Connecticut Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson has recently edited a wonderful anthology, Waking Up To The Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis (available by order at Bethel's Byrd's Books or from the publisher,  Here is one of the poems from the anthology, a lyrical tribute to the beauty of trees.

Old Souls

     after Mary Oliver

Do trees think?

Are there sparks in their neural network underground?

Who made them so―the dogwood and the maple?

Who made the shadblow,

the June-blooming, dainty white one,

that ropes along the river when fish run their spawning marathon?

Who made the speckled alder,

and gave it woolen cones to hang like lanterns

through the winter?  Who knit the hickory its shaggy bark

or pieced the sycamore its quilt of buff and tan?

And I have not spoken of the oak, with its shapely limbs

and apronful of acorns, its waxy leaves

full as dinnerplates for the swallows.

Or mentioned the quaking aspen shaking her petticoats

of tufted cotton in the breeze.

They make me wonder―do trees have souls?

I feel a hollow place in my chest open like a nest.

If the soul begins with longing,

then these roots that twine in tributaries

underground or the call that ruffles a canopy of leaves―

this is how it starts, this longing to join

one soul to another.

―Jeanne LeVasseur (from Waking Up To The Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, used with permission)

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