Still for a moment the church bells
pealing the ancient canonical hours.
Still the lyric call of the muezzin.
Silence the Shacharit, the Mincha, the Arvit.
Stay the wheels and the flying flags.
Let nature's prayer alone reverberate
in the unfettered canticle of trees.
"A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease." John Muir (1838-1914), Scottish-American naturalist, environmental activist, and author
© 2014, poem and photographs, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
I wrote this poem for National Wilderness Week in 2014. Around here (Northern California), we have forests of sturdy redwood that bring joy to eyes, heart and spirit. As you might suspect from my poem, the redwood forests make me feel as though I'm in a cathedral. They're a religious experience and a great joy.