The Landscape of Forest

Welcome to this place.

I hope that my voice will provide you with a gateway into the forest.

Your response is welcomed.

“Writing in landscapes, landscapes write in you.”

– Joan Halifax, The Fruitful Darkness

Some Years ago, while visiting Nepal, I had the good fortune to listen to the words of a Nepalese Archeologist. We were standing in front of an excavation in Lumbini, said to be the birthplace of Buddha. There the mother of Buddha was said to have given birth while holding onto the Sal tree. As he continued to speak, he referenced several other trees in the story of Buddha, and then paused to make an aside:

“It makes you wonder, really, if this is not actually all about the trees.”

He laughed and continued his discourse, but the words stayed with me as softly spoken ideas sometimes do. I remembered the impact of trees in my life and the subtle flavor of places, of landscapes that have moved me. Today, I have given a certain credence to this sensation and have concluded that whether it is a lower brain response to a safe and healthy landscape, or a higher brain desire for beauty, trees do hold a significant place in my relation to earth.

The expression of such things is understandably elusive. All aspects of our interconectedness can seem a challenge, at times, to express. We recognize them in flashes in our consciousness and then turn away to resume what we believe to be the important work of our lives. I have often felt helpless to express such thoughts on the world I have witnessed, in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Sometimes the human pain I saw, due to economic imbalances, or the compassionate sorrow that twisted my gut, when disrupted landscapes destroyed or displaced plants and animals, became unbearable.

I would try to speak of my experiences with friends and acquaintances, but such topics seem to slide away from peoples interest focus. Their eyes typically glaze and they make a perfunctory remark, returning to the issues they know, relegating your experience to some other world beyond their ken.

This apparent disinterest was a tipping point for me, one day. I identified with a world much larger than the one my associates knew. I also felt compassion, hope, and fear for that world. I began to wake in the night, while living in Africa, and tell myself fictional stories of people who saw and solved the worlds issues. I set aside two decades of filtered ramblings in a journal and opened up into poetry, fantasy, and science fiction. It was personal and it was private. It was also a healing place. This is what I hope to share in these pages.

Fallen Leaves, Fallen Trees

Words fall away from my mind in orange and yellow
They litter the ground, leaving me silent
The flavor of it sits in my mouth
Bitter or sweet
A nameless perfume rife with memory
I am at last
Finally, That Tree
Tall, still, I brace the landscape
My leaves fallen about me as past glories to dissolve
Food for saplings
I am that tree
Shading the heads of pilgrims
I stand as safe roost for eons of flocks
Soundless, I shrug a shoulder 
Or fan my hands
I am post and lintel
Cup, bowl, canoe
I am fire hardened spear and arrow; slit for the stone
Cradle, coffin, crucifix
I take the hangman’s name in silence
I am that tree.
Support for Maya in her birth throws
Canopy for her son as he awoke
Gathering place for the elders
The sentinel in silence forgotten
Standing within the cycle eternal
Fully aware and in silence
I am falling, falling
My essence dreams
And wakes again

Kiora Tash

25 thoughts on “The Landscape of Forest

  1. There is so much I can relate to in this. Often, I think what people take to be ‘spiritual’ is simply an empathy with what is, truly is in a way what we create isn’t. How can we claim to be sensitive or humane or educated, open-minded, intelligent and not feel the pain that surrounds us?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I can’t stop the pain. I hope to teach others to value the beauty. Navajo Indians wake to bless the beauty each morning. I stay as much as possible in the present moment where beauty abides.


  2. What beautiful thoughts. Trees have always been special to me. I used to climb out my window and sleep in the tree in the backyard. I have driven special routes just to see a favorite tree on my way. I talk to trees on my walks and stop to pet them and exchange energy. They have been guardians, companions, saviors and mentors over the years.

    You might enjoy the Lorian Foundation. David Spangler was a big part of Findhorn community in Scotland and he and some friends he met there founded Lorian. They teach and share about incarnational spirituality and how there are many spirits all around us, in trees, guarding plants and flowers, and other dimensional beings. We all share this planet and can support each other.

    Thanks for following my blog and introducing me to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Katelon, I will take a look. It sounds interesting.
      Please look at my story ” What may enter here” for talking to trees. I think it is for you.πŸ™‚
      It is a fairy tale that is stuck here and there in my posts. Cheers, Kiora

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Kioratash,

        Glad you found some interesting stuff from Lorian. I subscribe to their newsletters and David sends out a great musing regularly, too. They teach online courses with free intro sessions, teach in person workshops/retreats/conferences.

        Could you send me a link to your story please? I scrolled and scrolled and couldn’t find it and you don’t have a search feature. I’m presently sick so not a lot of energy. Thanks so much!


  3. Ooo, wow. I have had that same experience over and over, of people unwilling to go deeper, to explore what is and why, and what could be if we tried more, tried together, were willing to risk the status quo, our security and certainty, even just a little bit. I hope you have connected with a cohort of folks who are willing, who jump at the chance, to take those journeys of mind and action with you!


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