The Striders


Poem: The Striders

A young well-informed tree

speaks of its ancestors and gives

me a message through the usual back-alley

of a dream:

My ancestors, she says,

Distant points of light, so light…
drifting in megaparsecs,
stretching wave-like,
illuminating particles,
illustrious buzzing electrons,

they are not.

My ancestors have rejected the vast darkness of Space
Its limitless possibilities
Its curve, its bend, its infinite fields
of emptiness where stars lie scattered like seeds;
Its buoyancy
that floats planets,
not to speak of galaxies
suspended in its lymph.

They have rejected its muteness that swallows exploding stars
as if nothing had happened.

My ancestors have refused their place in the firmament
and chosen to be trees,

digging in their roots,
spreading their filament fingers into a meshed darkness,
grabbing hillsides
finding footholds on foothills of old fold mountains,
feeling the rain, guiding it
drop by drop through their gracious driplines –
letting the water into the neural networks of Prithvi.
My ancestors have forged partnerships with mycorrhizae
playing footsie in the secret hallways of Gaia.

My ancestors have embraced
the tiny grains of soil,
the swirls and eddies of mutating wildernesses,
and adopted a slow gait.

They have taken viridescent responsibilities –
the ten-thousand-leafed munching of light,
the electric enlightenment of Buddhas.

My ancestors have settled
for unbroken views from ridges
for breath-giving canopies


the whorled wisdom of wood.

And now, my generation is contemplating
we’ll soon start

with the roads.

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