In the Forest of Fallen Trees

In the Forest of Fallen Trees (2013) is the first section of a cycle of photographs and contemplative writings created at Point Lobos, California between 1996 and 2014.

in the forest of the fallen trees
the spell for calm is the spell for chaos,
with no angel to bless the light,
no artist to command the ruin–-

no third space appears between root and drift,
no bard recites the stewarding poem,
but lonely friends revert to their ponderings,
and the salty winds carry the caws of sea lions––

in the forest of the fallen trees
the leaves glow red with poisonous oils,
and the piney labyrinth, large in its life,
decays along the walkingpaths––

deer without caution or solitude eat lichen,
birds without history or trust break sticks,
and what some call salvation, exhausted,
wiggles free from grace––

in the forest of the fallen trees
each stump is a suffering seer
praising common origins,
unconcerned with splendor and promises—

each stump lectures urgently
about war and sorrow, lectures
about what it feels like to be chosen,
then lurches into alien meditation––

hoarsely into the shadows, you voice your questions,
you stare into the veins and the meanings begin to move,
you climb through the things you gaze into,
your weave of grays, your rag-ended trails––