An eagle soars, swoops up to reach the top branch, the Monarch.
The giant Sequoia, a full twenty-seven stories high, guards the Earth.
A life lived over nearly two thousand years, a behemoth in the forest.
The Sequoia survives by natural selection: fire-resistant bark,
Insect-proof thick covering, green needles focused on the sun
In the cool environment at the mountain top.
Such conditions favor this ancient tree, nurturing it, allowing it to grow.
In times past, Indians camped beneath its shade, brought offerings of dried venison;
Prayed to the gods.
Today tourists flock to see the largest tree in the world, General Sherman.
Their footsteps damage the delicate ground beneath the snow.
They are but brief sojourners on the planet,
Not like the giant Sherman who has stayed for millennia.
In the shadows of the Sequoias, new life begins beneath the snow;
A baby Sequoia pokes its tiny branches up to the sun, protected by its progenitor.
From the seed of the giant, a renewal of the cycle, a rebirth of the species,
An emblem of fortitude, perseverance, new beginnings starts frailly,
Yet Nature insures the baby’s survival against great odds.
We rejoice in its survival.
If you look in a certain way,
You can see a dancing ray.
In the water you will see
The sun’s rays dance away.
The sparkling light jumps up
And down, turns, pirouettes,
Then curtsies proud.
It does a plié, toe to toe,
The ballet builds to a crescendo.
A thousand lights begin to shine,
Each twinkling, turning, twirling fast.
Bowing, swinging partners round,
Doe-ci-doe and promenade,
The sun’s rays have started their serenade.
Each sparkle is like a star,
Luring one to a distant place.
Flashing, burning in the light,
Where is the place that pulls one’s eye?
Is it the omnipresent deep or upward to
The sun, source of light and dance delight.
It all depends on who you are-
If you are lured to a silent tomb
Or to a distant star.
Dr. Myra Lee Weiner is a writer and poet, living in Princeton, New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in A Different Latitude: An Anthology of Poetry (1999). Her writing is influenced by her early years in rural Pennsylvania and Long Island, as well as later residences in metropolitan New York, and her recent travels to the Western National Parks and Central America. Currently, she is working on her memoir which will include stories of her work in toxicology and her personal journey as a Jewish working wife and mother. She enjoys participation in several New Jersey writing groups, including the Delaware Valley Poets, the Princeton Senior Resource Center Memoir Group and the Hamilton Library Writing Group.