THUJA

Ken Bartlett 1934 (Leominsterr Mass)



    Difficult to reach, afraid of a fall, determined not to fail,
I winked at kitchi-gimi, slowly approaching the hallowed grail.
  She returned ten thousand smiles.  Shimmering, simmering
for miles and miles with a song that only she can sing.

  The sack of  Bull Durham was retrieved from my pocket.
  An ample sample was secured and placed in my palm socket.
The wrinkles and fissures of her ancient skin revealed a rift,
deep and curved. The perfect location to deliver my gift.

With reverence and awe, a silent prayer from within
preceded the pouring and sprinkling of tobacco in.
A surge of love and respect filled my whole being.
Waves of joy and bliss are what I was experiencing.

Basking in coolness, listening to waves, lapping, and slapping.
Her sweet body odor was inhaled and savored; not napping in
hundreds of years.  Daydreams manifested all those who like me,
came before to this shore and paid homage to the Witch Tree.

About this poem

In 1967 a Grand Portage tribal official introduced me to The Witch Tree as it is commonly known, also called Manidoo-giizhikens, or Little Cedar Spirit Tree by the Ojibwe First Nation tribe is an ancient Thuja occidentalis (Eastern White Cedar) growing on the shore of Lake Superior in Cook County, Minnesota. The earliest written records of the tree by Europeans in the Americas are by French explorer Sieur de la Verendrye in 1731, who commented on the tree as a mature tree at that time, making it over 300 years old

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Written on September 30, 2022

Submitted by compostken on September 30, 2022

Modified on April 25, 2023

52 sec read
20

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABB CCDD EEBB BEFF
Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 953
Words 175
Stanzas 4
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4

Ken Bartlett

retired forester residing in a continuing care home in Lancaster, PA with his wife of 59 years more…

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