My dream is fractured by sounds of the night
The squeaking of bats; an owl's white-winged flight
The rushing of water from somewhere below
Hides from the starlight and moon's pale glow
On the fey wind unread omens are borne
I shiver and wish for the sunrise at morn
Still dreaming, I rise from my bedstead and walk
To my window, and listen. The alder trees talk
In whispers of riders and fires 'neath the pines
And holes in the earth that menfolk call mines
They speak of the poisons despoiling the streams
And they cry to the few who still listen to dreams
"We beg your attendance, for we are imperil'd-
Nay, not only forests, but indeed, the whole world."
"I'm here-and I hear!" to the trees I do speak,
"But how can I help you? What is it you seek?"
"She hears and she's here!" I hear one alder say,
"Do you see? In the window!" -- he's pointing my way
I gape and behold two large trees turning round
Extending boughs at me with leaf-rustling sound
Then ever so slowly their roots are withdrawn
And yet slower still they are crossing my lawn
Until at my window I clearly do see
The heart and the soul and the face of a tree
I pull on my robe and I tie it around
"Good Alder, please wait," I say, "I'm coming down."
I run down the stair, past the statues that see
And into the night for to talk to a tree.
"Your dreams we do seek," says one alder to me --
"In them we have faith that the answers will be.
The heart of a lady, and her dream, it is said
Restore to this place things that should not be dead."
I listen to this, and I know it is right
For my dreams are of forests and darkness and light
Of hope and of growing, of new leafy bracts
Of wondrous renewing of wooded trees' tracts
Of life's restitution where death did once rule
And clear water flowing pristine, pure and cool.
The truth, it is clear -- there is work to be done
And Fortune and Fate say that I am the one:
Now, what I need do I have no clear idea
But Healing is needed, not mere panacea.
And so to these trees I reply quietly,
"Whatever I can do, I shall do for thee
I now must repair for my slumber to seek
That dreams I may dream, and visions will speak
These things, they are fated, and I shall not fail
To tell on the morrow to you the travail
Through which must be passed to bring peace and rebirth
In any small way to our mother, the Earth."
Then with a sad smile this dear alder does bow
His limbs to the ground, and he wrinkles his brow
He gives me his wish for my rest to be sweet
My dreams to be good ones, the morning to greet
Now sighing, he turns, lifting roots as he goes-
"'Til the morrow, dear Lady. Now to your repose."
So then to my bedstead I come and recline
And sleep through the night, but no dreams can divine,
Until morning arrives with her bright, yellow sun.
I garb myself quickly and downstairs do run
But my garden is empty -- no Willow I see --
Nor Alder, nor Pine; nor indeed, any tree;
Confused thus, I turn and flee back up the stair
And back to my chamber I quickly repair.
I wonder if maybe I'm going insane
This whole episode seems to me clearly inane
I sleep and awaken, but this time, instead
I notice the Tolkien books next to my bed
And this time, on rising, I know what it means --
My Entish adventure has just been a dream!
©1999 - 2021 Mary Barnett / Moodesigns