of faith,
and gather you into the waiting embrace
of the giant fir or brave sycamore.

Safe again! Tag, you're it!
One by one and thus by all
you may drift from friend to friend --
never strangers though never met,
and learn of the simple wonders
buried in roots of Earth
and star touched claim
on a small space of eternity
now shared with me.

Too bad I am not a child now --
perhaps tomorrow.
papa 01/05/06

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Arriving at the Grove

I have arrived in the Enchanted Grove after a meandering journey through the forest. I enjoy walking through paths in the woods, as long as mosquitoes leave me be. This walk was a peaceful one without swatting or stings.

When I first started out along the path, I thought the almost hissing sound was from the damp, fall leaves beneath my feet. They had only the slightest crunch remaining. Being a little slick after last night's rain, I had to be careful not to slip.

Starting to feel as if I was being watched, I stopped and listened carefully. The hissing sound continued for a brief moment even when I wasn't walking. Then all was quiet again. Finding a log nearby, I sat down to watch and listen in hopes of catching a glimpse of the creature causing the hissing sound. It took several long moments, and I almost gave up, but then I saw it. First it was just the wiggle of a blade of grass I saw out of the corner of my eye. Then I heard a soft crunch, almost imperceptable if I hadn't been listening hard. I gasped when I saw a little piece of purple fabric moving in the grass.

Training my eyes on the purple spot, I followed it until it reached a tree and disappeared. Then I noticed an orange spot following the same path and ending at the base of the same tree. Forever the curious one, I went to investigate.

Walking round the opposite side of the tree, I saw a tiny opening where an animal like a chipmunk or vole could pass through to get to a nest below ground. But I had a feeling this opening led beneath the tree, or possibly into its trunk.

With as little sound as possible, I crouched down and sat by the opening in hope to see a creature come out or go in. I knew it would take a while. If any of the creatures had seen me, they'd have to forget I was there. As the sun began to fade, I started to lose hope, but decided to do one thing in hopes of attracting the funny creatures of purple and orange. I started to sing. I don't know where the words came from. I just wanted to sing something that would tell the creatures that I was no threat...that they were safe with me. Perhaps the words came from the dreams I've had of singing trees, words I didn't remember consciously in my waking hours.

The sun so bright it sings to me
Its happy brightness orange be
Orange glows through out the land
Bring warmth and joy to heart and hand

The moon it sways in purple sky
Longing for a lullabye
I sing to moon and moon shines you see
Its gentle caress comforts me


Before I could begin another verse, a line of tiny beings marched from the entrance at the base of the tree and stood before me. There had to be at least twenty or more in a rainbow of colors. Each one was unique -- some with hair, some with none, some with pointed snoots, some with pointed years -- and each wore a different color within the spectrum of the rainbow.

After taking in the sight, I greeted them softly and gently. They smiled and bowed. I asked who they were and they chirped a musical sound I could not understand. I smiled and bowed. One, wearing a brilliant shade of fuscia, tugged on my pantleg. I wondered how long she had done this before I noticed. I reached out my open palm and she jumped on. I held her up to my eyes and memorized her curious beauty. She seemed to want to tell me something, so I held her up to my ear. There, her chirping song barely audible, was more understandable. I still don't know if she was singing English or if I merely understood her language when it was sung directly into my ear.
She sang:
We are the people of light
We bring you all colors of sight
From white to black, we shine so bright
Without us the world would be night.


A single tear of joy streamed down my cheek as I thanked Fuscia for bringing her color into the world. I realized there must be millions of these light beings, all a different shade. And if one should die, we would lose their color forever. I thanked them all for bringing so much color to my world before I said goodbye. I promised I would come back and visit again another time and that I would protect them and their forest home.

Barren Land

Straight road
dividing the
now dry
salt lake
a field
of white
barren
‘cept for
salt bush.

Grey weathered
trees
long past
their prime
stripped of
any life
reach out
from mother
earth
like the
bony fingers
of the crone
reaching out
seeking sustenance
for her
barren land.

© Megan Warren 04/01/2006