Trembling to be trees

Standing in our numbered rows
we stretched and stretched, embracing

the enormous air, our fingers
splayed, heels rising up

off the floor, bodies grunting, sweating,
trembling to be trees.

That’s from “Forest,” by Mike White: the poem featured today in Poetry Daily. It seemed like a timely reminder to check out the brand new edition (#9) of the Festival of the Trees. Among the many and varied topics covered in this edition, I was especially struck by the beeched wail; Napier’s Bones; l’emondage; and the rather startling news that E‘s 7th sexiest celebrity in the world has married a tree — actually, two trees. Whether she herself is “trembling to be [a] tree,” the blogs don’t speculate.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave's writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the "share alike" provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

9 Comments


  1. I’ve been reading over this for a day now, and I still don’t understand how she married a tree. I’ve hugged trees before, but I didn’t know one could wed them.

    “If there is any reason these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace.”

    “Umm… (hand raises in back of chapel, er… field) it’s a tree.”

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  2. I dunno. I read the same blog posts you did. Ancient Hindu custom, apparently. I doubt their weddings resemble ours all that much.

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  3. Shamans in Siberia marry tiger spirits and shamans in the Amazon marry jaguar spirits. Odd from our perspective but normal from theirs.

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  4. I had read about that in college. A while after I met Cesario he started mentioning his other wife, his jaguar wife. There’s mention of shamans having jaguar wives in a book about his tribe. It’s forbidden for female shamans to have jaguar husbands because they’re too aggressive.

    C said she was able to tip him off sometimes when there was danger, also keep him up to date on things happening in the forest. She lived in another world, he said, but the distinction between there and here is very fuzzy in his intellectual millieu. The easiest way for a human to go from world one to another is with that drink they drink. The jaguars look like people over there.

    He has three children by his jaguar wife. He told me their names once, and hers as well, but they didn’t stick with me. He told me he did some healing work on his mother-in-law one time. There was something wrong with her heart, and he offered to take it out and fix it. She didn’t want to let him have it, but he convinced her to trust him, and she let him take it out and work on it, and he healed her.

    He drew a lesson from this, and told me: you can’t keep yourself all to yourself. Sometimes you have to have the courage to trust people enough to let them in to help you.

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  5. Great story, Nathan. And regardless of what one makes of the rest of it, the lesson at the end seems worth holding on to.

    Are you blogging this? Sure looks like smorgasblog material! I gotta add your site to my aggregator in any case. And word has it non-Zaadzsters will be able to leave comments on Zaadz blogs soon.

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  6. Cheers, Dave.

    It would be nice if Zaadz opened up a little. The only-members-can-comment rule runs counter to its primary aim of facilitating networking.

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  7. Thought I’d mention how much I always enjoy the Festival of the Trees, Dave. That one post about Aishwarya sent me on a tangent into vedic astrology that took up a good part of Saturday night. Interesting stuff.

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  8. Cool. It’s nice to think that the FOTT provides a properly ramifying reading experience.

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