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Old Forest Tribes

“Alone is a word without meaning in the forest.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Braiding Sweetgrass”

Old rotting trees,
corrupt degenerating logs,
give birth to more forms of diverse life
than they did in their most transcendent living moments
brought to them by Elder networking root systems,
and Father Sun’s most radiant embrace,
and Mistress Earth’s most abundant flow of moisture;
short of catastrophic floods.
Just right flowing strength of healthing wealth.

And each of us humane egos
hopes for the same;
That our regenerative legacy of mind and spirit
will long outlast our bodies
corrupting toward alone
within this shrill cacophony of growing tribal fears,
angers about injustices of Earth’s redistributing,
scandalously democratic,
grace.

Artifacts of tribal violence
predict legacies more like old native forest fires
than slower degenerative effects of wind and rain
and hungry insect tribes of Earth.
Cremation of regenerative destiny
rather than burial,
yet even here
humane ashes
enrich sacred fertility.

Earth’s minerals feed matriarchal fungi
as Sun’s light fuels patriarchal algae.

In this lichen forest of our anthrocentric
and animal
and tree
and plantation lives and deaths,
alone speaks lonely fear of violent burned-out death,
a revolutionary moment
within Earth’s redolent forest
of potential timeless relationship.

Absolute,
like autonomy,
are words not spoken
in old growth forest
life within death.

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