Ancient Tree Dream Song
By Will Tuttle
Screeching and grinding, buzzing and whining,
You assault us, you assault each other,
You assault the earth.
We armor ourselves and do your bidding—
We are your soldiers in your war against this living earth.
Where are the flowing wolves, condors, whales?
Where are the flowing people?
Where are the enchanted forests with ancient eyes alive and dark?
Where are ears that hear deeper silent songs?
Our ears numbed by you machines,
We slave to feed your massive appetites,
We lay waste our homes
And break the spirit of our land.
You machines, who are our offspring and our gods!
We lay down our lives for you,
And progress with vacant vigor into your gleaming jaws.
In the quiet depths of an old-growth forest,
An ancient grandfather tree,
With enormous roots reaching deep into the earth, and limbs towering into the light
Breathes in from his brothers and sisters around the globe
The alarming messages of slaughter and destruction,
The reports of an ever-spreading cancer of machines,
And deep within his heart, the ancient grandfather knows that it is time,
And turns and rises,
And like a cloud slips out of his majestic green-brown body:
A mist rising from roots, trunk, and branches,
Covering the entire valley and moving, at night,
Into the world of the machine people.
With a vast prayer for the healing of all flowing creatures,
The tree spirit bears seeds of an ancient song,
And slips silently into the dreams of the soldiers of destruction:
Into our fitful nighttime visions,
Into the fretful dreams of our elders and the nightmares of our children,
And in all these dreams, planting the seeds of a prehistoric song—
A song sung only by the marrow of bones,
And heard only by ears alive to the wild celebration.
The grandfather tree spirit comes tonight planting his seeds,
Tonight and every night now he seeds our dreams with earth’s primordial song,
Sung by the blood in our veins.
Will we hear it and wake and lay down our weapons?
Will we turn our worship from the machines of destruction?
Will we rejoice once more in the dance?
Will we become flowing people again?