The Twin Pines
September 4, 2016
Marquette, MI

by Michaeleen OSullivan
Photo by Todd Carter

 

Dedicated to Fire Fighters
In Remembrance of 9/11

When we were small twigs, my twin tree and me,

our motherís green presence was all we could see.

 

Her splendor filtered in just the right rays of light,

and her roots gave us strength to stand tall and grow might.

 

Our mother was grand - so big and so bold,

with lush hugging boughs to snuggle and hold.

 

With deep roots below like her winged branches above,

She held tight and we mingled, intertwining with love.

 

Our mother embraced creatures about and around,

most pleased with our trees full of magical sounds.

 

The shining bald eagle swooped into Motherís low branch,

clinging silent and still to await her next catch.

 

With challenging speed from Motherís arm she would dive,

And from the sparkling blue cove snatch a trout yet alive.

 

Then a crack of her wings, a strong black and white stroke,

and she'd stream to her young in Motherís safe forest yolk.

 

Brown moose clomped by in regular fashion,

to lounge at the base of Motherís pine-needle bastion.

 

And the little red fox came jumping and bouncing,

her fluffy tail waving with prancing and pouncing.

 

Great refuge to creatures our mother provided,

from squirrels and chipmunks to all things that glided.

 

A carefree life from Earth about us emerged,

and gently our mother taught us to converge.

 

Our mother taught us, my twin tree and me,

to always keep growing and linking with glee.

 

She taught us to mingle and to keep our hopes high,

to hug with our roots and to align with the sky.

 

And cling tight we did, and we all three grew full,

and we granted our world all that we could instill.

 

Sometimes weíd feel humans surrounding our bases,

with bright fancy feathers and rich glowing faces.

 

Their drumming and singing delighted our senses,

all feeling great joy as the moon made its presence.

 

Even the wary bald eagle circled the party to please,

a gift for our souls reaching grand harmony.

 

We gave thanks together for the wonders Earth gave,

and happily praised all her blessings with rave.

 

Until one day when something altered our world;

in one solemn day, suddenly, our loss sadly occurred.

 

The humans we knew lived about us just fine,

but new humans with saws came this terrible time.

 

Our mother fell down with a thunderous crash,

and we felt a huge absence, a most lonely impasse.

 

Before then she towered above all in our band,

but now we were left alone, feeling sad in the land.

 

We were so tiny back then, only 10 rings or so,

just a few of us small trees left behind yet to grow.

 

It was a desolate time, with no mother at all,

just treetops and branches strewn about from the fall.

 

But we held close together, my twin tree and me,

and we reminded each other to hold tight with glee.

 

Remembering the lessons of Great Mother Tree,

we weaved ourselves closer and kept company.

 

Below and above we continued to grow,

and we fostered all life in our circleís grand flow.

 

Birds made their nests and woodland creatures returned,

and we mingled and sang and together we learned.

 

We continued the tradition of our motherís great plan,

and held tight together feeling one with the land.

 

Our children were taught to mingle their roots,

to grow with the All, keeping spirit and truth.

 

To stretch for the sun and forever reach high,

to keep lofty goals and to strive for the sky.

 

The children learned well and grew strong at our knees,

and Twin Tree and I felt the loneliness ease.

 

Until one day when something so scary touched us all,

that it brought back the shudder of Motherís great fall.

 

First came the heat and a gray wall of clouds,

then a fierce blowing wind with thundering sounds.

 

We felt electric crackles above our treetops,

and lightning strikes soon started fires to pop.

 

Nearby a loud strike brought on terrible flames.

We found ourselves trembling and praying for rain.

We felt the fire burning and absorbed the black smoke,

while creatures about us took off in a bolt.

 

We couldnít run with the others.

We were linked to this spot.

 

We were linked to each other.

It was getting so hot!

 

Just then we felt steam rising up from the land,

and we saw the human fire team making their stand.

 

Those life-saving humans worked for days to contain,

the racing hot fire burning down our domain.

 

We were wary of humans when our mother was lost,

but hope grew in those days that they fought at all cost.

 

They saved us from ruin, those fire-fighting heroes;

the humans side-by-side worked to keep us their fellows.

 

Our losses were dear, for not all stayed alive,

but the rest remain grateful for help that arrived.

 

And the land now grows green, owl and eagle build nests,

and the chipmunk and squirrel and moose take their rests.

 

Together a sameness from difference we build,

and we delight with each other in natureís rich yield.

 

We grow now as twin pines linked by same goals,

proud reminders of our mother still nourishing our souls.

 

Below us our children breathe about us in peace,

and we once again dance and we mingle with ease.

 

The humans must cut down some trees to survive,

but the rest of us they cherish and help keep alive.

 

From timber, strong boards the sawyers make,

and cottages now sprinkle the edge of the lake.

 

On Summer Solstice, the longest day of each year,

in our rich northern woods, loving humans appear.

 

With bright spirits they seek with nature to merge,

and they swing and they sway, and our auras converge.

 

We blend with their dreams,

and they blend with our goals.

 

Mother Earth guides our hearts,

and weíre joined soul-to-soul.

Each day we remember to keep our hopes high,

to give thanks for our mingling and to reach for the sky.

 

Now many circles, nearly a hundred rings each,

Twin Tree and I live within yet to teach.

 

Time for us now to be the mother we knew,

keeping her spirit alive in forever renew.

 

--December 2002

UP First Wild Arts

Copyright UP First Wild Arts 2016