Raising Mana

My own sadness pulls me inward,
bringing tears but also fond
and tender memories of another
time, another place; sometimes
it feels as though it was another life
that guided me to those dense woods
and sparkling waters of eastern Maine,
a place I never thought to leave;

After growing up in the foothills
of the San Gabriel Mountains surrounded
by eucalyptus glades and dancing streams
with all the freedom a child could ever want,
my heart ached every time a tree was hacked down
for yet another tract home or shopping center
anchoring suburban residents to a world
far removed from the pulse of a growing town
then dubbed the City of Roses;

When the final insult came, it was in the form
of an eighteen-hole golf course as trees were felled
and carted off like cattle to slaughter, a child’s
magical forest gone, singing brook diverted
so that white men with white hair sporting white
polyester slacks and shirts with tiny alligators
embroidered over thumping hearts could play
adult games; men driving diminutive
battery powered cars with ragtop canopies
that carried them and their leather bags stocked
with wood and iron clubs around and around
closely cropped turf laid down to replace
fragrant leaf mulch and arching tree limbs’
dappled shade;

Oh, when I cast memory back
to that enchanted wonderland where
my sight beheld spirits from deep
within the earth, all seems ensconced
in watery illusion similar yet different
from that secluded cabin in the woods
where I learned how to gather forgotten
ground under my feet while raising two
young women to care about things
that mattered;

Now here I find myself in beloved Kohala,
surrounded by lush gardens created
with my own two hands, and I know the pain
of partition has been a deception, for nature
within has all the time become informed
by experiences only appearing to be other;
there is no separation, has never been;
all is, as Poe divined, a dream within a dream,
and as I live my life, this treasured vision
becomes my chosen reality.

Windswept
Dragonfruit blossoms ~ Chris Johnson
Gloriosa lilies
Nightfall ~ Coast Guard Point
Eventide

 

Hybrid Hibiscus
Echinacea

~ all images ©Bela Johnson (or Chris Johnson, where noted)

21 thoughts on “Raising Mana

  1. Oh, that Golf course sounds like hell. What are we doing to our planet? We remove animal habitat just so balls can be hit with sticks in pointless games of macho posturing. We are such a stupid species! 😞

  2. I know how you must have felt… I often retreat into the woods where the nymphs play and fairies fly.. And like you, I create Peace within my own garden haven..
    Beautiful photos 😀 lovely write ❤

    1. Thank you, sweet Sue. I know we must be very alike. The landscape is my sanity, for sure. When all else seems lost, there is so much solace in it. 💕🌺🌋💦🤗

  3. This is such a moving poem. Your narrative was so powerful that I could feel what you must be going through. Beautiful post ❤

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