Tag Archives: oak trees





Chain saw heavier, I cut arms

off skeletons littering pastures

and canyons after years of drought,


a battleground where old oaks lost

touch with water—most barkless now

tipped-over or in tangled piles


beneath authoritative trunks

begging purpose, begging cremation

or stacked close to the woodstove.


Old habits and rituals finally slow

as the limbs grow heavier despite

the pleading of the heartwood.








Even the oaks that are still alive are pruning themselves. This Valley Oak lost its top Saturday night into the Holdbrooks’ driveway, either side of their electric gate, missing the solar panel and keypad pedestal. As a direct result of the four-year drought, trees and limbs of trees are falling on fences and into access roads everywhere. We’ll be packing chainsaws as we go.





Remember when it used to rain
and we made clouds of our own,
when the dryads played quietly

upon the dampened dust beyond
the bare boughs of oak trees?
The earth came alive with birdsong,

hawks soared in circles crying
with delight and we watched—
once again believing in deities.