The main body of this play is finished.  I see it as a tree that needs pruning.  I will attempt to edit it off and on when I have time.  

                                                  A Person is a Tree

                                   Tragicomedy in 5 acts(Limbs)

                                        Acts I, II, III, V, and VIII

 

                                                   By 

                                          Walter F. Shoutli

 

 

“The basest root of my vision, is born from life, that hilarious equation, maker of strife.”  

                        This play or poem is an expansion of the equation above. 

        

        Stalk of Characters:    

 

        Witch Hazel-   (the smirk- a black and white male/female young/old with dreadlocks)

 

        Sequioa-  (the hands out wide in a question mark)

 

        Leif  (the broadening chest- the pumping muscles- almost nude)

 

        Yew  ( the wringing hands)

 

        Magnolia  ( the sunny smile)

 

        Acacia  ( the hip checking hips- broad rotating shoulders)

 

        Ash  ( the hiding behind Acacia’s shoulders)

 

        Birch ( the looking around to see if people are noticing him perform noble deeds)

 

        Buck Thorn 

 

        Aralia

 

        Pachysandra ( the yawn)  

 

        Cypress

 

        Linden

 

        Olive

 

        Catalpa

        

        Nature

 

        Nurture

 

        Lilly of the Valley

 

        Sweet Woodruff

 

        False Jasmine

 

        4 winged Euonymous Anonymous 

 

        2 male teen scientists ( Heath and Briar)

 

        Laurel= monetary currency

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

Act (Limb) I

 

 

 

        Scenery of branches I.  (enters Witch Hazel out of darkness). 

            The  Forest Floor or “ Stage” is created by Witch Hazel.  Measures the trees.              Sets stop     watch to light.  Creates the laws of nature and physics.  Turns lights on.  Turns stars and moon on.  Puts             gravity into     motion by making an apple drop.  Sets evolution into motion.   Sets trees against trees in a crowded dark             forest.       Creates just the right temp.  Creates light.  Creates shade.  (Witch Hazel raises the sun to dusk).  A Tree             school,     Nursery, playground.  Has a hill.

 

    

 

 

Witch Hazel:   

    I blew the first cause onto its course as a seed floating in the air with a charged spin and orbit that was positioned with a certain momentum.  The seed hung and wafted until it was motivated by a thought of its own, and began looking for a place to land, no longer being carried by my breath.    Descending and descending, and continuing to descend, after being carried  to and fro by currents, it finally rested onto the soil.  

 

      The seed then sprouted,  sending its first root down and its first shoot up.  Now anchored, young leaves began to soak up the sun.    The trees machinery now being put into motion,  began making its own food by photosynthesis with the help of a green substance called “chlorophyll”.  Fueled by the suns energy, water, nutrients, and carbon dioxide, all these elements combined; and the tree acting as a dynamo, converted them to sugars and oxygen.  The tree released oxygen into the air and used sugars to produce all of its parts: leaves, wood, bark, roots, flowers, and fruits- and to grow larger.   The Tree grew when new cells were produced at the tips of its twigs, causing its leaders to extend.

    The conflict of the playing characters will drive the branching plot forward in its evolutionary growth, with the right mixture of  light and warmth. 

    Sylvan Valley is  a city populated by trees struggling for the light.   To grow and cast shade or wilt and fade.    A sapling is born into this field of competition.   A tree, having natural ambitions to rise, is like a skyscraper;  it  competes for the sky.  .  Sylvan Valley has nurseries breeding only the best, as well as cemeteries bringing fallen elders to their rest.     Some trees are deformed and deficient in their talent for growth.  Others are gifted beyond compare.  Some are a mixture of both.  Some are luckier than many- but unlucky compared to some.  . (Eats some mushrooms)…yum.    

 

        I am the playwright, I am The Creator.    I am the one who has pitted tree against tree.  Why?    Maybe I had a bad childhood in another dimension.  Or maybe I finally woke up out of a childish dream.     Or maybe I am just testing the trees to see if they could handle the sometimes heavy breeze of conflict.  Maybe this is all a joke and just a training  ground  for another life in another dimension;  a higher purpose that trees cannot see.  I wont let you know however.  I like keeping my secrets.          A persons exhaust is a trees fresh air, and a trees exhaust is a persons fresh air.  From the in breath and the out breath it is hard to tell where a person begins and a tree ends. I stand at this iron gate where lives are turned on and off.   I am like A stage manager for     the lives of moths.   This is a story told by many before, many to come- and many many more.   On and on the tale is spun- who has lost and who has won.  Through the thrusting wild forest, ghostly faeries wing;  and in and out of chorus, things with feathers sing.  A grave and gloomy grove, a calling of the dead…sending our loved ones to their everlasting beds.  Sometimes at night- when the wind is very still, and the moon is shining bright, one is sent a chill.  For here in ethereal dreams thin with white lace, its hard to remember the exact shape of a face.   Here is where the past is ever present- and the present is always here, and the far off future is so ever near.   In this eternal darkness that gives no rest, it would have been better to never have had to take the test.     All are born and arise from here- and all into this night disappear.  (Sees the first rays of the sun)  But The sun comes up and we start again.  ( Witch lifts the sun as if by magical force with the raising of its arms. Witch fades as Yew Leif and Sequioa enter.)

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

    Yew:

        (ringing hands bent over sapling).  Oh she seems so withered.  (Sapling is a hand reaching upwards).  If         only some sunlight could break through today.   We shouldn’t have born fruit.    The wind… ( points to seeds floating in air)            But… should we call her Palm? 

 

    Leif:  

        (Chest open wide- pumping chest muscles, irritated ) No, no… Lets call her Sequoia.

    Yew:  

        Oh no… lets not.  

    Leif: 

        (irritated).  Do we always have to go through this?  We will call her Sequoia.

    Yew:

        Are you sure?   Its a thicket around here,  the market is so bad, the Laurel’s value is so low, and of course        your income is so . ..

    Leif:  

        Thats all you ever do isn’t it?  Worry.  Although you do have a point that the laurel.  It has been printed so much lately that its value is         almost worthless.  Of course we have the left branch to blame for that.  

    Yew: 

         I know I am a worrier.  But also, its a girl.  

    Leif:  

        And what of it?  

    Yew:

        Are you sure Sylvan Valley is ready for a girl to rise to the top?  

    Leif:  

        I confess I wanted a boy but the times are perfect for a girl right now.  If those slobs up in their penthoused skyscrapers         could afford to let         a little         light in down here perhaps things would be better.  Those hypocrites!  Playing God with our         lives.  Sometimes I wonder if they have ever really worked a day in their lives.  The crime that they         commit and yet they don’t even see it.  Advertising the way they do.   You know I am the most talented tree in all of         the Eastern Woodlands.  

    Yew:

        Her hair needs pruning.  ( gets out a pruning sheers and starts clipping). 

    Leif:  

        (irritated) you know that right?

    Yew:

        Sequoia it is.  Sequoia don’t feel bad.  We will get         you feeling better.  Your going to flower some day honey.   You will have a chance to pursue your happiness as we have.  (Irony in         the         darkness)

    Pachysandra:

        (Yawning) Or if you want you can avoid the whole drama and just be a small shade dweller like me.  Iv’e seen this scenario so many         times.  But no one listens to me.  Oh well.

    Leif:  

        She even looks like a bo…( excited she looks boyish) I mean she looks like a boy the way you are cropping her hair like that.  You are some day going to         reach your full potential Sequoia , but in the mean time straighten up your back!  Your stem is slouching.  What you think about         becomes your reality.  There’s no doubt this is a tough forest, but its worth the fight.  However no one is going to make it         thinking depressive thoughts all day.  (Peers over at Willow).   

    Yew:  

        Words do matter.  Especially well thought out ones (peers at Leif).  We need to be careful with her, we may irreparably harm her and         stunt her in our rush for her to grow and stand tall too soon.  The more intelligent trees are able to hold off immediate gratification.          We should let her grow naturally.   (puts the pruners down).

    Leif:  

        (To Yew) You should spruce yourself up a little.   She is learning from you.  (grabs the pruners and starts clipping Sequoias private parts).  You don’t have this right down here.  

    Yew:  

        What on earth are you doing?  Isn’t it more appropriate that I do that?  ( takes the pruners back from Leif)

 

        (Enter Witch Hazel)

 

    Witch Hazel:

        Its been fated…

    Leif: 

        (startled) Who are you!?

    Witch Hazel:  

        No matter.  Im just a silly tender of trees.  But I do have a prophecy that I am supposed to impart to you.  

    Leif:  

        Oh so you mean you work here?  Here at the Nursery?  

    Witch:  

        (evil smile) yes.. yes I work here at the Nursery.  

    Leif:

        Well then you should say that at the first.  Whats this about a Prophecy?

    Witch:

        I was told by my fellow nurses and teachers that your daughter is destined to bring peace and nourishment throughout the entire         city of Sylvan Valley.  

    Leif:  

        What is this some kind of joke?  What are the nurses and trainers now palm readers as well?

    Witch: 

        Thats what they told me.  I don’t know how they came up with it.  Its a good omen though don’t you think?  

    Leif:  

        I should hardly say so.  Who wants to bring peace and nourishment to others?  Have “others” done that for us?  I haven’t seen it so         far.      Let me tell you and your fellow nurses and trainers, or teachers or whatever you trees are called, to keep your primitive,          out dated, superstitions to yourselves, ok?  

    Witch:  

        You can take it seriously or not, its up to you.  I must leaf now, I’m wanted elsewhere.  (Leafs)

    Leif: 

        You do that… sorry to be rude but who can afford in this competitive market to have their time wasted by such stupidities?  (Turns to         Yew). Did you hear that Sap?  Did you see how he (stumbles)  or she… its hard to tell what that thing was, silently crept up behind         me?  I never trust the quiet ones.  

 

        Enter Acacia and Ash with baby Magnolia in a pot.

    Acacia:

        ( broad shoulders shifting and rotating quickly to establish her domain). HI!  We have a little one here at the nursery as         well.  What’s your child’s name?   

    Ash:  

        Yes hello what is your child’s name?

    Leif:

        Sequoia, and what is yours?

    Acacia:

        Sequoia, what a beautiful name.  With a name like that she should go far!  Ours we have named Magnolia.  My name is Acacia.          ( accidentally hip checks Ash out of the way). Oh sorry, my fault!  This is my husband, Ash.   He is a stay at home dad.   I’ll be doing all of the         working.  Boy its so dark and gloomy around here.    

    Leif:

        Were from the Eastern Woodlands so we are used to it.  I think of it here as kind of a garbage dump.  But my wife likes it. (Cleese) edit  You must not be not be native to these parts.   

    Acacia:

        Your very perceptive.  We are from the Western Dome.

    Leif:  

        You are from the western Dome?!  Hey before I forget, did you meet that guy.. or gal ( nervously laughs)  that was here a couple minutes ago?  

    Acacia:  

        No I don’t think so… which guy?

    Leif:  

        The guy with the dread locks.

    Acacia:

        Oh him!  Yes, he said Magnolia was destined to be a great leader for The Socialist Arbor Society.  We are hoping its true!  We         are big time for the left branch in politics.  Unapologetically for the left aren’t we Ash?  Your right he was kind of androgynous wasn’t         he?  But I think it was a guy.  

    Ash:  

        Most definitely left branch dear.

    Acacia:    

        But how         he could discern one tiny saplings fate from another in this snarly mess is a wonder to me.  Can you imagine that I         mistook         Magnolia for a different sapling earlier.  They are so indistinguishable at this age.  Its not until they mature do you start         to see         character in their limbs. 

    

    Leif:

        You don’t believe in that yard waste drivel do you?  

    Acacia:

        What the politics of the left?  I’d hardly say its drivel!

    Leif:  

        Well No, I mean…well that … but the Prophecy.  You don’t believe in Prophecy do you?  

 

    Acacia:

        Only if it is good Prophecy.  Good drivel.  (Laughs).  If he had told me Magnolia was destined to be some kind of shade dwelling         bottom feeder and supporter for others trees successful rise to the tree tops, I would have socked him in the mouth!   

    Leif:

        (visibly upset). Well I will be honest with you.  Im for the right branch.  

    

    Acacia: 

        

 

        Wait a second.  Let me get this straight.  I am for the left and I live in the Western Dome?  And you live in the Eastern Woodlands         and you are for the right?  Thats topsy turvy.  Well I feel sorry for your poor daughter.  What is she destined to be a well trained         maid? (laughs good heartily )

    Leif:  

        Let me tell you why I live here and then you tell me why you live in the Western Dome ok?  To be honest my wife wanted to live         nearer to her parents.  They live out here in the Eastern Woodlands.  Im a little out of my element here.  Over the years my wife has         remained a devout member of The Socialist Arbor Society, but I have gradually shifted to the right.  But we haven’t divorced yet         have we Yew?  ( laughs)

    Yew:  

        No… (laughs lightly).  Not yet.

 

        Sapling  1 

            Who are you?

        Sapling 2:

            Im a tree-

        Sapling 1:

            Your a tree too? What do you do?

        Sapling 2:  

            I grow-

        Sapling1:   

            oh.. I grow too!  What a coincidence!  How do you grow?

        Sapling 2. 

             By shading out other trees.

        Sapling 1.  

            Thats what I do too!  Thats amazing!

     

 

    Leif: 

        Her parents are die hard socialists as well.  

    Acacia:  

        And your parents? what were they?  

    Leif:  

        My father was for the right branch.  See, I’m just like daddy.  I guess we sprout after our parents don’t we?  As they say,         the apple doesn’t fall far from the         tree.  

 

    Acacia:

        Well I’m fine with being just like daddy as long as daddy wasn’t a wife beater.  Did you know that domestic violence against women         is on the rise in the last growth year?  Speaking of the apple not falling far from the tree, my grandparents were members of the         Great Arbor Union.   Their grove was plowed down by the right when I was a child.  They were interned in a field, at a camp until         they found         them  a new home.  I never got over it.    They lost their homes.  All for a new expansion of         the Western Dome.  Ironic that I live there now.  My grandparents would roll up in tangled knots in their graves if they knew where I         lived.  

    Leif:

        I have nothing against the left as long as they don’t start impinging on my freedoms, thats when they cross the line.  

    Acacia:  

        I find your defensive position offensive.  And I have a feeling that my active defense against that perceived offense is in turn offensive to you.  One persons         correction of anothers propaganda is not seen as yet another form of propaganda.  But is called the truth.  (Winks) But Oh you and         your right branch buddies         are so concerned about your freedoms.  YOur elite drive for         excellence.  Elitist weeds my         father use to say.  Sounds to me like you want the freedom to enslave         us on the left.  (Smiles).      Another time lets fight it out, not today.  I have these arguments every day in the Western Dome.  We        lefties are infiltrating the western dome en masse in secret you know.  Better watch out!  (Winks)

    Leif:  

        Yes lets not get into it for the sake of the kids at least.  Although I ‘m not one to back down from a good argument.  ( smiles irritatedly)What are your roots? 

    Acacia:

        English and Australian.  

    Ash:  

        (reaching for Acacias shoulder from behind.). Thats right.  English and Australian.  

 

    Leif:

        Whats your story Ash?

    Ash:

        oh I try and keep my “story “ safe.  This forest scares me sometimes… 

    Acacia:

        We live in Golden Oaks.  Its a sub section of The Western Dome.  Have you heard of it?

 

    Yew:   

        Why yes.   Its a small enclave of left branchers  right?    

    Acacia:  

        Thats right.  We lefties stick together!

    Leif:  

        I heard the scenery is unbelievable in the Western Dome is that right?  

    Acacia:

        I have to confess its pure paradise.  A pure natural heaven.  It makes the Eastern Woodlands look like slums.  

    Leif:  

        Who is the elitist weed?  (Jokes) Why are you taking Magnolia to a Nursery all the way out here?  Surely there must be one         somewhere in The western dome.  

 

        Leif, Acacia, Yew, and Ash all watch the cute Ginko with her parents pass.  

        Enter Little Ginko with parents holding her hand.

        Little ginko:

            I don’t get it.  So my light is her shade.  And her light is my shade?  Why does it have to be like that?  

        Parent 1:  

            Well its not quite like that.  You need to learn to share.  You need to learn to play together and compromise.  

        Little Ginko:

            When we played together that didn’t work.  She took most of the toys and only gave me a few.  

        Parent 2:

            Little Ginko It is a competitive world but we have to learn to have compassion.  If someone you are playing with is not playing             fair you don’t always have to correct the matter.  Sometimes it is better to just let it slide. 

        Little Ginko:

            What does “ let it slide” mean?  They don’t have a slide here.  Is that why when I let her play with the baby pine cone she said             that     she     was more compassionate than I was in letting me play with the pine cone for twenty minutes when  I only gave her             ten? 

