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A long caste fountain
days background sky
singular in stature
in winds breeze wave
standing free
standing alone
the Learning Tree
offering to the creatures
of the forest who
have visited here
over the years a
continual homage
a place of shelter

a place to rest

colored shadows
life’s hollow trunk
showing the ages
that have gone by

through years of
weathering, the
many stories
the Learning Tree
has shared bringing
us an understanding
of devotion a kind

of love without words

the Learning Tree
expanded in time
showing us in
splendid ceremony

what we must be able
to appreciate in order
to know what we must
do in order to liberate

nature’s true course

morning comes
under new light
an understanding
who we are, in the

evaluating of life’s true meaning

time’s memories
reincarnated
in wooden veins

this one

that one

branches extended

this way

that way

stretched outwards
to life’s four seasons

let us make a stand
assure ourselves that
these
lessons from our earth

will always be here

this one living identity it
must
be worth us fighting for

the Learning Tree
standing here above
our world its roots a
growing icon reminding
us of what our
responsibilities truly are.

this is one of my first poems
written in the 70’s it’s
been changed over the years

“numerous times”

the photo is of a tree i took
a picture of on the way back
from visiting the Prophecy
Rock, on the Hopi Indians
Land of the Three Mesa’s

poem and photo by joseph mayo wristen
copyright © Joseph Mayo Wristen all rights reserved

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