Look for a new post of Sunday Brunch every month on the first Sunday. This column features Tripod Poems, poetic micro essays inspired by three randomly chosen words. These words become the title of the piece, are contained within the piece and are developed into observations on life in the Southwest and beyond.
Forestry – Receive – Cast
The art of planting and caring
for a forest is the mission of forestry.
The Mescalero Apache
are masters of this noble task.
They do not leave all dead wood
standing, only some for habitat.
The rest they clear using their horses,
debris being carefully gathered
in managed piles, and repurposed.
This gives the lofty pines room|
to breathe and sway, free from threat
of too easily ignited dry tinder.
In the Mescalero Apache forests,
you can see the open sky
and watch golden eagles fly.
Ground cover too is managed,
not overgrown, or invasive.
We in the west fell living trees
without first asking to receive
their ancient blessings.
We cast aside the ideal
of the honorable harvest.
We sell off wild land
for timber and development.
Our Forest Service sets fires
on especially windy days in spring,
and calls them, controlled burns.
In these past few years, many
have gone woefully out of control.
Why not remove the dead timber,
much of which is bark beetle infested
and create pellets for fuel, rather
than leaving fuel for disaster?
Fires in the forest are natural,
a needed ritual of the sacred cycles,
but we create unnaturally dense
vegetation, and the resulting fires
are no longer regenerative,
they are devastatingly destructive,
We have a lot to learn
from the Mescalero Apache,
why not allow them to teach us?
Why not invite them as leaders
to be part of our forestry team?
Photo credit: “Golden Eagle, Sacramento Mountains,” Eve West Bessier