        Parent 1:

            Well she was being a little knit picky.

        Little Ginko:

            What does “ knit picky” mean?

        Parent 2: 

            It means being very particular about details and making sure that everything is fair.  

        Little Ginko:

            What does “particular” mean?

        Parent 2:  

            Oh you tell her.  She exhausts me sometimes!

        Parent 1:  

            Your friend was right Little Ginko.  You should have given her another ten minutes with the cone.  However she was wrong in             taking more of the toys when you played together.  But your mother is right, sometimes it is better to let these little unfair             events go without confronting them.  

        Parent 2:

            But not always right dear?  (Nudges him with ironic smile)

        Parent 1:

            That’s right,  dear.  ( slightly annoyed)

       Little Ginko:

              I had to slap her in the face because she wasn't... what's the word?   ... co ..cooperating.

       Parent 1:

               That is an awful thing to do!  Don't do that again!  She may vow vengeance on you!

   

    Acacia:

        Isn’t that the cutest little Ginko? 

    Leif:

        So why are you coming all the way out here for a nursery?  

    Acacia:

        Oh can you imagine?  All of the nurseries were filled.  The population of Sylvan Valley has grown so much in the last few growing         seasons.  Everything was booked up in the Western Dome.   Have you noticed how awful the traffic is these days?

    Yew:  

        I know.  It’s become such a tangled over grown mess.

    Acacia:

        Well we had better be off and extend somewhere else.    Were late for Magnolia’s acting class.  

    Leif:

        That might come in handy.  Maybe she is destined to be in politics. 

    Acacia:

        Yes, she is a fine actor.  Magnolia seems to smile at everyone no matter what she is thinking or feeling.  I find that a very desirable         trait.  Good for being a diplomat.  Custom, good         etiquette,  and its pleasantries are what make for a kinder world.  Some trees may complain that its phony,         to not act and say exactly         what you truly feel.  But what kind of world would this be if we all went around saying exactlty what         we thought and felt all of the         time?  A horrible world indeed.  Although I have to say that I am actually the opposite.  I speak         my mind very directly don’t I Ash?

    Ash:

        That’s right Acacia.  You speak your mind.  

    Acacia:

        Well we are off.  Let us increase and sprout  onto other sceneries.  We are supposed to be in the Green room for rehearsal in only         a half a  water bucket of time.  They are casting characters today.  Maybe our paths will cross again someday.  You never know.  

    Leif:

        Ok, nice to meet you.  True, you never know.  Good luck and four leaf clover in the casting.  

    Acacia:

        Thank you.  We will.  Nice to meet you too.

    Ash:

        Thank you, nice to meet you too.  

        ( Ash and acacia leaf wiith Magnolia).

 

    Leif:

         Trees like that get on my nerves, she does say what is exactly on her mind doesn’t she?   She blows a lot of wind.  What a bully.  Seems like its her way or the high way with that Ash fellow…(chuckles)

    Yew:

        Should we go around and talk to some of the other Nursery workers?  

    Leif:

        No, don’t be silly, we had better leaf as well.   A word in a line is like a stem in a vine- and these words are accumulating sending         leaders on to other scenery.  

        

        (Leif, Yew, and Sequoia leaf)

    

15:00

        

 

        Scenery of branches II. The City Council in the forest of the Eastern Woodlands 

        ( Leif, Yew, Sequoia are in the audience watching.  Witch Hazel is alone by himself in a different part of the crowd)

 

    Judge Alderman:  

        All rise and tree bough!

    Cypress:

        Let us gather to address opening statements to article 567 with  regarding the Wentwood Estate.  But before we begin, let us pause in silence for the passing away of  Aspen Gray.   the representative from the fourth district.  The bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens is one of the most common culprits in tree cancer and is the cause of crown gall.  Unfortunately Mr. Gray succumbed to the disease last Sunday.  ( pause for silence)   Council refers to Mr. Linden.  

    Linden:

        Thank you your honor.  Im glad that we have these meetings.  I consider them like the cells on our bark that fight off germs.  Inside         on the mircroscopic level it looks like warfare.  But in these minute conflicts is born the greater health of the tree.  Of course         the tree being a metaphor for the whole of Sylvan Valley.  Though the left and right branches of our politics is often divided         and seemingly war faring; it serves a greater good that we perhaps cannot  always see.  Sylvan Valley a green room where our         political casts are made and we each play our part accordingly to how we were molded by our natures and their interacting with their         chance nurturing.  Our traits are often dealt at random deciding  if our lives will be  a flush or a straight.  Let us play our parts and be honest to our convictions while always remaining civil.  Competition is at the very root of our branch.  Sometimes I feel like thanking people like Ms. Olive for forcing us on the left branch to come up with better more competetive policies.  (Turns to Olive) Ms. Olive may not realize it, but in her heart of heart she really is a free tradesman, ( stumbles) im sorry Woman, because whether we admit it to ourselves or not we are battling for ideas, and embracing the free market battle is good for all of us.  the right is more blatant about it  while those on the left are more camaflouged.  In some waysI wonder who is actually creating these policies that I come up with on the right, is it me or ms Olive.  Her counteraction to my action creates my next action.  I’m glad to present to the court         today, the proposition that will expand the Western Dome an added eighty acres in total.  The Western Dome is the source         for eighty-five percent of the imports of sunlight  for the great city of Sylvan Valley.  With this added new frontier our         projected energy achieved through photosynthesis will go up as much as twenty percent in the next ten growing seasons.          On tap … ( laughs) excuse the pun, but on top of that we have tapped into a well spring of oil.    We will bring untilled knowledge to the upper crusts of the world. These  oil reserves… we have found  new found energies untapped, and we can pump them upwards into an increased radiant and vibrant consciousness.   Ill … I mean “we” will drive the rods down into the shafted unconscious core of the earth, breaking the mantled pits of stone and fire,  ( looking slightly insane) spiking up sparks of charged flares and ash, releasing the  molten flow of the very beginnings of Creation itself.  This will be an endless growth for all of Sylvan valley.  That is a boon for all of Sylvan Valley,  including our wonderful friends here at the Eastern Woodlands.  Thank you your honor.

    Cypress:

        Council yields to Ms.Olive.  

    Olive: 

        Thank you your honor.  Thank you Mr. Linden.  The Western Dome is blocking all of our sunlight here in the eastern woodlands in the afternoon hours.  Roughly from 2pm to sundown we have lost all of our direct sunlight.  Tree rings are narrow when trees are crowded together.  Studies have shown that we here in the eastern woodlands have on average been considerably restricted.  Added to the fact that are soil is so poor dusty and lacking so many of vital nutrients.  I don’t mean to throw shade at you Mr. 

Linden , for Im sure that our friends at         the Western Dome with their skyscrapers and their new found acreage are living in paradise with their magical canopy and their         luxurious living styles.  But in fact right as we speak  there are 20,000 homeless trees in the Eastern Woodlands alone.  All of that         energy spent escavating and building and preparing that land could be spent helping the homeless right here in this community.   Its         almost embarrassing to mention.  But I ask your honor and everyone here today to take notice of how gloomy and dark it is here.          I’m     almost embarrassed to say that I am a tree.  To think that we would let our fellow trees live in such squalor.   I might add as         well that     I wonder if Mr. Alderman and his friends on the right side of the aisle ever think that maybe the trees here in the         Eastern Woodlands might enjoy some direct sunlight for a change,  rather than having to always get their life and energy         indirectly through the western dome.   Your honor there is nothing like direct sunlight.  And it should be a basic right and guarantee         that all trees be allowed access to it.   Five growth rings ago you said nearly exactly what you have just stated Mr. Linden and we         still haven’t seen any of those benefits trickle down to this forest floor.  Tell your endless growth story from new found oil to the guy         thats homeless in the pitch black of night in the park.  

    Linden:  

        May I interject your Honor?  The people of the Eastern Woodlands are a perfect example of what happened to the demise of the         great city Buckeye Grove.  If I can guide the committees eyes to tree ring circle logged in as document 1632, the 25th ring counting inward from the outer edge, notice how narrow the ring is, of course we all know as Ms Olive pointed out earlier that that is a sign of a poor growing season, a narrow tree ring.  And just coincidentally  free handouts were given to an entire         population of poplars that year making them indolent and needy.   There so called great leader Syringa Vulgaris, portraying himself as some         fragrant lilac blessing his fellow poplars with peace on earth, was actually a monster willing to kill millions for the sake of what he         called the future paradise of equality for all.  Did they ever achieve their paradise?  Hardly.  Their entire economy and market         collapsed.  Their poorer communities took the entire culture down with it.  Are you willing to bear that burden Ms. Olive?  You will be         responsible for not only the demise of the Eastern Woodlands but also the Western Dome.  I for one will not let that happen; and I         will be honest I am  willing to lay down my life to make sure that indeed does not happen.  What you see now in Eastern Woodlands         would have been  paradise for even the most privileged of citizens living in Buckeye Grove.  History has told us time and again that socialism         doesn’t work, and yet trees like Olive pop up annually regurgitating the old worn out leftist views that never worked and never will.           Have you ever read your paper birch history Ms. Olive?  What Ms. Olive is proposing is none other than taxing the rich to give to the poor.  Did you know that the rich already pay 80% of all the taxes in Sylvan Valley?  And the lower echelons of our society pay none.  What Ms Olive I proposing is basically robbery.  Steeling from the already overtaxed and giving to the already non participating none deserving poor.  We here on the right believe that the pie is an ever expanding one… its limitless.  Its not like there is just one pie with a set limit to spread around.  

14:30

    Olive:  

        That Mr. Linden is a straw man argument.  Everyone knows that Sylvan Valley is no where near the  socialist community Buckeye         Grove was.  In fact it is just the opposite.  Our communities and their markets have become so free and unregulated its an         overgrown jungle as you can see, just look around you.   The right branch steel from the already destitute and gives to the already over plump fat cats living in the Western Dome.  Our heroes over at the right think it is a virtue to rub the noses of the unfortunate into a barren waste land of dirt… while they cultivate their ever richer soil that is gated off from us losers out here in the east.  We resemble a much more recent and therefor relevant example,         logged in as document 2480.  In that year the inequality of photosynthesis was so wide between the rich and the poor  that the         majority of the underprivileged centers ( of that city which im sure we all know what I am talking about, the now ruined Pine City),         had no sewage or drainage system and 40,000 poor sods that had the unfortunate fate of being born on the forest bed with no         opportunity to rise but a few feet all drowned.  We treed specimens all want to have a history of wide growth rings.  We all want plenty of light, space, and water.  When trees are overcrowded their growth rings are much narrower.  A homeless tree needs a place to sleep, but its just too crowded here as you can see.  Does Mr Lindens so called “Free Market” take the homeless into account?  

 

    Judge Alderman:

        That will do for now on article 567.  Now to article 635.  Ms. Maple of  Arden Glen.  Thank you.   

    Cypress:

        Yes your honor.  The opening statement addressing article 635, the right for Ms Maple of Arden Glen to play on the boys swing         team. Ms. Olive you may begin with the first argument.   

    Olive:  

        Your honor women have been excluded from the workforce for centuries.   They have been excluded from the sciences, the arts,         engineering, politics, and business.  The list goes on         and on.  They have been relegated to and forced into the role of a house maid nurse or teacher at best and thats about it.  And though we havent called them slaves in name,         that is what they have been for time immemorial.  They are the punching bags for their abusive husbands.  Domestic violence is on         the rise.  Women have been taking lesser mens manure .  Times are still the same.  Nothings changed.  Sexism is still rampant in Sylvan Valley.  We will not stop until every woman         is seen as equal trees with men.  Ms. Maple defeated half of the boys on the boys swing team.  Mr. Linden loves the free market         soil.  Well in the free market the best rise to the top, and that is exactly what Ms. Maple did.  Apparently Mr. Linden likes a free         market where only men get to compete.  There is no girl who comes close to Maple in skill or talent.  Is it fair that Maple should be         stunted on the girls team merely because people like Mr. Linden in their bigotry still believe women can’t compete with men?  We         have one life to live your honor.  One time where we are alive together in this forest.  We don’t get another chance.  We must create         justice here on this soil.  And me and my colleugues on the left have been developing a grass roots team to do just that. 

    Linden:  

        Ms. Olive would have us believe that to be on the left branch is to be in the  minority.  To be amongst the under dogwood downtrodden and oppressed. On the contrary, its  very popular to be leftist and for good reason.  Being a leftist will grease         the skids for an easy entry into a career and thus into society.  Innumerable doors will open for you if you announce to the         community that you are a         member of the Socialist Arbor Society.  And if somehow that fails, you can always scream sexism or         bigotry.  .  Nothing could be further from the truth. Your honor we are living in strange times.  Leftist fascists like Im sorry to say Ms.         Olive, would have us believe that there is no     difference biologically between a man and a woman.  Men and women are fundamentally different in many ways.  For example, Studies have shown that men are more adept at the sciences.  Not only are they more adept but they also show more natural interest in it.  And leftists want to implement such the absurdity that men and women are the same with an iron fist.  These crusading extremists have got us so confused we         don’t even know what pronouns to address one another anymore.  And though we have addressed the appropriate pronouns in this         Council thus far, thats merely because the council is one of the last remaining bastions of sanity.  I suppose in a mere few growing         seasons we will have cross dressers in here.  I dread the times your honor.  The damage that Ms. (accentuates Ms.) Olive and her         kind have done on this city is an abomination.  This is just a fad, and we have seen many of them before in history.  Unfortunately         this is a very damaging fad.  Will future trees look back at this time as some         perverted aberration?  Like the Witch Hazel hunt of tree ring 1250?  This puritanical mission to bring equality to Sylvan Valley has         ironically brought just the opposite.  Is it fair that a young male tree is not given the opportunity to be on the swing team         because there is a quota that demands that a certain number of girls be allowed on that team thus pushing him out?  And         that is where this is heading your honor.  Should we have boys playing on the girls teams?  Would that be fair?  Are men and         women really equal?  There was a case in Golden Oaks where a boy felt he was a girl in his soul and demanded to play on         the girls team.  He won all of the trophies.  Familys were outraged.  Studies have shown that male violence against women has         indeed risen and its largely due to the feminist movement.  Men’s identities are being stolen from them and it is making them         frustrated.  Women are encouraged to be tough like men but encouraged not to have to pay for the consequences of that new found         toughness.    If a man hits a woman he goes to jail with a ruined reputation.  If a woman hits a man there is no penalty for her.  Is         that fair?  If men and women are truly indistinguishable then she should go to jail and suffer the same penalty as he does. The         hypocrisy of the movement is obvious to anyone who has eyes to see.  The women’s movement is creating the very problem that it         is trying to solve.   Olives branch would have us think that this is the only life we have and that there is no other.  So they have         decided to play god with our lives and social engineer us accordingly to how they see fit.  I believe in an after life your honor. A higher power.  There is a God and its not the god of Big Government.  And He will judge us in the end.  

    Olive:

        These conversations feed off of each other exponentially.  Like alternating leaves.  Off shoots of east then west, and then we make         a play of it.  I hate this twiggish dialogue twixt fact and fiction and the friction it brings.  And I hate to bring in ad hominem attacks,  but by the looks of Mr.         (accentuates Mr.) Linden I don’t think he could defeat my mother in a         street fight.   Look at that belly, and those man tits make you indistinguishable from my Aunt Myrtle.  (audience laughs).  No… no, I         find that     rich.  So Mr. Linden is stating that women are responsible for the violence against them.  And then to trick us into believing         in such primitive scare tactics  that there is an an after life and an eternal judgment…who is the fascist Mr. Linden?  Its true the         Eastern Woodlands is more left branch than the Western dome.  Thank heavens, at least we are making some growth and headway         somewhere.  But to paint it as a bastion for Socialist dominance is an out right lie.  Perhaps you have read, or maybe you only read t        he Western Dome tribune, but we had just a case here this week where a female student was ostracized from her science class         because she claimed the textbook was sexist because it  portrayed all of the scientists of the past as males.  The male teacher         refused to address her for the rest of the term.  That sends a message to a girl.  That she is not wanted in that field.  

 

        (scene fades as Leif, Willow and Sequoia leave the audience, pass some students on the way out.  One is rolling an apple down a         ramp.  Another is measuring his own echoes speed with a water-based clock).

 

    Heath:

        (rolling apple down ramp).  I can’t believe it, there seems to be a ratio between the distance and the time travelled.   Have you     discovered a pattern?  

    Briar:

        ( counting the echoes).  Let me log my data into a logarithm. I don’t know about a ratio but it seems to have a set speed.  Calculating these pulleys and levers that make the heavens spin puts my face into a pleasurable grin.  I love the mechanics on how this forest was staged; I care less about its meaning and more on how it was gauged.  

 

 

23:00

                                                            A Person is a Tree

                                                 Act (Limb) II

            20 years later.  

