my footfalls
drum root chambers
of old growth

each step

by centuries of needle-drop
in this ancient forest

my walking stick
smooth and warm
in my right hand

I’m caught up
in the rise and fall
twist and turn
of the trail

lost in the moment

when suddenly
my way is blocked

a great redwood


broken in repose

its tangled root
like a tentacled mouth

ripped raw
from the breast of mother earth

a giant
in a land of giants

you once soared
through the canopy
of this majestic forest

to thrust skyward
in your day

shallow rooted
I observe

but deep enough
to proudly stand
this thousand years

and yet
you’ve fallen

you did not fall unnoticed

a thunderous final bow

now here

while all around you
new life

even from your fallen mass

in this lush calm
of nature’s vast cathedral
the eternal pulse of life
goes on

not unaware of your misfortune

but certainly

rob kistner © 2007





photorenderings edited by: rob kistner © 2007
top image entitled: “Almighty” | bottom image entitled: “Great Calm”
base images: Tom Casper, Joe Holms



~ by Image&VerseToo on November 29, 2007.

62 Responses to “Fallen”

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous photos. Yes, yes I will come there and see this beauty!!

  2. I so love these giants and feel that their passing is of such importance… for they are true guardians and sentinels of this earth… beautiful Rob. I am glad you were there to see its majesty even in its falling and for us to hear its thunderous release.

  3. When you said your foot was caught, I thought there would be a bear! I was completely hooked on this one rob! The pictures are just breathtaking!

  4. There is something so very powerful about those old forests… When a see a fallen giant I try to focus my thoughts on its new future as a nurturing nurse tree rather than on the end of its glory days. It doesn’t always help.

  5. Wow, very descriptive and moving. A tree can be a wondrous creature as you described here.

  6. They live their lives tall and majestic and when they do leave, they do so gracefully, tall and majestic. And their impact forever leaves a mark on nature and the human mind…love them. Loved the images too, the first one definitely spread an aura, how appropriate. Thank you.

  7. Karen –

    …and you will moved!

  8. Lea –

    They are magnificent… and so incredibly awe inspiring to stand, dwarfed in their presence. Being among them is, for me, a very rare moment of spiritual bliss — they truly move my soul.

    You’re welcome… 😉

  9. JJ –

    No bears! 😉

    Glad this piece touched you!

  10. Robin –

    I understand your reaching for the bright side. Unfortunately, when I see such magnificence fallen, I am overcome by genuine grief.

    Some of the largest took root over 2,200 years ago — the time referred to as BC… not AD.

    With pollution and global warming (yes, I believe Mr. Gore) — planet earth may never see the like of these wonders again. 😦

  11. Lissa –

    Thank you…

    The oldest living things on earth — as far as we know. Quite amazing! 😉

  12. UL –

    They are the true essence of majesty…

  13. beautiful……such emotion captured in the recognition of the strength and durability of a glorious tree….and the realization that it’s goodness still carries on despite it’s brokeness.

    i was right there with you Rob. beautiful poetry, beautiful photos.

  14. “in this lush calm
    of nature’s vast cathedral
    the eternal pulse of life
    goes on”

    I echo that…

  15. they are lovely,, and right here in my own back yard… when i see them all i can think of is the damage they will do when one day they do fall and crush all that stands beneath them…

  16. Awareness –

    Thank you… and thanks for joining me on my walk… 😉

  17. Gautami –

    We all play our part in the Great Mandala!

  18. Paisley –

    It’s fascinating to realize that when one giant falls, it opens a bit of the canopy, and from it’s fallen carcass, new redwood shoots emerge — one to eventually takes its place in the circle of life.

    We need not fret the falling. Like the Swahili say, “hakuna matata!”

  19. I love this poem…wonderful !

  20. I will always remember the giant redwoods from my visit to California when I was very young. It’s always sad to see the trees fall but if left there they can become such wonderful resources for other lifeforms to make a home, I was glad to read that aspect also in your poem

  21. Arboleda –

    Thank you very much — I’m pleased you enjoyed this… 😉

  22. Juliet –

    They are memorable for a lifetime. They posses such dignity, and they are an integral part of the big picture cycle of life on our planet. If they ever get into a serious struggle for survival, so too will the earth be.

