Luna, Bleeding

(outside Stafford, California)

The tree was named Luna
by a Butterfly named Julia, and
Luna was Julia’s home for 2 years
and a week, and a day.
In her tree, on a simple wooden platform,
she said she would be the voice and the face of the tree,
and for the whole forest that cannot speak for itself.

This tree is not just another number on a logging map..

Julia Hill, Arkansas preacher’s daughter,
surveys her world 18 stories above the ice-white coast fog.
200 feet tall, Luna has graced
the Headwaters ridge for 1000 years.
23 million trees, valued at 31 billion dollars-
this is what Julia endeavored to save for future generations,
and she began with Luna..

Love in our society has been devalued, Julia told us.
She had thought she’d be tree-sitting maybe a month.
True love is what made me sit in this tree for 738 days,
to protect it.

But finally, she came down off her tree,
barefoot blue & full of thanksgiving,
when word came that a compromise had been worked
out, that Pacific Lumber would spare the ancient trees,
that an old-growth sanctuary forest had been created.
Experts said the tree could now easily live another millennium.

On Thanksgiving Day, 3 years later, hikers discovered
that Luna had been dealt a deep & critical cut
across her girth, through to the pith,
which is her marrow; a chain saw’s distinctive pattern desecrates the tree..
Luna may not survive the winter in this,
one of the stormiest places on the Pacific coast.
1000 years of lightning, drought & gale
could not bring the tree down, but only made it stronger.

Her sap stains the ground; it may as well be blood.
Where are the elders? Call them to this place, let them bring their medicines.
Until then, we wait, singing softly, and listen to the winds shrieking back at us.