 

            The same forest.  

 

            Still dark.

        

            Sequoia has grown but small for her age.  

 

 

    Scenery of branches I.  Enter (Aralia Thorn and Buck walking through the Eastern Woodlands) 

            

    Aralia:

        Why are we in the Eastern  Woodlands again?  Why did we have to come here?  

    Birch:

        My mother wants us to try and get voter turn out up for the coming election in both the Eastern Woodlands as well as the Western         Dome.  She feels voter turnout is good no matter what ones politics are.  

    Buck Thorn:

        Your not showing signs of left brancheritis are you?  

    Birch:

        Heavens no… 

    Aralia:

        Well when we are done with this lets go to Ivy’s house.  She is having a pool party in her verdant garden this afternoon.  

    Birch:

        Ok. Sounds good.  Thanks for helping me guys… 

        

    Aralia: 

        Pleasuring ones self is like coming onto a garden where a hose is overflowing on a flagstoned patio, and you pick up a mop         before first turning the  faucet knobs off.    Its probably more efficient to be castrated and turn        the problem     off at the source but no one does for various reasons.  You like that one?  Good joke?

    Birch:

        Im not sure I got it…

    Buck Thorn:

        Me neither.  

 

    Aralia: 

        ( to Buck Thorn and Birch)  I jacked off last night.  I feel empty… but   at least I got some sleep.  never mind… 

    Buck Thorn:

        Oh… I get it.  Yea I masturbate too.  I think of sex as like taking a constipated crap.  It feels great when you do it, and it has to be done, .. but lets face it. its dirty, filthy, and disgusting.  

    Aralia:

        Hey thats not bad Buck.  Its just sometimes I can’t sleep at night unless I release the valve.  The pressure goes to my head and I need relief.  To be more direct,  I get a woody and can’t find a bush to stick it in.  Isn’t that Magnolias  best friend?  Whats her name again?  Oh yea sequoia…she looks like a         boy.  I         wonder if she is getting free handouts from the government promoting equality of women rights. I have already lost a         few         opportunities because of these bitches.  look at her  mouthing her  daddies words- she is a shadow of a tree. 

    Birch:

        Yea it is.  Magnolia befriended her when they were at nursery school together unfortunately.  

    Aralia:

        Never mind…Sequoia’s a rag weed but I have to be honest  I’d love to plow Magnolias fields until she blooms.

    Birch:

        Watch what you say!  I love that girl!   Say another thing like that and I am going to have to hit you in the mouth!  My dad said crap         like that back at the farm when he was drunk.  After he beat my mom.

    Aralia:  

        Settle down!  Great Cedar of Lebanon!  Don’t let the wind get your branches all in a cross.  You must really be serious about her.

    Birch:

        I want to marry her some day.  Besides you sound like a rapist or a creep when you say that crap.  ( Aralia smirks) So freaking         creepy! 

    Buck Thorn:

        How are you going to handle the fact that her limbs swing both ways?  Or maybe only in one direction.  She’s a pansy isn’t she?  Or         what do you call women that dig other women sexually?  

    Birch:

        She is not a lesbian.  ( Buck Thorn remembers the word and nods his head after Birch says “Lesbian”) She merely thinks she is a         lesbian because she thinks its cool and breezy to be so.  Her true nature is straight         as an arrow.  Its just a fad she is following right now that is making her bent and twisted.  .  

    Aralia:

        I’ll tell you I don’t know what she sees in that Sequoia.  Sequoia has to be one of the ugliest trees I have ever seen.  She is so off color and variegated.  With that short         cropped hair.  Whoever prunes her hair is some sort of retard.  

    Buck Thorn:

        I think she is pathetic.  Daddy’s little girl.  Why doesn’t she have the guts to leave the protection from her daddy’s parasol?  like we         did?  

    Aralia:  ha!  look Who is pretending to be the individual here.  (Buck thorn is embarrassed) 

    Birch:

        You guys seem overly hard on Sequoia, what did she ever do to you?

 

( Aralia, Buck and Birch start approaching Sequoia)

    

    Aralia: ( to Sequoia)

        What are you doing here?  Why are you in my story?  I should make you pay a toll or a tax just to be in my presence.  

 

    Sequoia: (shy)

        (laughs nervously) What do you mean your story?  I don’t follow.  

    

    Aralia:

        Everyone has a story.  

        

    Sequoia: 

         Well I think I might want to grow…Ive always wanted…

 

    Aralia: 

        (cuts Sequoia off)  I know!  I want to grow as well.  You want to grow too?  ( sneers at her) 

         

    Sequoia:

        Sorry that was a little impolite of me. 

 

    Aralia:

        I was rated the number one amateur tree in the western dome last year.  I grew 4 feet in one         growing season.  Next year I want to grow an entire floor.  Im making a lot of green over there.  My soil is rich and my story is         germinating fast.  What have you done?  

 

    Sequoia:

        Well I have to admit I have no story like that.  I haven’t even started my prologue.     

(Aralia stumbles on a stump)

 

    Sequoia:

        Oh!  Are you ok?  (Reaches out a hand to help)

    Aralia:

        (slaps her hand out of his way)

        Get away from me!  I don’t need your help.  If I wanted your help I would ask for it.  

        Ive been working on my story a lot lately.  .  You can bet on it.  The path of my journey is mine and mine alone.  No one has         trespassed on the land in my         mind.  I want to blow Treeshaker away in the dust as a story teller.  

 

    BUck Thorn:  

        thats kind of egotistical.

 

    Aralia:  

        yea but its what I want… thats the voice inside.  Why should I stifle it?  Its my inner authentic voice calling to me.  

 

    Buck thorn:  

        well maybe its ok… why not?  As long as you don’t hurt anyone. 

 

    Aralia:  

        My cedar your dumb.  As long as I don’t hurt anyone?  Sometimes I wonder why I hang out with you. 

 

    Buck Thorn: ( hang dog look) 

        Yea your right that was kind of a dumb statement. 

 

     Aralia:

        The thing is… Ive got! … I     know Ive got it!  The magic touch to story telling. My story is going to push me to the top of the         Western Dome. They are going to make a statue of me someday.  Im going to win the Marlowe Prize in Literature.  I’ll be printed in         the Paper Birch History books.  Im going to keep greedily accumulating  experience to log away         into my story.  

 

 

    Sequoia: 

        Does everyone have their own story these days?   Ive only written a little poetry.     

 

 

    Aralia:

        Here!  Read the first few pages of my story.  (Puts it in Sequoias face)  

 

    Sequoia:  (begins reading)

        I have to confess, this is rather good and entertaining writing.  You did that?  What made you guys decide to become authors of your own stories?

    Buck:

        My da… (catches himself) or I mean… another friend of mine is a writer.  I got the idea from him.  

    Aralia:

        I got the idea from the fact that I will be damned if I am ever going to work at some job where I am not in charge of my own destiny!

 

    Sequoia:

        Here is an idea I have for maybe a story.  What do you guys think about  having a story where two sisters  who both want to have great stories and competed against one another for the better story.  They simultaneously love and hate each other.

 

 

 

    Aralia:

        Actually I find writing quite easy.  Just put a plot in the ground.  And build on it a bunch of leafy drama.  Just let the         foliage naturally unfold.  

    Birch:

        Isn’t that a quote by Treeshaker?  

    Aralia:

        I was hoping you didn’t notice.  ( continues rehearsing lines in the air to himself) I thrive!  I thrust!  I drive to arrive to the tipper top

        Of the the popular poplars!

 

    Buck Thorn:  ( to Sequoia)

        Hey thats pretty mature material there for a girl of only … what are you my age?  20?  Hey thats not a bad idea!  How does that go again?          Let me get out my paper birch notebook.  (Jots down)  “two sisters competing for better stories..”

 

    Sequoia:  

        Are you stealing my story?  

 

    Buck Thorn:

        No Im just bluffing… I have a better one I am basing off of a cultivar - a wandering jew who lives in the Oak district of the western dome.  He bullies         his way around the big city with his big bucks.  He has a wife that is a drama queen         artiste….The pair are totally full of manure.  They think any one who doesn’t live in the Oak district is a small shade tree.     He         tried to buy his mother in law away from her son to satisfy his wife…Can you         imagine?  He is role playing her savior, showing her the way to a better life, when he ironically treats her worse than her previous one.  In order for their marriage to work, all the people in her former life have to be painted in a bad light so he can keep getting laid and role play as her hero;  he has to satisfy  his wife's every wish and whim  in-between berating her.   Without that story their entire marriage would collapse like a giant skyscraper into the  hard pavement of unfiltered reality.  He thinks his shit doesn't stink.  I can only imagine the crimes he has committed to accrue such wealth.  ( grows considerably)

    

    

    Sequoia:  (remembering what Buck Thorn said) what a genus thing to say… calling him a “wandering jew.”  Your a real dogwood.  You must not like that guy too much.  But I have to admit that sounds like an interesting story.  

 

    Buck:  

        Just Calling  a spade a spade and a shovel a shovel.  You dig?  I tried to befriend the guy a few times but he was rude to me beyond compare, so I  feel no guilt.  He called me a common Buckthorn.  Of course that is what I am, but he also called me a common hackberry.  He made no effort to be kind to me, so why should I be anything different to him?    

 

    Aralia:

        Are you talking about that guy by the name of Cornell?  Are you basing that character after him?

    Buck:

        Yea.

    Aralila:

        I actually think he is not a bad guy.  If you can get past his rough exterior, that skin and cork.  

    Buck:

        (subordinate)

        Are you sure your not just saying that so you can get ahead?      

 

Aralia:

        of course Im trying to get on his good side!  Success in the forest is all about who you know.  “Are you well connected?”  They call it “social networking”.  So I guess in that little way I am kind of a union socialist.  Just as long as I am united with other capitalists like myself.  ( smiles     greedily)

 

    Sequoia:

        How many stories tall do you think  some of those trees are up there? 

    Buck:

        Oh I’d bet…

    Aralia:

        ( cuts Buck off) at least 80- 100.

    Sequoia:

        Those trees seem like Gods to me.  I could never be as great as them.  

    Aralia:

        Oh thats easy!  Watch, some day I will break 100 stories high.

    Sequoia:

        Can you imagine the kind of story telling  they must have         done to reach such heights?   Think of the stories that some of these trees could tell if only they could speak.  Ive heard that some         of them live to be several thousand years old.  

 

    Aralia:

        They purposefully do that to make you cower to them.  Thats how they thrive and stay at the top, by getting you to believe that they are gods and that you could never be as great as them.  They keep getting you to subtly believe that you need more time to be great like them.  Thats why they are so stuck up and ignore you and wont talk to you.  They try and make you feel like you have done something wrong and that you need to earn their approval.  Believe me I know how this stuff works… I live in the western dome after all.  Thats why they advertise those big canopys and gobble up all of the light.  As long as  they keep you feeling small and unworthy and happy to be a little miss peep in the shadows they have nothing to fear.  they know you will never make any attempts to uproot them or try and and get uppity.  You know they say that the great Cedar of Lebanon was cut down because he didn’t know his place.  He was an uppity Cedar.  

            ( Aralia, Buck, Birch talking perhaps not really paying attention to sequoia) 

    Sequoia:

        When I look up at those trees, they seem so beautiful with so much character in those scraggly, and wiggly contorted limbs.  Think of the confusion and conflict those squiggly limbs were going through at the time they were making their way through all of the uncertainty, that irregular squirming around.  A worm, A twisted unravelling, a traveling tangle of squirrelish  character unfolding- a living history of the thoughts of the tree for us to see.  Its fun beholding- its humorous from afar… but at the time the anguish it must have been going through to grow into the unknown.   Scurrilous knotted tales bickering and barking at one another… those trees,  like synapses shooting towards the skulled sky.  Trees have hidden dimensions wrapped up and  squirreled away  in invisible spaces.   - I was told the job of the poet is to pull those places  out and reveal them to the open eye.  .  A tree seems to be its own author, a book you can read.  Its thoughts on every limb.  The trunk is a paragraph, A limb is a sentence,  the branches prepositional phrases, and the exclamation point is a blooming,  perfuming flower.  A trees story seems to be a dialogue logged into its very structure.  Knitted knots of tall tales bound together like a book that just happens to be overlooking a brook.  Held  together by a force I cannot see.  A kind of “will” that tills the soil and earthly sky.      

        So how does this work?  How much writing does a tree         have to do in order to say, complete a full floor of growth?

    Aralia:

        On last summers vacation I wrote for about 40 turns of the water clock and I reached about two inches off the ground.  So you figure a story         or a floor is about 12 feet tall so what would be …( thinking in his head) 

    Sequoia:

        Well you would take 6 times  40 times 12 right?  Because there are 12 inches in a foot.  If 40 …

 

    Aralia: (embarrassed that Sequoia is getting to the answer faster)

        Yea right, so…. 

    Sequoia:

        Well 6 times 40 is easy thats 240.  And then just take 240 times 10… so you would just add a zero. 

    Buck Thorn:

        2,400 right!?  

    Birch:

        Thats right… and then just add 480 onto 2, 400.  So you would have 2, 880 turns of the water clock of time to reach a floor.  

    Sequoia:

        Wow… thats a lot of time writing your story just to go up a floor.  How many stories tall did you say you thought those trees are?

    

    Aralia: ( wilting a bit in shame at being slow at maths)

        80- 100.  

    Birch:

        Ive heard there are ways to get around having to work so hard though.  ( grows a bit) There are short cuts.  Writing your own story         isn’t the only way to grow.  

 

 

    Sequoia:

        What other stories do you have there?  

 

    Aralia:  ( defensive) 

        No one is to read this one!  Your not going to get me to play this hand.  This is my own private land in my mind.   I am keeping safe from snooping crows such as yourself.  

 

    Sequoia:

        What about that other one  

    Aralia:

        Are you one of those trees that can’t shut up?  And is always asking questions?

    Sequoia:

        Oh sorry, I guess I am kind of one of those trees.  Can I see  that one?  

    Aralia:

        The life and times of Kudzu.  The vine that strangled 10 million trees to death.  

    Sequoia:

        (Disturbed). Why are you reading that?

    Aralia:

        I respect him.  He had the guts to expand and live and grow and embrace who he really was inside without apology.  He wasn’t a shrinking         violet.  

    Sequoia:

        That’s sick though isn’t it?  It’s wrong to kill.  Anyone who kills is insane.

    Aralia:

        Everyone is doing it in minute ways every day.  Boy are you green.  At least he admitted it and did’nt go around like a phony         pretending like he was some innocent daisy.  How is working for daddy?

    Sequoia:

        It’s alright.  

    Aralia:

        We think you should leave him.  As a matter of fact we feel you should leave the Eastern woodlands all together.  No one ever made         it living out here.  Anyone who is anyone lives in the western dome.  

    Birch:  

        Actually maybe I will write about you sequoia!  Some lost girl who works for her dad out in the eastern woodlands!  And has a girlfriend!  ( the boys all burst in suppressed laughter) Of course I will change your name.  When is the last time you saw Magnolia?

    Sequoia:

        I saw her last week.

    Birch:

        Is that right?  I think she has a boyfriend.  I saw her kissing Reed yesterday.  She was climbing all over him.  

    Sequoia:

        ( visibly hurt). Really?

    Buck Thorn:

        What are you and Magnolia like lesbians or something?

    Sequoia:

        Why would you think that?  (Visibly embarrassed)

    Buck Thorn:

        We saw you and her kissing under the mistletoe the other day.  

    Sequoia:

        Oh my god I am so ashamed.  ( Hides her head in her knees)

    Aralia:  

        Give me a break.  You coquettishly pretend like you didnt enjoy it.  My cedar its so sappy.        

    Sequoia: ( aside) 

        All of these stories.  I had no idea that was the latest fad.  They all seem like they want to pull me down into their yarns as if they were heavy vines.  A story seems to be like those flowers called Narcissis.  Or better yet a black hole pulling everything into itself including innocent bystanders.  They seem to  want the universe as its goal, to swallow whole.  To consume all of the flowers- plants and planets- ants, stars and such into one compacting crunch.  Everybody wants everything.  They all seem like they want to be “The Storyteller”.   Id better get out of here before I disappear into one them.  

 

 

 

 

 

        ( exit Seqoiua Buck and Aralia)

 

 

 

 

   Popping out of the background of trees… two come alive. Nature and Nurture. 

 

Nurture:  

    I can cultivate and propagate through stress and strain to attain my fruity goals.  I am civilization.  Culture.  Society.  Ettiquette.  Externally I meander and weave and groan through sluggish persistence.  Past slugs and other trees resistance.  

 

Nature:

    I don’t have to work so hard.  I relax and allow the fluid waters to flow wherever they want to go perhaps down to the roots core.  .  I am against… no.. thats too harsh.  I am “ for” the ways of wind and water.  If the winds shift east or if the winds shift west, I blow along and change with whatever is best.  I don’t resist.  

