Below is the original poem which Mary Cohen referred to in my last post (3-1-21).

The author is Laura A. Weber of Prairiewoods—a beautiful organization in Cedar Rapids IA that combines spirituality, ecology, and wholistic health. Visit them at:

August 31, 2020 Blog: “Thank you to everyone in Prairiewoods’ mycelial network for the outpouring of love and support and shared sadness in the aftermath of the Aug. 10 derecho, which decimated the tree canopy in Cedar Rapids. This poem was composed for love of our fallen arbor-elders in the wake of a devastating loss for this bio-region and beyond. May we cultivate active hope in the process of healing and transformation.

Not Our Trees
by Laura A. Weber

Terrifying onyx-jade clouds
A roiling of distant winds
Sudden terror from the west

All in a hush of last-moment silence

Huddling with tremulous loved ones
Whispers of heart-wrought prayer
Lighting candles that blush. And then expire.

All at once, thunderous winds, terrible force
Cascading crashes and shattering limbs
Unholy roaring and explosions of glass, roofs come unmooring

What is happening?? It lasts. SO long. It blasts. Through. Everything.

Tears come hot. Breath goes at last. Hearts near-stop.
Mother Mary. Help. Mom. Grandma. ‘Rain. Help.

Then the rains barreling down, flooding and sorrow streaming throughout
When will it subside? Please END!
Rivers of doubt

At last, we emerge, shaken and smeared
The roof is a bust, the floor is awash
The windows in ribbons of sheer

We open our eyes to the Home we hold dear
And the stench is of death
Not a sound, no chirp, hum, or chittering breath

Oh help.
Not our trees.

They are shattered and shredded, twisted and mangled
Uprooted and fallen
Mighty champions
Honorable elders
Life Force for the weary
Gentle giants of unwavering peace
Solace for the burdened
Hope for the desperate
Breath for bedeviled and saints
Home for our Family, our wood-wide “We”

Not our trees.

So they come to cut
Come to tear
To rip
To maim
To bore
To strip
To wedge and pull down
To fell and to pare
Every last one
All the gentle elders we so revere

Not our trees.

And I sing a soft requiem
But no creature hears
Because my soul has withered
With the life of the trees

Unless my tears

Might water
A sapling “