REDWOOD
(Hali Hammer)

I am a mighty redwood, I have no need of name
I’ve stood my ground since many years before the humans came
And I could tell you stories wise with growth of many years
If you care to learn my language
If you listen, you will hear
     Oh, I was just a sapling ‘bout 1000 years ago
     The air was sweet and animals were the life to come & go
     The few Native Americans had respect for things alive
     They understood the give & take it takes life to survive
When I was ‘round 500, a fire spread far & wide
It seared my branches, burnt this scar you still see on my side
The forest grew back green again
It took many rings of time
Till birds nested in my boughs again & squirrels returned to climb

Now I stand tallest of the trees, my roots trail through the ground
My limbs, they sweep the sky above, my cones grow firm & round
My needles reach up to the wind that moves off to the sea
But I can sense things far & near that are disturbing me
     Man used to come & clear away the deadfall from this place
     We didn’t mind, but now they’re in some kind of human race
     They cut & kill & take to mill what they never can put back
     How long do they think that the earth will stand for this attack?
Now I hear through vibrations from my cousins the world ‘round
It’s not just California humans strip down to the ground
The mighty seas are clogged with oil…a hole burns to the sun
So widespread even humans note that damage has been done

I am a mighty redwood, I’ve long lived on this earth
I stand here tall, but I may fall once loggers eye my girth
So I ask of you whose hearts are true
Spread far & wide the song
Please hear my plea…let the earth be…before all life is gone.