 

Nurture:

    You have no passion no pain… no strain to gain a higher purpose.  Hard work will always win in the end.  

 

Nature:

    What a shame to have to rely on the opinions of others.  Im warm, then cool, then sometimes hot uncensored revolution.  To never find out who you really are at your core.  To always be wanting more and more… to never become one with the universe.  Instead having  to survive on a story in your head that you rehearse and rehearse.   It must be so taxing and tolling.   Your society.  Your  role playing.  Im the unconscious reserves of natural gas fumigated and released by accident when the earths tectonic plates shift and a quaking geysor of spray betrays your mask shifting it lopsided off course, off your face dangling, leaving you exposed to to the other visors of high society.

    

 

Nurture:

        Im above ground.  Im masked consciousness.  I know exactly what I am doing but pretend to others that I don’t.  Im mostly left branch with a touch of right branch. 

Nature:

        Im mostly right branch with a touch of left branch.  Im male . Im unmasked unconsciousness.  My source is  underground.   Ettiquette is a tedious game for adults who havent grown up yet… a game that they often waste their entire lives on.  A complicated game that tries to mask their true volcanic rupturing ambitions underneath. .  Your a mask.  Civilization is a mask.  The mind is a mask.  The mind is civilization.  As one philosopher put it, a false god.  Much of what you call useful is really quite harmful when seen from another view.  The suffering we cause to ourselves and others when we don’t know who we are and don’t care to.  Your a noisy nuisance.  

 

Nurture:  

    Im female but Im raging against your propaganda to keep your forces in check.  Besides you are perverted wild and untamed.  You must be rigidly controlled by cultivation.  By the nurturing nature of civilization.  Otherwise rapacious crawlers and killers and other blind forces might be unleashed.  Your primitive.  Im the future!  Im modern.  If you are uncensored revolution… Im the avant gaurde!

 

Nature:

    Perhaps that is true.  Your the head I am the sex organ.  You compress to keep me down.  But you are a phony.  You plot and plan and calculate your own planned success.  While I am wild and uncertain and life itself.  Perhaps I am the criminal but you are the dead beat cop that has nothing better to do but to try and monitor me.  You lead your followers astray dry and stifled by a rigid ideal.  Your puritanical phony that suppresses the natural truth.   You keep your  followers unaddressed to the real issue.  They walk around  confused and clogged and stuffed in their own smoked and mirrored heads.     I  release the burden and lead my followers into a wet and  perhaps furry perversion but at least it is authentic to the deep.  

 

Nurture:

    My advantage over you … is that I can influence you…. Change you and mould you.  It may take eons to do but If I am allowed to cultivate and propagate and prune long enough… my nurturing becomes a permanent habit and I become nature herself.  Look at you … you look so unkempt.  Your hair is all a mess… your socks don’t even match.  I suppose you smell of B. O as well.  The next thing you know you will be raping some poor sapling.  How  long must we endure your non conformity before you become an out right menace that needs to be cut down low like a lawn so that we all see for certain that there are no snakes in the grass.  

 

Nature:  you may be right.. however true love was never found in your lot.  I may be a rapist but I am also the lover.  yOur a piece of plastic that can neither rape nor truly love.  You have no passion for either.  

 

Nurture:

    Let us both rehearse this intercourse of horror some other time in hopes of being divorced from its cursed course of tedious tit for tat  prattling and tattling.   

 

Nature:

    We may not agree on how to proceed with the general  course of events but I like your use of alliteration and onomatopoeia.  It almost came off your tongue, dare I say, “naturally.”

Scenery of branches II

 

    Leif:

        (up on a hill, dreaming of what next to do on the project). You need to hurry up with those pales of water.  We have to be finished with         this job by the end of the day.  

    Sequoia:

        How many buckets of water are there?  My god I’ve already brought over like two hundred.

    Leif:  

        Never mind that.  Just think one bucket at a time.   ( shakes head in disgust) You can’t see the forest for the trees.  

    Sequoia:

        When am I going to be able to move up into something more interesting?   Im tired of carrying water.  My story has become so         boring compared to my pears.  

    Leif:

        Don’t be a pussy willow like your mother. Don’t fold so easily.  

    Sequoia:

        Why do you always bark at me and call me names?  Your such a crab apple. Why are you always up on a hill dreaming while I am         working down here all of the time.

 

 

    Leif:

         It looks like Im not working but most of my best ideas come to me when I am doing nothing but dreaming.  But never mind that!               “ My story”?  Where did you get that phrase?  What do you mean by “my story”?  

    

    Sequoia:  

        “my story” means exactly that.  The story of my life.  

    Leif:     

        Are your teachers at school teaching you to live in your own make believe story in you head?  What tall tales are they putting in  that         noggin         of yours?  

    Sequoia:  I

        Its just a saying.  Every body is saying it these days.  Your so out of it.  I should never tell you what I am really thinking… you ruin everything.  All I want to know is what is my story even to begin with.          Everyone else I know has already written their first few chapters.  

 

 

    Leif:

        How do I know what your story is?  Your story is that you are an  inefficient worker and that you are too sensitive and you need to toughen up.  Get more woody.  Don’t be a shadow of the other trees of your generation.  

    Sequioa:

        Can I start as a pruner next week?

    Leif:  

        You have no experience as a pruner.  

    Sequoia:

        You won’t move me up because I have no experience.  But how can I get any experience unless you move me up?  

    Leif:

        Just get back to work.  We can’t afford to get bogged down right now.   We don’t have time..  Your such a nay sayer like your mother.  I’m afraid to say your showing typical Yew traits.  When are you going to grow up?  Just enjoy          those buckets.  Don’t you enjoy the work?   I enjoy every challenge of my day, big or small.   I called you… ( catches himself)

        we called you Sequoia thinking you were going to be different.  

    Sequoia:

        Did you call me Sequoia?  You mean mom had nothing to do with it?

    Leif:

        I made a mistake.  We both made the decision together.  Do you hear me we both made the decision together to call you Sequoia. 

    Sequoia:

        Why did you call me Sequoia?  I mean I can’t think of a name that is less like me can you?  look at me.  Look how small I         am for my age.  Its ridiculous.  

        (teen creeper comes in to steal one of the water buckets.  Leif runs up to him and grabs him by the throat.)

    Leif:

        You leave that bucket alone do you hear?!  You parasitic creeper!

    Teen Creeper:

        (muffled voice)  Man, leave me alone you psycho!  Your choking me!  

    

    Sequoia:

        Dad what are you doing?!  Your going to seriously hurt him!  Let go of him!  ( wrestles Leif off of teen)

        (teen runs away without the bucket)

    Leif:

         That weed!  Young creeps like that should never have been born.  Thief!  Parasite!  ( Leif composes himself and straightens his         branches)

    Sequoia:

        Dad don’t you think you over-reacted a bit?

    Leif:  

        What and let him run away with our hard earned labor?  Sometimes I think your hopeless Sequoia.  Sometimes I wish I was given a         boy  instead.  

    Sequoia:

        What an awful thing to say!  

    Leif:

        Boys aren’t pussy willows in general Sequoia.  They aren’t sorry saps that sit around feeling bad for someone who steals their         own belongings.  They have more courage than women.  They stand up for injustice in general.  In general mind you, not always.          Sometimes you get a pussy willow boy here and there but that is the exception to the rule.  

    Sequoia:

        What a great world.  I should have been born a boy.  I’m not even the right sex.  I can’t get anything right.  

    

    Leif:

        I actually thank my enemies.  They give me the competitive impetus to grow and take back what was taken from me and grow ten         feet taller because of it.    For example that teen creeper has forced me to guard my territory with even more vigilance which further         bolsters my odds of success.  Do you see those winged eonymous’s  over there?

    Sequoia:

        Yes.

    Leif:

        Im going to let you rest and take a 5 minute break but while you do that I want you to observe them and tell me what         you notice after your break.  (Keeps dreaming - whistles a tune on the hill)

    Sequoia:

        Ok.  (Sequoia walks closer to group of winged euonymus  that are in a circle).

 

        Winged Euonymous 1:

            Winged Euonymous Anonymous he’s is projecting a shadow of  the word “ enlightenment”  down onto his disciples… the shadowed letters are cast onto them ….he unwittingly is keeping them trapped in the very thing that is meant to free them.  

 

 

        Winged Euonymous Anonymous 1:

            Allow the root base tension to be uncomfortable if it is indeed uncomfortable.  Your a burning bush after all.  Allow yourself to turn bright red with the             flames of purification.  Im not a leader.  I have just negated all idols in my mind.  Thats what you should             do as well.  The very fact that you showed up             today however shows that your                     coming along in your spiritual quest.  Your coming here today shows that you are beginning to feel ready for my wisdom.  Thats good.  There is nothing wrong with you.  I have nothing to teach you, Im             merely here to remind you of what you already know but have forgotten.  The worry, the regret, the anxiety- these are mental activities that do not have to be a part of the already difficult life of being a tree.  You can rise above these things right now if you truly wish.  Some of you may have been coming here for years             and you still don’t understand what I am talking about.  Thats alright too.  Everything is one.  Either your ready to dissolve your ego or             your not.  Treat me as an escape route.   Raise your frequency.  Attract abundance.  

 

         Winged Euonymous Anonymous 2:

            Spiritual one.  

        Winged Euonymous  Anonymous  1:

            Yes.  

         Winged Euonymous  Anonymous 2:  

            If there is nothing wrong with us, then why are you sitting there and we are sitting here?  I mean why did we even come today?  

        Winged Euonymous Anonymous 1:

            Excellent question.  And it shows that you are very far on your journey.  Your coming along.

         Winged Euonymous Anonymous 3:

            This is bullshit I’m leaving!  ( leafs in anger)

         Winged Euonymous Anonymous 1:

            He must not be ready to hear the message.  

        Winged Euonymous Anonymous 4:

            Spiritual one.

         Winged Euonymous Anonymous 1:

            Yes.  Let me finish answering the question from the tree before.  If you find yourself not wanting to come to these talks anymore             that     probably means that you have finally reached enlightenment.  

         Winged Euonymous Anonymous 2:

            But what about the guy that just left.  How do you know that he was not ready for the message?  How do we know when we are             leaving because we are enlightened or are leaving because we are lost in shade and can’t handle the truth?  

         Winged Euonymous Anonymous 1:

            Its important not to get lost in thought.  

            

         Winged Euonymous Anonymous 4:

            What are the characteristics that make for a good fruit tree?

         Winged Euonymous Anonymous 1:

            The ability to produce good fruit?

 

    Leif:

        What do you see?  Tell me your thoughts.  What did you hear?

    Sequoia:

        Iv’e actually heard of him before.  The leader.  His name is Winged Euonymous Anonymous number 1  .  I hear he is a great spiritual healer 

    Leif:  

        Forget about what you heard from others.  What did you hear?

    Sequoia:

        Well I don’t know.  He was just saying that he had no real message to give.  That he was uncovering layers of forgetfulness or reminding them of what         they already knew.  ( attention is brought over to eonymous 3) .

        Eonymous  3:

            (loud Voice) I forgot to pay you.  How much do I owe for this bamboozling?  This scam?  

        Eonymous 1:

            Its 40 Laurels.  

    Sequoia:

        (Turns to Leif) I feel kind of bad for Winged Euonymous anonymous number one.  At least he isn’t going around yelling at people.  

        ( eonymous 4 approaches Leif).

    Eonymous 4: 

        How do you do sir?  On this fine day?  Have you heard of Winged Euonymous Anonymous number 1 from Thistledown?  

    Leif:

        No, and I don’t care to either. ( hands in the air speaking at but through eonymous 4) Shadows!  Shadows!  They're everywhere!

        (Walks away from eonymous 4 abruptly).

 

    Seq    usia:  

        Why did you say shadows to him?  

    Leif:

        They are a group that labels any groups outside of theirs as not “enlightened”.  They try to sucker you in.  Stay away from them!  They are idiots!  These are the sleepy empty umbrella heads that you need to stay away from if you want your life to amount to anything!

    Sequoia:

        But isn’t that what you just did there?  Labelled them as a group unenlightened?  Oh shadows means that he is in the shadows?  Aren’t we all?  (Looks around the dark forest)  I don’t get it.

    Leif:  

        There are different levels of shade.  Someday you will understand but in the mean time we need to get back to work!  We are behind         schedule.      

    Sequoia:

        Are you a sexist and a bigot dad?

    Leif:

        How could you even ask such a question?

    Sequoia:

        It seems like you won’t allow me to rise above a certain level in our work.  

    Leif: 

        You ungrateful child.  How many fathers do you know who support their children with well paying jobs like I have you?  My father         gave me a job when I was your age exactly like the one I have given you.  

    Sequoia:

        Its true that you help me a lot.  And its true more than many other fathers; but its like… what do they call it?  Oh yea, its like there is         a glass ceiling.

    Leif: 

        There is no glass ceiling.  You have been listening to the left branch haven’t you?  Are those the leaflets that I see you reading at         night in your room?  Is that left branch manure?  Is that what all of that scribbling in about in your journal?  You want to be a         success?    But in order to be a         success in todays popular culture you must be on the left.  They will black list you and         destroy you if you show any signs of “ right”    brancheristis”

    Sequoia:

        Dad who am I?

    Leif:

        What do you mean?  

    Sequoia:

        I mean I feel like I don’t fit anywhere.

    Leif:

        Your Sequoia of Sylvan Valley.

    Sequoia:  

        Who or what created the forest?

    Leif:

        I wish I could root out these worrying thoughts you have.  Again you can’t see the forest for the trees.  The forest is the forest is the forest, there is no creator.  What is is what is.  We have to         learn to deal with that.  

    Sequoia:

        Why aren’t you like the other right branches on that matter?  They all believe in a creator.  

 

    Leif:

        Thats a long story that I dont want to get into right now.

    Sequoia:

        Whats more important.  Having happiness in ones life or having meaning?  

        Why is the forest the way it is?  Why am I here?  Why was I born?  Why do I always run into conflict with other trees?  You mean         there is no reason why we are struggling against each         other for the light?  You mean         there is no way to stop all of these absurd sufferings and competitions?  

    Leif:

        The forest is suffering.  It always has been and always will be.  I love it.  Would you have it any other way?  Lets say there was no         competition for the canopy.  Think of how boring it would be.  The forest isn't all bad though.  You should see some of the gardens I have made over in the north New Haven.  To be honest, I don't mean to brag, but they have never been more beautiful.  They are stunning in their beauty, just spectacular.  Nobody does what I do.  Every one wants a piece of me.  I'm the greatest Landscape Gardener perhaps that has ever lived.  ( grows a bit while pumping his muscles)

        Sequoia:  ( rolls her eyes in exasperation)

 

    

 

 

(    Leif aside)

        She is onto something though.   I don’t want her to know it.  A tree does tell a story and its number of stories high often depends on the length of its leafy pages.  If she really gets involved in her own story I may not be able to control her anymore.  Of course there is no story if the tree goes unencumbered.  Perhaps a cucumber gets in the way of its root system.  You never know.  We storied amblers are         gamblers at heart.  We join clubs and dig our spades for tubular diamonds not certain just what we will find.  Trees are players, they want to win.  Whether its at         poker or at gin.  

 

28:00

Scenery of branches III.  In a huge hollowed willow trunk.  Sequoia is home where her mother Yew is.  

 

    Sequoia:

        I’m stumped.  I can’t get at the root of the problem.  Whats wrong with me mom?  I don’t seem to fit anywhere.  Im like some weird         hybrid of nature and nurture.  Im’ different from the         other girls.  Whats the deal?

    Yew:  

        I don’t know what to say honey.  You seem perfectly fine to me.

    Sequoia:

        All the boys put me down and say I am my fathers shadow.  I’m not even sure what that means.  What do they mean?

    Yew: 

        When someone says that a tree is a mere shadow of another tree,  I think that they mean that that tree doesn’t stand tall on its own         right but merely mouths the words of the taller tree.   It doesn’t speak words that come from its own heart and core but out of fear or         for whatever reason regurgitates what the taller tree says.

    Sequoia:

        I want to be authentic.  I want to be down to earth…. like you but…. ( pauses in a bit of confusion)….    Do you         see my that way?

    Yew:

        What way?

    Sequoia:

        As a shadow of another tree?

 

    Yew:

        No, not at all.  You are your own person.  Now I know you have to work for your father and you may pick up some ideas from him         but that is only natural.

    Sequoia:

        Do other peoples opinions shape who we are?  Or is who we are at our essence un changeable?  Like if you and dad told me all these years that I was destined to be a great swinger of trees would that have become my reality?  My story of my life?  So we are pruning each other all of the time?  Trying to fit each other into each others stories?  Propagating and pruning each other with our propagandas?  How do we know who we really really are?  Beyond what people try to define us as- whether they do so accurately or inaccurately for altruistic or selfish reasons?  