  23. Reminds me of the Zen Koan…If a Tree falls in the middle of the forest..does it make a sound? I’ve never visited an old growth forest….onthe list of things to do before I die. Nice poem-requiem for a fallen giant.

  24. Alchemist –

    You should definitely see these wonders.

    …and thank you!

  25. Beautiful work, Rob, I could see it all so clearly.

  26. A black snake once did the same thing to me. The photo is out of this world!

  27. Jo –

    Thank you, you are kind… 😉

  28. Colleen –

    Watch those snakes… 😉

    Thank you… Photoshop is quite a creative tool.

  29. Fallen but not unoticed. I love the idea, as many times Nature is so undervalued and taken for granted. Nobody values anything. It’s beautiful to just stop and notice.

  30. Incredbile images and powerful words. I especially loved:
    its tangled root
    like a tentacled mouth

    ripped raw
    from the breast of mother earth


  31. My sister used to live out near the redwoods in far northern California. This reminded me of the time she took me to see them.

  32. A wonderful walk through the forest. Peace, JP/deb

  33. The perfection of your poem lies not only in its words but in its shape: tall and straight just like a redwood!

  34. Absolutely beautiful.. the poem and photos!! I think I may just have to get out in nature today, along with my camera. Thank you!

  35. I love it. Especially “ripped raw from the breast of mother earth.” Wonderful!

  36. Lovely and descriptive words to produce exquisite images! Great!

  37. Having been to the Redwood forests of California on numerous occasions, I love this work. You have perfectly captured the feeling of walking among those giants. I especially love Trees of Mystery on the northernmost coast of California. When I was up in Crescent City on business a few years ago, I drove up and was delighted to see Paul Bunyon standing at the entrance where he had been when we visited as children with our parents. I have black and white home movies of my father driving our Volkswagon bug through the tunnel burrowed into the base of a tree. Amazing feats of nature.


  38. those trees are majestic. they empower the arts.

  39. I’m trying to imagine you writing your poems.
    Do you sit calmly and quietly, or are you up pacing and speaking the words aloud?
    Whatever you do the results are amazing.
    Thanks for your lovely comment.

  40. Beautiful photos, and excellent verse.

  41. Devil Mood –

    If we do not pay attention, and give care to the magnificent natural world that surrounds us, it will be gone before we realize it.

  42. Sister AE –

    I’m pleased this stirred a warm memory for you… 😉

  43. Deborah (JP) –

    I am glad you enjoyed it! 😉

    Peace to you JanePoe…

  44. Linda –

    You are kind to also notice the small things… 😉

  45. Pavinganewroad –

    Thank you… and I’m very pleased if this encouraged to commune with our natural world! 😉

  46. Tickled Pink –

    Thank you very much… you are most kind! 😉

  47. WOOOOOOW! These images are stunning. I have not been to see these giants in so long. This, and your words remind me I need to take my kids. Maybe this summer…


  48. Patois –

    Thank you very much! 😉

  49. JHS –

    I’m pleased I was able to help you revisit that sense of awe… 😉

  50. Skyelarke –

    Yes they are, and yes they do… 😉

  51. Tumblewords –

    Thank you!

  52. Frances –

    I sit comfortably, but with emotions charged… and I do speak the words out loud as I go — especially as I do the final editing. I do so to capture their sound and tempo as much as their meaning — both are important to me.

    I believe poetry is a spoken, as well as a written art form.

    I have already recorded podcasts of myself reading some of my work. Eventually I will record podcasts of myself reading a significant number of my works. I like to create a music and effects bed for each, and mix that into the final recording.

    And thank you for your gracious words… 😉

  53. Diana –

    You are most kind… 😉

  54. Believingsoul –

    What a perfect way to help your young ones acquire a genuine reverence for our natural world.

  55. Goodness, what more can be said?! Your photos are exquisite. I was just recently out in California and got to do some walking in the redwoods up in Sonoma County. Your words brought me back. I could feel them again.

  56. I love your poem and your photos. Thanks for sharing

  57. Lovely evocation of areas I love.

  58. June –

    I’m pleased I could evoke some fond memories for you… 😉

  59. Sage –

    You’re welcome… that you!

  60. Sarala –

    A magical region on the planet…

  61. beautiful.

  62. Jenica –

    Thanks… 😉

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