With a tiny scissors
I take cuttings from the two-year old
Sequoiadendron Giganteum,
dipping them in rooting compound
before planting in prepared bed.

Wild ones between earth and sky,
evolutionary ancestors, if you live
another four thousand years,
possibility you carry in your genetic code,
we all might survive. Wild ones,

Bashō loved the Bashō tree
for its uselessness,
wind and rain against leaves
large enough to cover a harp,
big trunk untouched by the ax.

Earlier, Hui Tzu received this
from Chuang Tzu: You have a useless tree
and don’t know how to use it, plant it
in the middle of nowhere, something useless
will never be disturbed. Bonsaied

in my back yard. Seedling Sequoias
thickening their trunks in their second year
revealing eternity. In pre-history,
a forest of conifers. The Western World
didn’t know about giant redwoods

until mid 19th Century. Sequoia
for Sequoah, son of Cherokee Chief’s daughter.
Dendron, Greek for tree. Now thought to be
a genus of its own. Wild ones
young climbers call you today,

walking hands and knees through creek bed
to find you. They find in your canopies,
hidden bonsai growing as epiphytes
high in your crowns. Discovering you
they become canopy trekkers,

traveling from tree to tree.
They bring hammocks with them
making animal love, sky walking
sky lovers. Entering the tree
my fingers larger than your limbs,

my in-breath is where consciousness
is born. The ex-hale is commitment
and salutation. This year’s trunk
growth, green, measured in inches,
will wooden before winter. Next year

or the year after, I’ll begin the search
for the pot to honor your journey.
Japanese bonsai artists secure
pines against earthquakes. Bashō
300 years ago saw pines

from the previous millennium.
Forests for futures none of us will see.
What makes you useless makes you valuable.
I hold a quart-sized spray bottle
misting ancient branches imitating the ocean.

Jim Bodeen
August 2012-August 2014

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