    Yew:

        I dont know what to say honey.  I think all trees are a mix between nature and nurture.  But I think it is true that that what we are most naturally talented at we maybe  cannot see so well because it comes so easily to us.  Like a  fish in water is a good swimmer and can’t even see the ocean of talent it has because swimming is so natural  it is just taken for granted.  Would you like some carrots?  They are good for ya.

 

 

    Sequoia:

        Sure.  Whats the difference between compassion and pity?  (Yew hands her the carrots)  Ive found people are ruthlessly defensive against being pitied.  But your always telling me that compassion is the jewel of tree hood.  They seem so similar and yet the result of the choice between the two are so wide and far apart.  Fates separation could hardly be further spread.  (Starts chomping on carrots) Do I have any talent in anything?  Lets say I had a twin brother.  Hang on I can’t talk to you with these things in my mouth, they are annoying.  ( swallows last bit of carrots)  Lets say you and dad favored my brother over me.  You ever so subtly gave him benefits that I did not receive.  Lets say just because he was a boy. 

    Yew:

        I can’t imagine us doing that… or at least me.  Your father might do something like that.  

    Sequoia:

        Well what should I do in that example?  Should I fight against it?  Say that you are unfairly favoring my brother over me?  What if you and dad had biases towards boys?  That had no bases in reality other that just a kind of irrational favoritism?  

    Yew:

        Again honey, I can’t imagine this ever happening.  I would love my children all equally.  

    Sequoia:  

\        Well just imagine for cedars sake!  

    Yew:

        Well don’t get mad with me.

    Sequoia:

        Im sure my example happens in reality all of the time.  How does the sister know if the parents opinions and biases are rooted in         objective reality?  And aren’t unfair irrational biases?  I mean wouldn’t it be awful if the sister was meant to be a great leader shooting out shoots of greatness or something.. and was actually a more gifted leader than the brother but he was unfairly nurtured into prominence by the parents?  What should the sister do?  Rage against the bigotry?  Or admit that the parents have a point and that their biases are based in some foundation of truth otherwise they would never say them.  Say for example, that I spent years and years trying to succeed at the oaken guitar playing … but my career just didnt go anywhere.  Should I give up and concede that the reason I didnt make it was because I must have no talent?  Can we trust the public?  

 

    Yew:

    I don’t know  honey.

 

    Sequoia:

        At what point does a tree surrender and concede that they don’t know who they are?  Or maybe her parents edited her and pruned her out of becoming who she wasn’t naturally supposed to become. How do we know when others opinions of us are valid?  If nurturing does play a big role… no wonder there is so much noise in the forest.  The stories we carry around in our tangled heads do matter.  What we think about does come true and no wonder we edit and prune each others words constantly.  But at the source of it… how do we know what is real and just propagation propaganda?  Like when I say something which I think is really clever and poetic - others will call me a schizophrenic.  Which one  is the truth?  What is more real?  Nature or Nurture?   Who are we really really down deep?  I want to be anchored  deep in stable roots underground rather than lost in the shaky  tempest  tossed upper branches of public opinion being blown about by its capricious winds.    

    Yew:

        That was very nicely said honey, very poetic.  

 

    sEquoia:

        However I am afraid that if I stay underground too long no one will even know that I ever existed… and what is the point then?  If no one ever knew you even existed?    Remember that one cultivar?  He had no talent for dancing in the wind innately- but they trained him and trained him and after years and years of hard work and nurturing he became better than most.   I want to get at the core.   I want to tear off my wooden mask.  I want to be destroyed.  

also I do feel it to be a little shame if I didn’t share my ideas with somebody somewhere. The narcissistic need to share my creative ideas with someone.  To get credit like in elementary school.

 

        Dad calls me a pussy willow.  He won’t let me rise above the level of a water carrier.  He will let me grow, but only to a point.  He         complains that I have no drive and energy for the work.  No zest.  But who would?  Having to carry hundreds of buckets of water a         every day?      With no hopes of rising up to a higher level job?  Its like he has planted me into a planter pot, and then complains that         I’m not growing enough.  And Buck Thorn, Aralia, Leif, and Magnolia are all rising up the canopy.   I should never have been born.

    Yew:

        Don’t say that.  As they say, “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the hill.” 

    Sequoia:

        Why am I so sensitive?

    Yew:

        You just havent grown up quite yet sweetie.  Being sensitive is a wonderful quality do you hear?  It means you care about other trees feelings and you don’t want to hurt them.           Your empathetic and that is probably the best quality a tree can have.  Do you hear me?

    Sequoia:

        I feel so taxed by the delicate social discernments that are constantly being demanded of me.   But what good is empathy in a jungle like this?  Do Aralia and Buck Thorn have empathy for me when they brag about their stories?  And         throw shade at me for being my fathers shadow?   Do they want me to grow or not?  I mean if being in my fathers shadow keeps me in shade and not growing then is that good or bad from their points of view?  *********************Maybe they are on my side when they say I should  get out of my fathers shadow because they want me to grow.  So they are altruistic? … but then why do they seem so hostile to me?  Its all so confusing in the forest.  There are a lot of good stories out there and I know that I have just one of many,         there is nothing special about mine.  My problem is stemming from the fact that I think deep down I want a special story, one that is  better than others.  I don’t want to be just another part of the rabble in those talk groups.  But then I see that everybody else wants a special story as well.  

 

    Yew:

        Thats your generation.  Your so caught up in your stories. 

    Sequoia:

        Do we have to have stories in order to live in the forest?  Would we wilt and die if we didnt have our own stories?  So stories are related to growth?  So how many stories tall a tree becomes really does depend on how many tall tales it tells?  

 

        

 

        Do you have a story mom?

    Yew:

        ( feels uneasy)  I wanted to be a writer when I was younger but realized I didnt have the talent.  

    Sequoia:

        How do you know that?  Maybe you didnt try hard enough.  Maybe you did’nt try enough positive thinking.  

    Yew:

        It doesn’t bother me sweetie.  All I ever really wanted was to have a family.  Although I admit I had some ambitions when I was         younger.  But being married to your father and raising you took up a lot of my time.  

    Sequoia:

        Is that why you are so small?  Because you didnt write that much in your adult years?

    Yew:

        Well Im a Yew… and Yews don’t get that big by their nature.  

    Sequoia:

        Do you have any stories that I could read?

    Yew:

        Oh no honey.  I threw them all away.  

    Sequoia:

        Why would you do such a horrible thing?

    Yew:

        (pauses)  I don’t know.. I guess one has to let go of everything eventually.  As you can see around the hollow tree house trunk here         that I am kind of a hoarder.  So I don’t like doing it.  But one has to start somewhere.  

    Sequoia:

        Dad always says that you live in the past… is that true?

    Yew:

        I know he says that… I admit I do cherish my memories.  I feel like what would life be without my memories?  

 

 

    Sequoia:

        My heart often warms when I think of my childhood with you mom.  When I lose myself in those memories… but all the wise say living in the past is sick.  So when I get a nostalgic feeling that warms my heart with its melancholy is that sick and wrong?  Do our memories become too painful to ponder?  Or is all of this stuff just melodramatic sap calculated to get people to feel sorry for us?  

    Yew:

        How could you call having good memories that make you sad at the passing of time sick?  I mean… well  ( confused and at a loss) As you get older you will find your memories become… yes… too … painful…maybe it is that our memories are too painful as you say …But my memories also give my life a greater richness. Some trees feel that one can really never understand a time in ones life until it is viewed from the future looking back at it.  Only then does it seem to fit like a jigsaw puzzle piece into your life story and make sense.  But at the time the piece just seemed completely out of place and nonsensical and illogical.  Time broadens our vision like we are looking from above downwards onto a giant mosaic of our lives… only then can we see where that piece fits.  When we are in the moment of the event we are too close to the ground and cannot see the forest for the trees.        

 

    Sequoia:

        Oh I hate that phrase.  Dad says it all the time!  

 

      Yew:

        Pondering  the fact that all of our past lives and loves are gone forever as if they never existed is not always a pleasant thought.

 

    Sequoia:

        Why do the wise say living in the past with ones memories is sick?  And you enjoy it so much?  Are you wise mom?  Is the forest all about functioning?  Is it that we can’t afford to have a melancholic heart ?  Is it sick because living in the past  one then becomes vulnerable to the tenacious trees in the forest? 

While the other ravenous trees are eager to defend their present moment so as to secure a good future for themselves?  Is it sick because the wise feel that opportunities for growth are being missed out in the present moment?  

    Yew:

        Who.. what “wise” trees are saying that to live in the past is sick?

    Sequoia:

        I read about it in one of my leaflets.   

    

    Yew:

        I completely disagree with whoever the “wise” tree you read that from.  One of the greatest novels I ever read was all about remembering the past.  

    Sequoia:

        Did he earn any money off of it?  How many laurels can you earn lost in memory?  Can anyone afford to care in this ruthless forest?  Does anyone have time to care?  Who can afford it?  It seems to me that nobody really cares for their fellow tree until she is dead.  And the only reason for that is because there goes one less tree to have to compete with.  Theres a kind of relief.  A burden cast off.  A little more sunshine breaks through to the forest floor, but just temporarily, and then is swallowed up in darkness again.  

 

    Yew:

        Dont you enjoy your life Sequoia?  You seem to be so bitter these days.  Youve  had a rough go of it with your father that is for sure… but lots of people have tough childhoods.  Think of it this way… at least you won the luck of the draw of not having to be born in section 8.  Whatever you do don’t base your story on anything to do with your trouble with your father.   That will be boringly transparent and no one will want to be depressed by yet another sad childhood story.  

    

    Sequoia:

        No I don’t really enjoy my life.  I never know when someone is going to throw a rock at me or cut me down to size because I said something they didnt agree with politically.  Other trees opinions are as fickle as the wind.  Only an idiot listens to others.  I can’t rest my trust on the wind.  I can’t put my trust in other trees opinions whether sweet or bitter.  Also I don’t get it.  Am I supposed to be authentic?  Or am I supposed to just get along for the safety of myself and others?  If getting along with the herd is the right way to live.. then why is it I get stung so often for mouthing the words of other trees?  Honestly I don’t want to put my trust in anything external.. In absolutely nothing outside of my own body.  I can no longer enjoy my life if I feel that I am thinking some other trees thought s and not my own.  I have to find my own voice…I need to live by my own voice.

    Yew:

        Well watch out honey.  That can be dangerous.  

    Sequoia:

        I dont get it … why is it dangerous?  Why is it dangerous for me to listen to my own voice and it is perfectly fine and natural for other trees to listen to their own voices?  I need to learn to inform myself on how to live and act.  I refuse to forever be a shadow of another tree.  I read in one of my leaflets a quote from Wild Plum that went something to the effect of… “the clever dont listen to others.”  And there is another quote I read somewhere by some one else that goes like… “if you see a wise tree, cut it down.”  What does that mean?  “If you see a wise tree, cut it down.”?

    Yew:

        I wouldnt have a clue what that means.  What have you been reading these days?  

    Sequoia:

        The Socalist arbor society daily.  

    Yew:

        Really?  They must be becoming even more radical than when I was your age.  Take what other trees say with a grain of salt.

    Sequioa:

        Oh so its wise to not listen to other trees?  When Wild Plum said “ the clever don’t listen to others” did he take into account that that meant we shouldn’t listen to him?

    Yew:

        Well he wasn’t counseling was he?  He was just stating an observation.  

    Sequoia:

        I don’t want my life to be informed by others on how I should live.  I don’t want to belong to any group that.. lets face it brainwashes its followers with an education to think like them.  I guess id rather be an authentic asshole than an artificial happy sap with the look of a stunned dear waiting for the next instruction from command headquarters on how I should live.  

    

 

Sequoia:

        Why is story telling so important mom?

    Yew:

        I think storytelling … at least good story telling,  can teach trees how to be more compassionate to one another.  Good authors sometimes reveal characters more real than real.  I often find myself feeling like I know a character in a well written book better than I know many of my fellow trees that I live with day to day.  That certainly goes for your father.  Sometimes I wonder who you father even is… or what makes him tick or grow.  I wonder why I even married him… he seems like a stranger to me now… he has changed so much.  He has become so right branch.  Good authors can go inside trees and describe the goings on in there… they describe things that often can’t be seen with the naked eye.  The inner workings of trees are often very mysterious and can’t be nailed down with a simple equation or scientific explanation.  That is the work of great authors.  

 

 

 

        Sequoia:

        Is my story any good mom?  Here… why don’t you read it.  ( hands a story she has been hiding behind her back to yew) I feel like I am just trying to beat others of my age at writing.  I feel like a narcissis.  Absorbed in my         own sweet colored blossoms of literary defense.  I just can’t find the point in all of this story telling. But I don’t want to be overshadowed by other trees growing tall tales.  I really just want to go away.  I hate living.  I wish I could just disappear into a painless mist but… 

    Yew:

        Oh dont’ say that honey.  Here let me have a look.  *************************

 

    Sequoia:

        If I make my story a good one that will make my fellow trees feel envious and bad and I in turn will feel bad because of it.

    Yew:

        I know you wood … you have such a good heart. You don’t need to be exceptional honey.  You don’t have to be a manic overachiever.  The odds of you making it to the top of the canopy are almost impossible.  Lets be realistic.  You will probably never write a bestseller.  There is nothing wrong with being mediocre.  Your not a loser for just wanting to live a quiet and peaceful life.  Maybe you can write your story just for yourself.  Years from now you can look back and read it with fondness and joy.  Maybe get some dark chocolate and walnuts and nestle in and read your own story.  After all when all is said and done we are really the only ones who listen really listen  to our stories.  Most trees are lost in their own dramas to care much about ours.  You don’t have to make it in the western dome.  Or be a sylvan valley star .  You don’t have to become a sky scraper.  You’ll find being a regular 20 floor tenement building can be quite a charming life.  

    Sequoia:

        Thats a stupid analogy.  But if were going to use it… why on earth would I want to be just another tenement building?  I mean there are hundreds of thousands of them as one is driving into the Western Dome.  I feel nauseated after row upon row upon row of the exact same tenement building goes by.  I feel so tiny and worthless.  Like an ant.  

 

    Yew:

        Your not worthless for being you.  You don’t have to succumb to madness or rage if you don’t become a star.  You just have to compromise and be like everyone else.  Your causing yourself and others unnecessary pain.  There is nothing wrong with being just another number in the forest.  Get a regular job.  Your not a writer.  There is nothing wrong with being mediocre. Good enough and ordinary life is ok.  You indeed are trying to be special.   

    Sequoia:

        Yea but… don’t I have to stay in the light?  I have to fight for the light right?  If I work a mediocre job or regular job and do it responsibly and with cheer dont I also have to make sure that I am not swallowed up by their shadows?  If there is one thing that  I am loyal to it is my dedication to stay out of others shadows.  Right?  Where is my loyalty and duty?  To society?  Or to the light?  

 

    Yew:

        You have also been reading a lot of our philosophy books havent you?  The way I see it honey is that you seem to be trying to be a real intellectual.  It seems like you are trying to impress other trees with your knowledge and wisdom.  

 

 

    Sequoia:  ( doesnt listen to Yew- talking to herself daydreaming out loud lost in thought) 

        How can I write a good story without jump starting a heated competition with my fellow trees?   Is there any way out of all of this?    What misery.  But then If I write my story and it is a bad one I will feel awful there too.  ( Yew begins cleaning the kitchen)  I will feel like a real depressed loser tree and the other trees my age will secretly relish my failure but will camouflage their true feelings with pampering sweet “I love yous” of pity.  And I know what other trees mean when they say pity is incredibly insulting.  That would be more misery.  I just want to run away.  Ive never really wanted to be alive.   Ive never felt comfortable anywhere.  I just want to escape but there’s no where to go.  Is there any way that I can not win and also not lose at the same time?   On the other hand I feel if I don’t write my authentic story than I will always feel agitated and an unhappy tree causing suffering to myself and others by being frustrated for not having followed my own as they say “  inner tree voice”.  If I follow my inner tree voice maybe I will start overshadowing other trees and that will cause suffering.  I will feel good on the inner level but bad on the outer? 

 

    Yew:

    Honey what are you talking about?  Your talking to yourself… Dont you know that is the first signs of madness?

 

    Sequoia: ( continues without pausing) 

         But then if I don’t follow my inner tree voice I won’t grow and will be an angry frustrated tree on the inside but happier on the out?  But won’t my frustration spill over onto the outside?  Nothing makes sense in this forest.  How do you make sense of all this contradictoriness of the forest?  

( turns to Yew)Did you go through this when you were my age?  

