I was working on this poem yesterday but couldn't finish it until I took a walk in the forest today. I recently heard about the benefits of being in the woods. Trees emit chemicals which interact positively with our biology, boosting immunity and mood. It takes only one hour to receive the increases and the effects last a whole week!
Every childhood needs an oak,
like the perfect parents,
neither permissive or authoritarian
their leaves fine fish hooks in sandy soil
tickling foot flesh,
their solid trunks against tawny hills,
stoic as church pews.
Eucalyptus for childbearing,
the koala returns to suckle in the mother’s
pouch for six months,
the mother protected by fragrant garlands.
Maples can be helpful with their
leaves big as pressed palms,
and some kind of Palm,
queen and date and Chinese fan
cry for levity, fronds lifting parachutes of air.
An apple tree must be in at least one backyard,
we need crowns of blossom and bee
to climb and lean with a book in oversized laps
while our feet dangle earthward.
And Madronas to remind us of the impossible,
its bark, red as rust and papery,
begging to record our secrets,
branches dense as blue whales stretching back to the sea.
For learning how to embrace abundance,
nut and stone fruit trees
are highly recommended.
Evergreens are a must.
We need beings that don’t change too much,
don’t bend too much.
Willows are good for depression
as only reflected trauma can heal,
curly willows especially, gallows humor.
Redwoods remind us we are mystics,
their bark thick and light as
froth in cappuccinos.
Sprouts poke out of bitty burls,
like chin hair on an old woman
when she no longer gives a damn.