swoosh of the fukuroo

Join Victoria at dVerse Poets for this week’s haibun prompt: Who? Who? Fukuroo!


 

Late one winter afternoon, I strap on snowshoes, grab my poles and make tracks in powder. The dusky sky glows pale pink as I shush into deep silence. Spruces dusted with fresh snow, wear skirts of blue-hued drifts and beckon me to maneuver their folds. I am tramping a wonderland beneath thin-fingered canopy of ash tree silhouettes. Startled, I flinch as a heavy winged shadow glides closely overhead with a swish-sh-sh of displaced air. An owl swoops low before sweeping onto a bare upper branch fifty yards ahead. I approach cautiously as owl’s head swivels toward me. Notice the unmistakable tufts like ears…it’s the great-horned fukuroo of my dreams!

 

listen, owl’s hooting

images

free stock image

heard often yet rarely seen

great-horned fukuroo!

creeaak!

 

Our farm buildings are nestled in the protective elbow of the grove, my personal woodland. A variety of trees shield us from the blast of winter’s northwest winds. Along outer L-shaped perimeter stand two rows of blue spruce, planted early in our marriage; mountain trees for this Colorado girl transplanted to prairie. Now the rows are closed to lawnmowers and snow shoers.

Inside the west crook, reside old ash and gnarly box elder, here long before my husband’s parents bought the farm site. Random maple, scattered throughout, blaze in autumn’s golden glory. Near the road, three small birch wave at passers-by. A few more spruce shelter the apple orchard, now consisting of two prodigious trees, we planted by our driveway.

On the north, two straight rows of ash, summit and bergesen, join hands high to form a long leaf-adorned aisle where migrating monarchs flit in early fall. Next to these, six red oak raise their proud heads and stubbornly hang onto dead leaves until next spring.

Sadly, severe weather, disease, or insect pests eventually claim even the best of our trees. Walk past an old dead tree on a windy day and hear the creaking. Better to get chainsaw out before it falls where we don’t want it to. Its wood will warm us in winter and we are grateful.

 

young saplings attend
but cannot stop life cycle
dryad’s dying scream

 

IMG_3669

photo by lynn

 

 

tree is me

Linked to:  http://dversepoets.com/2014/05/06/tree-poetry/

firm,

rooted

in granite of

towering rockies,

standing tall as all

blue spruce kin

round mountain glen of

colorado columbine,

i stretch my limbs

to shake off loose needles

in cool alpine breeze.

i whisper my secrets

in blue shade as

eagle soars above

my shaggy crown into thin

blue canopy of sky

where ancient stars blaze,

 and gazed down on my

ancestors who succumbed

to wild forest fires lit

by blue lightning;

those charred remains

fertilize my offspring

as evergreen generations of

conifers rise up, and up.

i show protective

mother love for shy

dark-eyed chipmunks

that dart under my skirts

and offer patient tolerance

to raucous mountain blue jays

who build messy nests in my arms,

glad

to be

alive.