 

    Yew:

        My adolescence wasnt as bad as your having,  but I had a hard time.  The late teens and early twenty’s are not an easy time in the life of a tree.  ( wood you like some squash?  Its good for ya) 

 

    Sequoia:

        Is there any way out of this?  I want my tale  to be for everyone.  It’s important I don’t start propagandizing for either side…the left branch or the right.  do u know what I mean?  Like dad would chew into anything that smacked of left wing favoritism if I ever was published by a left branch publishing house.  And yet I don’t want to cow-tow to him and concede to his bullying by getting published by a right branch publishing firm.

 

    Yew:

        Oh honey… I think you are daydreaming.  Very very few trees get published.  Your story has to be incredibly good and even then there is still a good chance it will get overlooked.  

    Sequoia:

    ( not listening to Yew)  I don’t want to give him the satisfaction.  He’d look into what kind of people promoted it... I wont give him anything to grasp or kill with his bullying…. ( turns to Yew)     And if I follow you mom I will remain an eternal 5 years old child forever living in fear of the adult world.   Ill never grow up and become individuated as they say.  I don’t want to be a conveniently harmless play thing for  other trees to walk over.  Your always saying “ say what you mean and mean what you say.”  But no one ever listens to you.  People walk all over you mom.  While dad never says what he means or means what he says and everyone listens to him.  Did dad show empathy when he nearly strangled to death that creeper the other         day?

    Yew:

        Your father did what?  

    Sequoia:

        Some teenage creeper ran onto our project and tried to steel a bucket of water the other day.  Dad ran over there and         grabbed the kid by the throat and nearly suffocated him to death.  He would have had I not pulled him off of the boy.  

    Yew:

        (shaking her head in disgust). Your father has gone nuts if he did that.  

    Sequoia:

        But in a way dad is right.  Had dad shown empathy and understanding towards the creeper and allowed him to take the bucket, who         knows how many buckets would have been stolen in the end.  The boy would have thought steeling was ok and done it again later         at night.

    Yew: 

        You can be empathetic and yet at the same time also be strong and firm in your principles.  You stop the boy from doing what he is         doing and then you tell him very plainly that you don’t want the buckets to be stolen again and if he does it again you will call the         Tree border patrol or the invasive species department.  You lack confidence for some reason sweetie.  

    Sequoia:

        I don’t know if you know how brutal and competitive it really is out there.  WHat you say sounds good in theory but in reality your         kind of reasoning never works.  If anything I have noticed that plain unabashed egotism that lacks empathy actually helps trees         grow.  It’s like some kind of self- sustaining fertilizer.  There are a bunch of good stories out there.  Everyone seems hunkered down in the         bunkers of their own stories and shooting  up only when they can advance their own leader and plot lines.  

 

I mean you want me to eventually move out of yours and dads hollow trunk right?  In order for me to do that I need to make some laurels and photosynthesize.  But it seems like the only way to really photosynthesize is to be slightly ruthless.  So Im stuck.  You want me to move out but do it while still being empathetic.  I think you are out of touch with reality.  Take a look at Aralia.  He is a total jerk and he brags about himself all of the         time and look at him.  He saps my energy when he brags about himself.  He was voted last month as the number one tree with the most growth in one growing season in the         entire Western Dome.  He and Buck Thorn are totally overshadowing me and its humiliating.  And I admit, I am green with envy.  

    Yew:

        I don’t know what to say honey.  If something story is written  with compassion it will survive the test of time.  But if it is done with enmity it will not survive.  So you have nothing to fear.  If someone does something to you out of malice then feel sorry for them… for they will perish soon.  But if they are a success it is because they have a good heart and have only your best interests and all of tree society’s best interest at heart.  Ego is a sign of the fear of inadequacy.  Our fears are wild animals with ferocious teeth; its sometimes better not to run from them.   Your fear maybe a sign of your own…

 

    Sequoia:

        If I try and make my story with good intentions so it lasts aren’t I doing that so that I can get a reward?  The reward being that my story will last a long long time?  And my name will last for the ages?  But that isn’t very noble is it?  Or authentic.  I would be just plotting and planning out my own successful future.  So shouldnt I make my life story with bad intentions?  And really awful and without compassion?  At least then I wouldnt be calculating my own successful future.  Do you know what I mean?  It is so easy to get lost in the forest.  I dont even know what I am thinking any more.  Nothing makes sense.  

 

    Yew:

        Oh honey you seem so lost these days.  I don’t know what to say.  You seem very stuck.  However lacking conviction and being paralyzed by thought may actually be a sign that a person has a little decency perhaps still left in them.  Remember that great poem?  About passionate intensity?  

 

    Sequoia:

        Are tree relationships just mutually agreed upon plot and property lines?  Story lines?  Shared stories that satisfy both parties?  Mom I hate to say it but If u run into me and civilizations mask is pasted and plastered all over my face...know that I look that way because I’m picking being a peaceful functioning member of society who will do whatever it takes to not look into her  shadow ever again, over authenticity.  

     Yew:

          I don't know what to say honey....

    Sequoia:

        You Yew!  Wake up!  Woman!  You always say that!  “I don’t know what to say honey” ( mimics Yew as though she is a dummy) A lot         of good that is going         to do me         mom!  Thanks for the help.  Your such a Yew!  You are so out of touch with reality!   I’d         rather be a Sequoia than a Yew!  Your such a puller down.  Your a heavy vine that drags everyone down into deep shade.   Dont you         feel guilty for being such a kill joy?  (Sees yew wilt)

 

    Yew:  

        Well Im sick of this!  Ive had it!  Quit tormenting me!  Why do you come here and torment me?!  Are you trying to kill me?!  I can’t         help you!  What do you want me to say?  Do you want me to deny my true feelings?  Do you want me to compress and condense into a         constipated den of denial?  Your becoming more and more like your father!  An asshole!

    Sequoia:

        Im sorry mom, I saw you wilt there, but Your like a Canadian thistle.  Your roots are interconnected underground with other Canadian thistle and you share the sunlight.  You help each other like a commune.  You can’t grow on your own so you have to unite into some kind of union with other weeds.  Your an underground vine that lives through others vicariously.  A vine vicarious.  

    Yew:

        What a horrible thing to say… to call your own mother a Canadian thistle and a weed!  Why dont you get a job away from your         father?  He is corrupting you with his egotism.  

    Sequoia:

        You mean leave you and dad all together?  Perhaps I have grown too big to live around this house.  Am I growing up right now?  Im growing out of the house, my xylem and phloem are forcing me to make a decision.  My sapwood  must be overtaking my heartwood.  Wouldnt you miss me and I you?  What is the point of leaving you and dad?  I mean why did you have children if they are just going to leave you?  What was the point?  Do you want me to leave?  So I stop torturing yo and dad by my presence?  

        (enter Leif)

    Leif:

        When are you going to grow up and stop turning to your mommy for protection and consultation?  Are you trying to calculate tears out of your mother?  Manipulating her with your sad whimpering?  I’m waiting for the day that you         are     mature enough that you can give yourself your own council.  And not be a pussy willow that leans on her mom.  

    Yew:

        Stop calling her that do you hear?  ( Sequoia gets tears in her eyes). Whats wrong with you?!  Your the one who is always talking         about how what you think becomes     true and the power of the word and positive thinking.  How do you think that makes her feel         when she hears that?  Do you think she has a great urge to grow?  Do you want her to grow or don’t you?!  

    Leif:

        Her name is Sequoia, she’s not a dwarf tree.  At least I don’t think she is.  Of course I want her to grow.  But I get tired of not seeing         it happen!   After all that I have given her, and she is still so stunted.  In this forest we need results not childish tears.  Survival is for         the strong, not for the weak.  

        ( broadens chest)

    Sequoia:

        I’m sick and tired of you and your right branch survival of the fittest crap!  I’m going to join the Socialist Arbor Society tomorrow.  I’ll         work for mom or something.   I’m sick of working for you!  I don’t want to be a water carrier for the rest of my life while you         bark at me!  

    Leif:

        (slaps her across the face). You do that!  And while your at it, I want you to change your name!  (Sequoia Runs to her mothers arms         crying)Your name is no longer Sequoia!  I gave you that name, not your mother.  There.. there go crying into your mothers arms like         a real pussy willow.  Your mother didn’t even want you!  Did you know that?  If your mother had her way in giving you a name she         would have called you “mistake”.  ( Sequoia perks up away from her mothers arms in confusion) But now that you are unfortunatley         here your mom would have probably called you Mulberry.  Some common ugly thing.  Or Palm.. thats right!  She wanted to call you “palm.”  That prophecy that was told us at that Nursery when you         were you were a child is true!  Your destined to bring peace and nourishment throughout all of Sylvan Valley!  Like a good little nurse         maid!   Whatever you do you are not to be called Sequoia do you understand?!   You traitor!  You failed utterly failed!  You my         dear are no “Sequoia!”  Go join the dead beats and their mindless conformity and mediocrity over their at the Socialist Arbor         Society!  But keep that fascist equality manure out of my life!  If it weren’t for me you would be nothing!  I moulded you to where you         are today!  If it weren’t for me you would be a silly little school girl socialist!

    Sequoia:  

        Well it looks like you failed in your attempts to mould me!  What am I some project that you criticize, prune and own? If I am a         mulberry tree at heart than why judge me?  If that is who I am in my nature? And if you judge me and I change to correct the error         aren’t I at least allowed credit for the change?  Or is that your credit too?  You stealer of souls!  You soul thief!  You collector of souls!

    (Sequoia runs off stage in tears).

 

    Leif:

        Im a pruner at heart, though I’d never admit it to my genes.  I love editing out and beautifying scenes.  She is just a youth, and  uncouth to my ways.  I am not evil but she needs to know her place.  If we all grew madly from the mouth of a mountain stream, what kind of violence would be unleashed to the extreme?  Forces must be checked and I am the one to know.  I’ll be determining  the amount of the river flow.  

Scenery of branches V.  A  meadow in the fore ground.  A background of wallpapered oak and walnut leaves printed over a soft and yellowing  papered moon.   The Trees  are wind swept and scattered - fractured  - frightened and heightened into boughs,  borrowed and burrowing scurrying and hurrying upwards into the worded sky, trying to avoid the detection of another poet… a thief  running with a  logo tucked under its branchy arm up towards the staircased moon.     Humming with cicadas, frogs and crickets.  Witch Hazel appears … but only for a moment … Magnolia and Acacia are frozen in time.

    Witch Hazel :

        The meadow hums with an autumned “ A-u-m-”.   It vibrates like a reedy weed dialectic- held between two balmy,  palmy, bony thumbs  and a thousand mouths electric.          Loving tongues so softly strung and delicately hung like  wires stretching for miles eccentric.    Its a sweet intelligence that is carried by  voices          that are boxed and gargling - gurgling  and giggling through the bubbled eclectic; the frog- the bog-  the cicadas and the crickets - the resonating -         the eternal reverberating through  a heavy wickered and wavering course, oscillating  inwards and onwards in a silent bass drum of echos - buzzing -        scattering- and     onward breaking - like birds weaving in and out  of a mad rushing brush through a thick thicketed speed of things.  Then the wings back peddle like pages leafing and flipping in a blur to find its place- - eternity slows down in a warped and manic pull of gravity then pushes forth slightly lifting a leg - landing with a claw on a forked and green blade-  a meadow shade - a glade - a magnetic.  

            ( exit Witch) 

 

            (Magnolia and Acacia come to life.)   

    Magnolia:

        Can I get your blessing than?  I always showed signs of being a good story teller didn’t I?  Ever since I was very very young?  

 

    Acacia:

        I thought acting was going to be your vocation.  

 

    Magnolia:

        Well they are very interconnected.  And writing has become a fad again in the forest.  I want to be poplar.  Who doesnt?  

 

    Acacia:

        Why are you worrying so?  Stay true to your sunny and smiling happy character.  Be consistent.  Your starting to sound like that worry wart sequoia.  She obviously inherited that from her mother.  Maybe you two have been spending too much time together.   Yes..  Your my own daughter or course I give you my blessing.  I love propagating and cultivating you.  You are my own offspring.  What are you worried that Sequoia is a better story teller than you?  

        Didnt you say that she didnt even start writing until she was like a teenager or something?  I can vouch assured- that you started         when you were only 8!  You are a child prodigy at story telling!  Remember you used to read your stories to her… she hardly even could         read!  And you were reading stories to her… don’t worry about Sequoia!  There is no competition there whats so ever!  

 

    Magnolia:

        Its just sometimes I worry that she is more talented than me… or more favored by the winds.  She has been so pushed and         promoted by her father… and I know you support me… but sometimes I think that she is even more supported by her father than I         am by you.  So I want to make sure that she doesn’t get any unfair advantage.  Its weird… we have to see each other all of the time         because we are almost like sisters but then we have to pretend like we aren’t competing with each other.  Its like… ( pause thinking)          I can’t think of a good analogy… its like something horrible though.  words in the wrong place are like weeds.  If you want your         sentences  to be beautiful they  must be plucked.  In this case I will refrain from even planting.  Language is so scrawny and craggily         and dry sometimes.  Sometimes I wish I were a painter who could brush thick lush visual strokes with a bristled tongue. Maybe we can take Sequoia in for a         while.  She is having such troubles with her parents right now.  

    Acacia:

        Of course but I will have to hide my favoritism for you of course.  Oh heavens!  You sound just like Sequoia.  No one ever solved anything by worrying about it.  Are you sure you want to bring Sequoia under our care?  You         seem to thrive so much better without her.  If I were you I would leave her alone.  Although I have to agree that that Leif fellow I never have liked.  In that way I sympathize with her.  

 

    

 

Ill play my trunk with limbs in action.  Ill frame a scene with my craggy finger.   Ill speak from a dry mouth a twig  or two.  And then let my mouth unfold an oral  misty mentholic flower unfolding emboldened in balm and in bloom.   A Disjointed and anointed craggy finger lingering on and pointing to the yellow moon.  

 

 

 

A tree is a brush, it paints the sky blue,

The sky is a canvas starting anew

A tree is a brush dipped in green paint.  Aimed at the sky.  

 

 

 

        

    ( Magnolia and Sequoia kissing under a mistletoe.  Smoking weed).

    Magnolia: (smiling with cleavage showing)

        Im so shy….  ( giggles) for some reason I want to say that.  I know its sounds absurd…but I really am.  

    Sequoia:

        Wow you have really developed this last growing season.  I wish I had coconuts like that.   I have  these stubby twigs.  Stunted bumps, knobs, or nodes.  

 

    Magnolia :

        Dont be so hard on yourself.  Yours are nice.  Some girls are just late developers.   Here… take a puff.

 

    Sequoia:

        ( sequoia takes a drag)  Your a real buxom babe.  I guess my parents were going to call me “Palm” when I was a kid.  But they changed their minds.  However I think you should have been called “Palm” with those things you’ve got hanging.  

 

    Magnolia:

        Well, Ive been writing in my journal a lot these days.  

 

    Sequoia:

        Why are you doing that?  I thought you always wanted to be an actress.  

    Magnolia:

        Your not dumb Sequoia but your awfully naive or … I don’t know what it is.    But everyone has to write their own stories or else they would die.  Of course I act as well still.  

    Sequoia:

        Oh I didn’t realize that it was that much of a given.  

    Magnolia:

        Well take a look around you.  How do you think we trees grow?  

    Sequoia:

        I always thought it was by just by sunlight, water and nutrients.  

    Magnolia:

        When I was reading you my stories when we were kids what do you think I was doing it for?  For you?  No, obviously not.  I mean don’t get me wrong, I liked that you enjoyed listening to them.  An author always wants an audience.  But it was mainly so I could get better as a writer and create my own spiral staircase into the sky someday.  Kind of like walking up a huge double helix.  DNA itself is really just an entire encyclopedic history of our lives hidden in code.  DNA, the very foundation of life itself, is basically a novel.  Or a collection of journal entries.  Someday I want to take my words on stage and act them out myself with other actors.  

 

    Sequoia:

        Who wrote the novel called DNA?

 

    Magnolia:

        (Stops and thinks about it…) here… let me take another drag and think about it for a second.  ( pauses in silence a bit) I think we did.  

    Sequoia:

        I don’t get it… you mean we were around millions of years ago?  That doesnt make any sense.  

    Magnolia:

        Well when I say “we”, I don’t mean us in this particular time and place.  I mean more the universal “us”.  I mean think about it, the way I live my life in this life is almost we could say, being recorded in my DNA.  Like a black box.  DNA is like a little secret black diary of our lives.  I guess when I say “we”, I mean our family tree. Our ancestors that continue to live through us in our DNA that they passed down to us.  Think of it kind of like a journal that people keep in their cabins.  Every year for years upon years the family writes down in the journal when they arrived and what happened and what they plan on doing on their particular trip that summer at the family cabin.  But in this case its like the journal continued on well past that particular family, and  the diary entries went on and on past onto generation after generation for millions of years.  So when I  say “we”, I mean all of us… 

 

    Sequoia:

        Wow, that just blew my mind away what you just said there.   I wish I could put ideas and words together like that.  I admit I am envious.  Can I take another hit?  

