This is not a Forest

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

This is not a forest,
and those are not trees.

It is also not not a forest
and those are not not trees,
and I who write this all down
am decidedly not not me.

These are not my words,
and this is not a poem.
Everything is simply
nothing-not-nothing at all.

By Not-Jason Weaver, 2017

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When I grow up…

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

Foto by Jason Weaver, 2017

You rolled your eyes at me,
said I was lazy
just standing there,
slack-jawed;
told me to
get my head out of the clouds,
get out,
get a job, get a life —
called me a dreamer,
a fool, a loafer, a user, a
good-for-nothing-vagabundo-loser.
You sighed and you scolded,
clucking your tongue and
wagging your finger,
you shook your head
and you warned me,
“I WARN you!
You’ll regret this!
You’ll be sorry!
You’ll be lonely and
you won’t
make any
MONEY!”

At last, is it any wonder why
all that I aspire to be
when I grow up is
a tree.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

 

In a Fog

Original painting by Jason Weaver, 2016

Original painting by Jason Weaver, 2016

A fog of cool, white
winter-wet clouds curled across
the landscape in long, low wisps
and settled in at a wooded edge.

Here within I was
(pleasantly surprised) to find
a sudden, simple clarity of mind,
cocooned in a butter-balm of calm
a world-away from the
intrusive
incessant
cacophany of clutter,
far from the voice
of white-noise news and views.

Unbound of ego and need,
unchained to doubt and fear,
I frolicked free amid the trees,
climbing, swinging,
dancing ’round arm-in-arm,
playing hide-and-go-seek and
sparring like sword-wielding warriors
with rampant abandon,
falling to the ground
hand-in-hand
in heaps of laughter and shouts!
Never shall I forget!

——–

A fog of cool, white
winter-wet clouds curled across
the landscape in long, low wisps
and settled in to free me.

by Jason Weaver, 2016

Original painting, Trees and Fog (2016) by Jason Weaver, (acrylic on canvas, 70×100 cm).  Dedicated to my dear friend Magaly Haasper. You showed me how to believe in myself, never shall I forget!

O Rio Paquequer

O Rio Paquequer by Jason Weaver

O Rio Paquequer (2014) — original acrylic painting by Jason Weaver

Let us
drink
the clear stream
of wellsprung purity,
and breathe
with lungs of leaves
a conscious continuity;
Let us
lie down
in a rocky seam
an earthen process,
and be
this perpetual
moment of progress.

by Jason Weaver (2014)
Original painting by Jason Weaver, O Rio Paquequer (2014), acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 100cm.

The scene depicted in this painting is of the Paquequer River, the principal river in Teresópolis, Brazil, where it begins high in the forest of the Serra dos Órgãos mountains before flowing north. Working from a photo I had taken, I aimed to capture the timeless continuation of the river just downstream from the Cecy and Pery Waterfall, so named for two main characters in the Brazilian novel, O Guaraní , written in 1857 by José de Alencar.  The title is derived from the name of an indigenous indian tribe whose territorial region once included the surrounding area of Rio de Janeiro, including Teresópolis . The novel is a romantic adventure whose hero, Pery, a Guaraní indian, deserts his tribal family so that he may forever be with his blonde-haired, blue-eyed mistress, Cecília, or Cecy as he calls her. It was the majestic beauty of the river Paquequer that inspired Alencar to write his famous novel, and in turn inspired me as well; here, translated into English by James W. Hawes in 1893, are the opening words of O Guaraní:

FROM one of the summits of the Organ Mountains glides a small stream, which flows northerly, and enlarged by the springs which it receives in its course of ten leagues, becomes a considerable river. It is the Paquequer. Leaping from cascade to cascade, winding like a serpent, it dozes at last in the plain, and empties into the Parahyba, which rolls majestically in its vast bed. Vassal and tributary of that king of waters, the little river, haughty and overbearing to its rocks, bows humbly at the feet of its sovereign. It loses then its wild beauty; its waves are calm and peaceful as those of a lake […] It is not at this point that it should be seen, but three or four leagues above its mouth, where it is still free. There the Paquequer rushes rapidly over its bed, and traverses the forests foaming and filling the solitude with the noise of its career.

 

A Forest in the Tree

Photo by Jason Weaver

Photo by Jason Weaver

Let me share with you some news
that I recently acquired
through the internetted, interconnected
world wired web
about what some scientists have discovered
below the cover of forest floor.

It seems that trees, long thought to be
these lone survivors-of-the-fittest,
in fact assist each other with nutrients
through an interconnected, internetted
bed of fungi and roots, much like neurons in a brain
they communicate with chemical exchange.

In other words, they speak.

Indeed, they speak a type of interspecies trees-ese
since an ecosystem with structured biodiversity
brings, among other things, resilience
so that a forest can survive despite fire and drought,
despite insects, wind and disease–
–but not logging.

You see, and it is this point I found most profound,
the largest, oldest, and most interactive trees,
those with the most complex systemic memories
act as generational elders, so that
as they age and degrade, they release their entirety
until eventually, at last, they collapse back to earth.

Imagine that,
a forest in the tree.

by Jason Weaver, 2014
The photo was taken at the National Park in Teresópolis, RJ, Brasil. I give full credit to the video “Do Trees Communicate?” by Professor Suzanne Simard, found on YouTube for teaching me such a beautiful reality of our world.
http://youtu.be/iSGPNm3bFmQ

The poem was written for and is dedicated to the students in my Conversational English class.