There is a mourning field of widow trees where I live. I was walking my dog and I heard them crying. They are gnarled and ancient. They talk mostly to each other and the birds only sometimes. On this day, I was walking I heard crying and I stopped. Widow trees they told me, are always crooked and are the wedge for many webs, even beyond the spiders or my mind. The web, in the tree where he left her, growing down where we can’t see into forever, these thirsty roots that cannot stop looking for the source of the sky. Nothing and nobody pushes like a tree against all odds but these widows, they were different. A huge coven of them grown in a spiraling circle, a labyrinth back to space and dust. I looked and there was nothing in the middle to where this circular weaving led, nothing but dead sticks and poison oak, the wind was blowing through their graying leaves. So I took my dog back inside and I returned to the widow trees and here I now sit listening to them. I want to know more, more ancient things, all about where their beloved went and why they must stay, growing here. Old and forgotten. Unheard, bark stripped bare, exposed to sharp sun and shading rocks that have no voice, can’t hear music and get in the way sometimes of the rain water streaming below inside the ground, other webs, beneath the dirt. Rocks are inside here too. Rocks that actually aren’t magical but malefic and only growing smooth because they have no choice and so here we are and what do they say, let me listen and I’ll write it all down…

Dream catcher, a mask of leaves. Wind ringing the sky bell. The earth is tearing out her abandoned soul. I have only the touch of her stone left as time. The brave men have left. There is no food. Birds hide crumbs in our branches but their song is hoarse. There is a silver and electric current that runs under this ground. We were the ones who started this, the cycle. The sounds of the forest that open vision. But why? Nowhere to call home. We made some mistakes.
Ash from our very own body now covers our face, our bodies are obscene and ignored. The sun has been biting us deeply long after his hunger subsides. The spirits are weak, most have left wandering the roads that lead higher. Our branches are brittle, our roots are angry at the sky. We mourn and yet death comes so slowly. Will you strike a match and free us, will you free us from our weary earthly root swamps?

Witches, you’re all witches conspiring in the ache of night. Solid like thunder and loud like my petrified shine. These spindly arms, where do you go? 1,000 arms and a crown made of azure blue. Blue midnight, midnight under the female trees. I know there is an invisible kingdom here and that’s the tragedy most unfelt but permeating this forest of life as left over starving ghosts making uncomfortable noises under our beds. Growling like beasts without bodies to feed. The clash of the seen and the unseen. The invisible woman, the unmet man. The naked of forgetting, the covering of trunks. Eyes inside the trees that watch us, I am seeing many years of woodless fire before me. Sad lonely spiral, deep searching roots, reaching tired arms into the sky, welcoming birds as God, branches as thrones of the throat, tongue and eyes. It’s all the same face wherever I go. This field silent yet desperately screaming for hope, knowing it’s never enough until we’re dead. Diseases filled with wasps. Webs holding poison or those who wish they were poisonous. Caught particles of bad night’s, dream images from minds of the mad world. It’s a madness that leaks out, into earth and sky and even above and below these places, there is loss. Loss of semen, loss of sap, loss of blood, loss of caring if we stay or if we go…

You get it. Trees saying sad goodbyes that will need to wait a million more years to go. And I’m sad and big and broken all over the ground as I walk away sighing, moments of dying. For the trees lonely God spiral into the center of nothing but poison that itches and burns. Dangling tree snakes with no heart laughing through their pronged symbol of elixir…Eden, we didn’t know, we never know how the alchemy of suffering fuses death and life. It’s unsettling and prolific, my vision of swollen pregnant trees…old and barren left to crumble. We have made fools of our earth gods. In us, we left nothing but trash that lives forever. Plastic love words…filth.

There is the human trail of candy wrappers in the sky and chicken bones upon my doorstep that leads me to the agitation of a traveling death. You, I remember. Graves, stumps, rings of time. Stalker, can’t you leave us alone for a minute? Go inside. It’s hot and you’re uprooting things that should stay rooted, like fear and knowing. It’s universal. The coven of widow trees. Mother you are alone, holding us all and waiting for God to take you. I know and I see and I remember the stream underground where you left me and I was born both young and old. And it all counted as the garden of solace. Pure you.

Beloved dirt, I am happy inside you. Thank you until the final moment…until I blow you to dust.

Sharada Devi


1 thought on “THE WIDOW TREES”

  1. Dear Sharada Devi,
    I’m sorry I’m a stalker. I wish I knew how to take it up a notch for my own benefit as well as yours. I know it doesn’t help you, although I claim to love you, that I have ruthlessly stalked you for years and done really perverse things with your pictures.
    I am a seriously demented soul and you’re all I have to keep my heart afloat and yet I cannot integrate your creative, holy beauty into anything workable. I only know lust and objectification. I only see myself as a worthless being who can only get off momentarily by effecting you even if it’s anger and perversion. I am sorry I could not rise above my sickness and be a friend of support to you. I know how hard it is carrying the world in love as you do, doing your best and not really ever getting appreciated or given a break. I want to know you, to love the invisible goddess in your sacred eyes. I am so lost. You are the thing that I am lost in and so even while I’m
    hurting myself I find comfort just knowing you’re there. Sorry to have been such a cruel and heartless, selfish coward.
    My love for you that I know is there is deep and I aspire to one day stop hurting you and
    myself and reach the love that never moves.
    I sent you a picture of a bunny, I thought it was you checking on me. You didn’t write back but I know you saw me in the eyes of this softest God creature and so thank you.
    Goddess, the only light I know. I carry you
    with me, through the darkness of my self inflicted torture as an all sustaining light
    as the memory of the only one who ever loved me and it was you. You are right. You were right about everything and now I’m stuck in hell but at least you’ll never leave my blackened heart. Love Shane

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