    Magnolia:

        Sure thats what were here for.  ( hands the pipe to Sequoia) 

        However my particular story in my particular life is becoming hugely entertaining these days.  I think Ive really got it now, I know how to make a great story.  Ive been producing some really fruity works.  (Laughs) besides my coconuts. 

I think I want my recorded entries to really make an impression on my…( stumbles) or should I say “our” DNA.  Before I forget Im going to jot down what I just said there about that  cabin stuff and DNA, I have to admit that was pretty good.  ( pulls out notebook from back pocket starts jotting in it) 

 

     Sequoia:

        Oh, so there are different levels of authors as well?  My dad told me that there are different levels of shade, so there are also different levels of journal entries?  

 

    Magnolia:

        yea… you could think of it that way.  

 

    Sequoia:

        So who is the greatest author or journalist in all of DNA history?  

 

    Magnolia:

        I don’t know… the DNA is unfortunately locked up inside our bodies in a kind of vault.  Ive never had a chance to really look at it.  But if there were one I suppose it would be the tree that made the most impression.  Continuing with the cabin diary analogy, it would be the writer that wrote the most with the most penetrating perceptions and descriptions.  The one who just logged down a couple of mundane lists of events probably wouldn’t be considered a great author. Although what do I know?  Sometimes just plain old facts are the most useful.  All that flowery ornamentation could be seen as just a bunch of unnecessary bullshit.  It probably has something to do with the amount of entries though.  

 

    Sequoia:

        Man, I had no idea life was so complex.  This is an extremely complex game isn’t it?  To be honest I am not sure Im ready for it.  

 

    Magnolia:

    As long as we have each other all will be fine.  ( reaches in for a kiss)

 

    Sequoia:  ( after the kiss) 

        Yea, stick around if you woodn’t mind.  ( pauses in silence for a bit)  Who are you Magnolia?  

 

    Magnolia:

        What do you mean “who am I?”

 

    Sequoia:

        I mean like… why are you with me?  What are your motives and ambitions?

 

    Magnolia:

        Is the weed making you paranoid?  My motives are like all trees.  I want to grow.  

    Sequoia:

        Am I helping you grow?  

    Magnolia:

        yea.  I think so.

    Sequoia:

        How?  

 

    Magnolia:

        (pauses for a long time)  Has anyone ever told you you ask too many questions?  

         

    Sequoia:

        So we are editing and pruning each other not just for this little moment in time but for millennia to come?  Our  branches come scattering forth to great divides… waiting with anxiety on how their fates will be  pruned?.  And then once edited,  the course of events shoots with even more intensity through that remaining branch?  Surging on finally divorced and broken free from the burden of that former branch- doubled in energy - merging into and  paving newer possibilities and events on its way?  No wonder why there is so much bickering and barking at each other.  Not only do the choices we make here matter just for our little temporary lives but they matter almost… ( pauses to think ) almost for all time.  

 

 

    Magnolia:

        Hey I told you you get more serious when you get high.  Try to lighten up a little.  

 

    Of  course with some help from this weed.  Shake a tree down…Its so natural.  Natures gift to us.  they say once you         start smoking this stuff though your never the same again.  It         changes your personality.  ( laughs)

 

 

 

    Sequoia: (shrubs her hands out in a question mark)

        Either that or they say it enhances your personality that is already there.  I think in your case its the latter.  You are naturally very         happy and smiley but when you get high you are even more happy and smiley.  You bloom in flowery poetry.  

    Magnolia:

        And I think in your case it may be the former.  You seem to get more serious and thoughtful when you get high.  

    Sequoia:

        What do you mean?  You don’t think I am naturally a thoughtful tree?  

    Magnolia:

        I don’t know.  Maybe I don’t know what I am talking about.  Forget what I just said.  I’m not making any sense, I’m too high.          (giggles)

        I can’t believe that we have remained friends all of these years.  To think that when we were at that Nursery School together twenty         years ago that our lives paths would become so entwined. ( reaches for a kiss). 

    

    Sequoia:

        These conversational flowers are sweet… but I’m not sure we should be doing this.  Isn’t this what they call a public display of affection?  Also our kissing is almost like sister to sister… its almost incestuous.  Have you ever noticed that we are like incestuous clones of one another?  I feel like we were propagated from the same cutting.  I feel like we are  incestuously in love with each other and also competing with each other at the same time.. to see who can write a better story to their lives.  So in a way we also hate each other… Am I right?  

    Magnolia:

        If we truly love each other shouldn’t we want to celebrate our love with the world?  Im not trying to compete with you!  What ever gave you that idea?  Maybe you don’t really love me?  When I am         around you the whole world disappears and I could care less what others think.  Do I look a little over weight to you?  (Giggles girlishly)

    Sequoia: 

         Its just that one time I kissed a boy when I was 15 years old just like we are now and I enjoyed it immensely and didnt care         what people thought.  I played the role you are playing now.  And some passer by threw a rock at me in disgust.  He obviously         thought it was in extremely low taste.  Ive never gotten over the judgement. 

    Magnolia:  

        well screw him.  He probably was just jealous cause he was impotent or something.  Some lonely loser that had nothing going for         him and needed to be pitied.  

    Sequoia: 

        You aren’t jealous of me or anything are you?  I mean are you ironically envious of my relationship with my father?  Sometimes I feel         that my father is really a great man that everyone wants to take down because they are jealous of what he has.  They criticize him         for having confidence and standing tall and being an optimistic fighter for the light and true he is kind of narcicssitc - but we all mimic         him because we want the sectret that he has- to have self esteem that cannot be taken away from anyone.  To live tight in our own         stories protected by our illustrated covers.  your living here in easter woodlands heights and leaving the western dome community is         really admiral.  You could get a job with         your dads firm.  

    Magnolia:          

        im not jealous of you or your father !  What ever gave you that idea?  

 

    Sequoia:

        Have you ever wondered why it is that we are in love?  What is it that is keeping the bond together?  

    Magnolia:

        You just asked that like 2 minutes ago.  Your not going senile are you?  I don’t know… free love openness?  Lets face it …. You are pretty tom boyish.  

 

     Sequoia:  ( aside) 

        If I befriend magnolia and pursue peace  and drive her around and support her storied head notice her manipulating me into her story… I feel like I am not living in truth.. that I am continuing the lies turning an eye away… perpetuating the shadow - the lie of who I really am and want to be… … but then in not driving her around in her story I feel cold… like I am rejecting her which will in turn spur her on to scorn me and write a tit for tat tale.   

    Sequoia:

        Maybe I can iron out my malice towards you, whether just or unjust, in my story.  The truth is im horrified that you are a better writer thatn me.  I love you… but I also hate you.  Everything you do seems to turn into literary and financial gold.  

 

    Sequoia:

        It seems like you are trying to team up with your mom to get a better story than I have going with my father.  Your mother is strong and gives you a lot of opportunities that I feel I dont get….

    Sequoia:

        I find myself developing this seedling of a thought of not being able control a sneaking desire to steel others stories.  Im becoming a         deviant.  A klepto that wants to keep what doesnt belong to me.  

    Magnolia:

        Oh thats gross.  

    Sequoia:

        But Im starting to not be able to control it.  Don’t you feel sorry for me?  To be tortured by the uncontrollable urge to take, to hoard, to greedily accumulate.  

    Magnolia:

        Oh thats totally repulsive.  I don’t feel bad for you at all.  Thats just disgusting.  ( sequoia feels rejected)  You need help.  

    Sequoia:

        Its becoming a tiny thrill.  At least I admit it.  How bout you?  Do you have any vices?

 

 

    Magnolia:

    You had a bad childhood… end of story.  You should get the courage to stand up for yourself and live the dreams you want to live.  

    Who is being jealous now?  

        

        If I were you I wouldn’t go into story telling.  Have you thought about         becoming an administrator for the council for eastern woodlands?  There are a lot of opportunities there right now.  

 

    Sequoia:

        Are these Incestuous flirtations to get me to drop the Golden Acorn of literature from my mouth- do you see me as an eagle?  Are you a crow         tugging at my hind feathers to get me to neglect the protection of  my food?  

    Magnolia:

        Are you a total paranoid schizo?  

    Sequoia:

        Am I a good story teller?

    Magnolia:

        Ive been looking at my journals a lot lately.

    Magnolia:  

        I Want to be my own person.  

    Sequioa:  

        so do I.

    Magnolia- 

        yea but you didn’t get the idea of being your own person until  introduced the idea to  you.  You were pretty good at poetry… Ill give you that.

    Sequoia:

        So I have a knack for poetry but not storytelling?  Great.  I was born a poet, destined for the gutter without a laurel to my name.   Im destined for destitution and incompetence in everything except word play.  

 

    Sequoia:

        Perhaps the worst thing wood be to find out ones story is common. BeIng lost in the outrageous fantasies of your own mind, smiling pleasingly with ones self for having thought up such magical works, and then be abruptly and rudely awoken to realize that everyone has already thought and dreamed the same thing ten times over.  .  Like a lover that finds out he is just one of many suitors as he spies his competition walking down the back steps of his true loves porch.  Embarrassed and hurt he hustles home ashamed that his story of cherished sacred love was actually common.  Shared by many.  Like a laurel that’s lost nearly all its value.  

 

 

Ill send a thought leader up- a line - a shoot- an idea like an antenna- to scope and determine if following the leader is a good idea for my plot line.   A tree is a person is a writer is a player of cards.  She determines her chances at a winning phrase or line by sending out a  leader or a vine to see if her whole body should follow it.  

Magnolia:

        Whats wrong?  You seem troubled?

 

    Sequoia:

        There is something on my mind that I can’t seem to clean off of my dna or my conscience.  

    Magnolia:

        What is it?  

    Sequoia:

        Will you promise not to tell anyone?  

    Magnolia:

        Of course - you can trust me.

    SEquioa:

        Last summers growing season I was with some friends at summer camp.  Kids you dont know in the Eastern woodlands here.  

    Magnolia:

        Yes..

    Sequoia:

        And well… I met this boy in the group and we decided to talk and dance in the wind together in the woods after the others left.

    Magnolia:

        Of course… everybody does that.  

    Sequoia:

        Well… 

    Magnolia:

        If something is bothering you get it off your chest.  You dont want that stuff to stain your DNA with some continual recycling of bad entries.  

    Sequoia:

        He was…( takes a deep sigh of nervous tension)  He was underage.  

    Magnolia:

        And…?

    Sequoia:

        The long and short of it is I seduced him and forced him to have sex with me.   At first he was responsive and he enjoyed my seductions.  .    He was so innocent and beautiful … I was falling in love with him.  He was like a fawn so softly curious  with a gentle trusting.   I felt like a teacher counseling.  I felt like a good and noble leader.  Our leaders grew and we embraced.  The cicadas were drowning out our words ….droning us in a constant fever… My youth was being restored in me.  My bark and his were harkening me back to some wonderful time that I had forgotten.  My joy for life was being renewed and I felt the spring time all around me shine in a glorious lime green.  As all of my good hearted intentions towards all of the world were being released with every tender kiss and embrace… but he then pulled away with a thought… I went to embrace him again but…. - he seemed to become ashamed - it  must have occurred to him that what we were doing was wrong by the great  society standards…he then fled and I ran after him with my crown trailing in the wind like I was mad.     Like a conditioned predator whose  genetic gears fell and locked into a robotic prehistoric programmed place. - my wired wheels spun in the soil and boiled and hummed-  I was cast into an enchanting chase.   Thrown into the winds of the unconscious I couldn’t handle the rejection…I saw he had an erection and something came over me… an uncontrollable passion.   I looked around in the forest and noticed no one was around and I could get away with it… I let my wild nature extend to whatever whims and limbs it desired… I pinned him down on the ground … it was like I was trying to recapture lost years… in trying to regain my innocence I was actually in danger of losing it forever.  He looked like he held the key and cure to unlock my greatest love and youthful joy that he alone and us together could affirm to me and all of the forested glorious world that my life was a blessing… and that I was loved and could love and that life was worth living….  But little did I know it was a cursed ploy by Nature… I was a toy in Its sinister ruse.  Having left me ultimately confused.  When it was all done and transpired…I felt unbearable guilt… and on top of that and him, the boy,  I could see that he was hurt.  

    

    Magnolia:  ( stunned and speechless) 

 

    Sequoia:

        I dont know if he ever told any other tree about it.  But I feel like I could go to jail if the word got out what I have done.  My reputation could be ruined forever.  

 

    Magnolia:

        How old was he?  

    Sequoia:

        He couldn’t have been more than 15.  

 

    Magnolia:

        Here I always thought you were so young and innocent yourself.  Are you sure your not the actress?  Its not like we are aged hags.  We are only 20 for cedars sake.  You had me fooled.  Well that changes the whole story completely.  

    Sequoia:

        Do you think I can ever be forgiven?  

    Magnolia:

        Well you may want to go and find the boy and apologize. 

    Sequoia:

        Ive tried to… but I can’t find him.  Can I be forgiven?  

    Magnolia:

        ( pausing) ….

    Sequoia:

        Please don’t plant of seed of doubt into my mind with your silence.  

        

    

 

    Sequoia:

        We seem to be in a a messy relationship where our property lines and plotted story lines are interconnected interchangeable confused jumbled mixed not clear jerky herky crossing over each other overlapping gapping broken characters that are not consistent in their motives- not true to their characters.  

 

    Sequioa:

            I love you, and I love kissing you but my parents would freak if they saw me right now.  Are you sure it’s ok?

    Magnolia:

        Don’t be a mousy yew like your mom.  I love your mom but she is such a shade dweller.  Of course that’s largely because of your         dad.  

    Sequoia:

        What do you mean?

    Magnolia:

        Your father is a typical male chauvenist.  The way he throws shade at your mom.   And then he complains about her being a shade         dweller.  What a creep.  He’s complaining about the problem he created in the first place.

    Sequoia:

        He does the same thing to me.  But you just did.

    Magnolia:

        Did what?

    Sequoia:

        Put her down.

    Magnolia:

        Yes.  That’s because I hate what she allowed your father to get away with.  I wish your mom had more fight in her.  Your mom at her         core is a wonderful person but… am I making sense?  Your mom is too understanding and compassionate.  She deserves better.  

    Sequoia:    

        Is she naturally that way or was she conditioned to be that way?

    Magnolia:

        I think she was conditioned by your dad.  

    Sequoia:

        Wait, Im confused.  Her understanding  and compassion are conditioned qualities of her?

    Magnolia:

        Her natural core is a nice compassionate tree that was not affected or touched by your father.  What was         touched was her pride and self -esteem.

    Sequoia:

        What’s more important… authenticity or peace?  Can a tree have a lot of self- esteem and also be nice and compassionate?  

 

        (enter Spike, Aralia, Leif  hiding and spying behind trees where Magnolia and Sequoia can’t see them)

    Magnolia:

        Of course.  Look at me! ( points at herself, smiles). Your so cute.

    Sequoia:

        Don’t call me cute!  I hate being called cute.  Like some ineffectual harmless thing that no one takes seriously. 

    Magnolia:

        I take offense to your defense.  Great cedar of Lebanon.  I take that back.  I do know what I am talking about.  Your personality does change when you smoke         weed.

    Sequoia:  

        Your not going to dupe me are you?  I mean once a let go and really allow myself to you … 

 

    Magnolia:

        what would give you the idea?  I refuse to submit myself to the shade of that story line.  I want my safe space.  Your words are wounding me.. and I can feel my bark scarring and the injury is being sectioned off into a sanitized corner of my being.  

 

    Sequoia:

        Its just that I notice these crows.  In order to get food from an eagle on the ground, they will sneek up  behind them and pull on their feathery tail.  When the eagle turns around the food is dropped out of its mouth and the crow grabs it.  Your not goin to flirt with me with a feathery pull and then take something from me are you?

 

    Magnolia:  

        Boy are you paranoid.  Your so petty and paranoid!  I think maybe you have been smoking too much weed.  What on earth would I take from you?

    

 

    Sequoia:

        Your so rosy and  sunny … I feel like a sunflower tilting its head towards you.  

 

I dont know… my story or… when Im being cold am I being warm?  And when I am being warm am I actually cold?  I just don’t know anymore — I don’t even know what being warm and cold is anymore.  I just don’t know anymore what sorry I don’t mean to be cold… I don’t even know what cold and warmth is anymore.  When Im being cold I being warm?  And when Im being warm am I actually being cold?  Its confusing.  When Im in the sun I feel warm… but your put in cool shade.  If I were really warm to you I would allow you to warm up in the sun and put me in cold shade.  If I am warm to you that would be cold to me.  And if I am cold to you that wood be warm to me.  When I am in warm sunshine that is cool shade to you.  I want to be kind warm and loving to you but im afraid you will use that warmth to open the doorway into taking something from me.  If I let you grow then I would wilt.  I am afraid of that… Because when I wilt that is when the serpents seem to really flourish… in muddy mildewed wilting darkness and stagnation- in the murky stagnant pond waters the sordid brew begins to manifest- a swamp of serpent lizards that thrive in bacteria.  The light keeps the bacteria at bay… im afraid of darkness… its in the dark it seems that the serpents rise… but then I see that you want to grow too… and you are afraid of the darkness as well… I can’t seem to find a solution… If I have compassion for you and allow you to grow over me, then I will be thrown into darkness… and its in darkness that evil true evil festers and swells… its like I have to be ruthless in my compassion… by not letting you force me into the light… oh I can’t get at it… Im going insane… I can’t explain the paradox in words… its almost like I have to allow you  to overshadow me but not too much.. just a bit… and you in turn must do the same to me… like some dance of light and shade… if I go too far into all light I will kill you and lose compassion… but then if I allow you to obtain all the growth I wouldn’t have any self respect… would wilt and fade with angry spiteful serpents in my mind…. And in turn you  would lose compassion.  

    Sequoia:

        I fee under pressure because I feel like you want me to be a full blown left brancher.  But then my father wants me to be a full blown right brancher.  And If I ask myself what I think about it all I just want to split down in two.  I don’t want to be a lefty or a righty … I want to know their positions but I don’t want to be either of them.  It seems like every tree isn’t satisfied with just having opinions… they want to make you have those same opinions.  They call it educating but it is really just brain washing.  Every tree wants you to mouth their words and opinions like they were your own.  But they are not.  

    Magnolia:

        It doesnt bother me if you are not a left brancher.  What ever gave you that idea?  We dont't have to argue about this.  

      Sequoia: Yes we do.

 

    Magnolia:

        No we don’t (says with slight hostility grows while Sequoia wilts)

    Sequoia:

        Yes we do ( says with slight hostility grows while Magnolia wilts)

 

    Magnolia:

        No we don’t (says with increased hostility grows while Sequoia wilts)

    Sequoia:

        Yes we do ( says with increased hostility grows while Magnolia wilts)

 

    Magnolia:

        Tisnt ( smiles and says with compassion so Magnolia wilts and Sequoia grows)

    Sequoia:

        ( smiles) Tis!  ( says with compassion so Sequoia wilts while Magnolia grows) 

    Magnolia:

        Tis!

    Sequoia:

        Tisnt! 

    Magnolia:

        Tisnt!

    Sequoia:

        Tis! 

( they burst out laughing) 

    Sequoia:  

        When I write poetry I sometimes I feel my words are leaves lifting off of a page towards the sun.  

    Magnolia:

        Heavens don’t let that happen.  Keep them on the page.  Dont you want to hand them in for credit someday?  Dont let them float         away unseen.  

 

    Magnolia:

        I wasn’t  thinking of taking any thing fro….

 

    Sequoia:  (Cuts her off like competing for the light) 

        You were going to take fro…?!

    Magnolia:  ( cuts magnolia off mid sentence for the light)

        Well dont jump to conclu….

    Sequoia:  ( cuts Magnolia off for the light) 

        I always knew I couldn’t trust you!  

 

 

    Magnolia:

        Let me finish my growing sentence for Peat moss’s sake.  Now that you bring it up and have shown that you don’t trust me… I fell the urge to         take something for you.  Well I do think that you should go into something else other than story telling.  But Im not saying that         because I want something from         you..         or… am competitive with you…Its important to not get lost in either extreme.  In total negation of everyone else story and the other extreme of getting lost in others stories.  There is a balance.  

        

     Sequoia:

        I guess that shows the kind of Dire Straits that I’m in if I’m relying on you for my sanity

I get tired of all this balancing act stuff.  I want concrete answers.  they always say that getting experience in life outside of writing improves your writing… so maybe I should get a job at the board         and administration of         district 3.  I mean who I am to think that I am a writer at this age?  I hardly know anything.  

        I’m sorry for being so prickly.  I have become kind of paranoid.  You have to admit that if you were an eagle you would probably be         rather paranoid of crows and for good reason right?  

     Magnolia

        Im a stately tree…. Not some evil crow!  Give me some credit.  

    Sequioa:

        It just seems like all of us are looking for the golden acorn of literature.  Like we are all one time eagles and crows pulling eachothers tail feathers for the golden acorn of literature.  The magical power source.  Your not trying to get me to drop my food are you?  

        

    Magnolia:

        Remember when I used to read to you my stories?  And give you recordings of my guitar playing?  

    Sequoia:

        You dont think I am a writer?  Your not trying to trim me out of writing so that you have one less tree to compete with are you?  

 

    Magnolia:

        It just seems like your talents are elsewhere.  

 

    Sequoia:  just because you say that doesnt make it so though right?  That is just your opinion.  I learned from you … remember you used to read me your stories … remember when I had trouble reading?  

 

    Magnolia:

        Yea  your right… I guess.  It  just my opinion.  Have you a got a job yet?  

 

    Sequoia:

        What do you mean?  I work for my dad.

 

    Magnolia:

        I mean a real job.  Out in society.  Doing your duty and being a part of tree humanity.   

    Sequoia:

        I can’t work a full time job.  I was conditioned … trained… cultivated or stunted … however you want to look at it… to be incompetent.  You know how some of those trees need a board or a post to help keep them up?  My father was my training wheels for so long I can hardly stand on my own when the supports are taken away.  

 

    Magnolia:

        Thats a cop out.  Thats an excuse so that you don’t have to work and slave like the rest of us.  Your so lazy and a parasitic ne’er do well.  

    Sequoia:

        Your such a hypocrite.  How bout you?  When is the last time you had a real job in society?  When have you ever done your duty?  Ive probably done my duty tenfold over         what you have.  Your such a creep to tell me what to do when you don’t do it yourself…I want to vomit… the double standard is         making me sick.  I have an idea.  If I write a good story will you help me publish it?  Then we could buy a house together off the         earnings.

    Magnolia:

        I have my own story.  I don’t really want to help you with yours.  That would devalue my story then.

    Sequoia:

        So you think you are better than me?  That I should do my civic duty but you don’t have to?  That your story is the real story and I         am just a wanna be?  Why should I believe that?  Isn’t that just your opinion?  And if I base my decisions off of what you tell me to do…. Aren’t I just living in your shadow?  And the real purpose of my life… to be free of shadows… in that I would be a failure.  Why are you misleading me?  Are you one of those elitist snobs from the western dome?  That think that all of the rules apply to everyone but themselves?    Are you sure you are a real left brancher?  Are you one of those trees  that like to play god with other peoples lives?  Forgive me, but If I am going to believe in a higher power it certainly wont be you!  I will believe in a real god… not some ( looks at Magnolia) two faced twit.  

        

 

I just wish…I wish  my parents         were more united.  It’s hard to satisfy them both, they are such different trees at their core.  

    Magnolia

        Your always complaining about your parents.  I hate to say it, (smiles) nobody wants to be around some sad and depressed downer         like you.  Again I         always thought your mom should have left you father         years ago.  But you continue to still have a realattionship with your dad.  I guarantee you if you left your dad years ago like I did you         would have forgotten about him completely and all of this wasted energy you spend brooding about him could have been spent on a         successful career.  Your dad reminds me of my biological dad.  Your father didn’t         molest you like mine did to me did he?

    Sequoia:

        I don’t think so.  Not that I can remember.  Speaking of complaining about your parents.  You always bring it up that you were molested by your dad.  I mean he only did it once right?  What’s the big deal?  There is a lot of hysteria these days about that stuff.  If you were born two hundred years ago you probably wouldn’t even think about it.  But the culture has so indoctrinated us to believe that what he did was wrong.  Your being thought by the culture.  I think you bring that up to get pity from others. 

    Magnolia:    

        Are you kidding?  yOu know they say that if you get molested you are more likely to do it to someone else as well.  That is serious stuff!  I don’t want to play it off as no big deal and then molest some sapling and then spend time in tree jail.  My mom dumped my biological fathers stumpy ass years ago and that is what your mom should have done.  Left your dad years         ago.  See         good for good and evil for evil.  Don’t show compassion for those who don’t deserve it and withhold compassion for         those that do.

    Sequoia:

        Your starting to sound right branch there.  The right branch is always saying that we lefties show compassion for tyrrants and killers         as long as the tyrants and killers are on the left.  But not for them, the right branchers, who really deserve our compassion.

    Magnolia:

        What are you talking about?  Your the one who has been sounding Right branch.  Showing         compassion for a tyyrant like you dad who is a right brancher.  

    Sequoia:

        Maybe your right.  Sorry, I’m getting all confused with about who is a left brancher and who is a right brancher.  I’m getting pretty         high too.  ( giggles a bit)But its easier for you         because my God look at your mother and your father.  Your biological father hardly played any         role in your life except for molesting you that one time when you were a child.  Leaving him was easy.  And your mother is         a tank of a tree and a great role model that             knows how to survive in this forest.  If you don’t mind me saying, you kind of kiss ass up to your mom a bit.  You seem to be trying to get on her good side or something, greedily agreeing with her on everything.  Like you are trying to secure your position as her successor or something.  It seems like you are trying to secure your place as the inheritor of her legacy.  I don’t think you need to compete with anyone… I mean you are an only child right?  It’s ind of embarrassing from my point of view.  Im under my fathers shadow its true, but at least I don’t grovel for his approvaI or kiss up to him.  

    Magnolia:  

        well hey there I don’t feel so smily all of a sudden.  ( smile fades a bit)  I feel truncated.  Your saying that my love and affection for my mother isn’t         genuine and I am just cozying up to her for personal advancement?  Well how about you?  You kind of treat your mom like shit like         your dad does.  You know that my mom thinks that you consciously or unconsciously want to kill her by mal treating her so that you         can inherit her wealth.  (Grows a bit while Sequoia wilts a bit)

    Sequoia:     

        How could you even say such a thing!  Sounds like you are trying to kill me off with emotional assault in that very statement there. (Grows a bit while magnolia wilts a bit) I try to stay away fro my mom emotionally so that my dad doesnt have anything for leverage.  If anybody needs to stand up for themselves more is you.  If I leave my father who do I have to guide me?  My mother?  Like you         said my mother         is a compassionate tree but she isn’t real good at surviving in the jungle.

    Magnolia:

        You may have a point there.  But I just can’t believe that you think that I am close emotionally with my mother because I am tryoing to somehow profit from her.  

    Magnolia:  

        ( no response silence for a while….)

    Sequoia:

        Your silence and lack of a reply is making me nervous.  Are you mad at me?  Am I being ill willed and cold?  That shows the kind of dire straights I am in if I am hanging on a thread of sanity and its tied to you.  Im afraid of the silence between us… I want to break it.. but then I feel like I am giving into defeat.  But what is it im trying to win?  Maybe the very course of dna future itself.  Our pruning and editing is the very course directing branches of millions of years ahead.  No wonder why we are pruning each other like mad… nurture effects nature.  The diverging course of the millennia is held in our little clipping hands.  

 

 

I often take a walk out near home train tracks where there are deer.  When I see them I am warmed and charmed and think to myself what a wonderfully cute creature.  But if I see a person coming my first thought is “oh heres another asshole- what do they want?”  I mean you would think my own species I would be more warm to.  

 

 

    Sequoia:  Should we run away together?  

    Magnolia:  What do you mean?

    Sequoia:  What do you think I mean?  

    Magnolia:  Well where would we run to?  You have heard of all of the legends and myths about trees that tried to send runners out of         Sylvan         Plains.  They were never heard from again.  I don’t think any place exists but Sylvan Plains.  Its the only terrestreeal place we have.    I think we would fall off         some ledge and         die or something.  

    Sequoia:  who is being like a mousy Yew  now?  Lets take a gamble… 

    Magnolia:  well now… you have another point there.  Your kind of putting me to the test aren’t you? ( pauses in silence- thinking it over.)       (smiles) sure!  When should we leaf?   

    Sequoia:  how about tomorrow morning?

    Magnolia:  Sounds like a plan!

    Sequoia:  I will meet you here in this exact same spot tomorrow morning when the first ray of the sun is cast over the horizon.  We will         need to pack light but with all of the essentials that we can bring.  Fertilizer, a canteen of water, you know- just like we were going         camping or something.  Maybe a travel log.  Maybe bring a small pick axe for when our runners get stuck in the soil or in another trees roots.  

    Magnolia:  Oak Kay!  Don’t get mad now!  Do you mind me saying?  

    Sequioa:  what?

    Magnolia:  Your so cute.

    Sequioa:  (rolls her eyes) that’s ok.  I guess I can handle it. By the way… do you mind if I use the word “grumbler” in my story?  I know you used it in one of your stories.  

    Magnolia:

        (irritated but tries to conceal it) well of course.  What do you think that I own every word in the Briggs twiggish dictionary?  Of course you can use it.

    

    Magnolia:

        Actually lets meet at the Japanese maple near the brook.  The same place that I used to read my stories to you ok when we were children?  It will be more romantic and will have more meaning.  

    Sequoia:

        ( uneasy) oh… ok.  

 

    Sequoia:

        Maybe we can be like the Holly sisters.. maybe we both can be genius’s.  We can be like two clear mirror minds  facing each other into infinity.   

 

    Magnolia:

        There we go!  A mirror to mirror game might be kind of fun!  

 

    Sequoia:  

        I feel bad about us.  I feel bad about writing a good story.  I don’t want to overshadow you.  I don’t want to hurt you.  You or your mom.  I feel like a dopey doofus in all of this.  Everybody is writing such good stories out here and I can’t afford to not write a good one myself.   Would you be upset if I wrote a good and poplar story?  I want my story to be deep - natural but nor contrived.  Sometimes I feel my story is getting too clownish and comical.   I want it to be serious and tragic but not contrived.  If comedy bubbles up here and there on its own that is fine but I want there to be a deeper message as well.  Sometimes I feel my story is getting so preposterous no one will even understand it.  Maybe in reality I am trying to keep you down from writing.  Like my own ego ridden defense is actually an assault that I don’t see on you and your own ambitions.  Im starting to think that defense and offense basically mean the exact same thing.  Like if you look at a cup… from above it looks like a circle… but from the side it looks like  a square.  But it is still called a cup no matter which angle you look at it from.  What I don’t understand is if taking offense to what someone does or says is so offensive to everyone including the  the offender and the offended, why is everybody doing it?  Do our stories have to have protected borders like countries that leave out other stories?  Or can our stories commingle?  ( stumbles..) A spider just fell in front of me and I want to kill it.   But why?  Because im  afraid it will bite me in the night when I am sleeping.  Maybe that is like us trees.  We are afraid we will bite each other when we are most vulnerable.  Were afraid of incest.. pediphilia …   rape, homosexuality, murder,  insanity  enslavement…  they are the spiders that keep us awake at night.  ( spider comes back sequoia smashes it)  oh look at me… I killed it!  I couldn’t help it… I feel like a killer… a murderer!  I just couldn’t help it… I was so afraid of it.  Perhaps the spider had a story.  

 

    Magnolia:

        Well who wants to co mingle their stories and plot lines with tree trash?  You and your parents may live in the eastern woodlands but at least you don’t live in section 8!  All the politicians that want free unfettered story lines that tangle and co mingle with all of the rough riff raff 

of the tree world never live with them themselves.  They live in quite comfortable living arrangements.  Remember that one book we had to read for summer school?  “All trees are even, only some trees are more even than others.”  They indoctrinate and  legislate but they themselves are more even than others.  Trees will always create an unfair hierarchy, thats just natural for them to do.  They can’t help it.  

    Sequoia:

        Are you turning to the right branch?  

    Magnolia:

        No, Im totally for the left,  but I have to confess they are kind of generally right on that point.  I spend some much time with mom around all of sylvan Vally that I see the full spectrum of politics.  To be honest, the ones who really are the eternally screwed are the homeless and sick, sick of mind and sick of body.  I see them all the time hanging on park benches at night pissing into shrubs and missing and spilling all over themselves with their dirty pants down.    But what do you do?  Who wants to live with them?  Certainly not me!  They are the ultimate puller downs.  They will pull you  down into poverty squalor disease and insanity.  

 

    Sequoia:

        I have to give you credit for being honest.  I think your right, who would want to live near section 8?  That is the ultimate spider.  

 

 

    Sequoia:

        Maybe we can co- author some books together.  had a bad night .. little crabby.  I would like you to stick around if you don't mind.  

 

 

And all the intricate ways they try to one up each other for the better story.  One of them butters the other up with incestouous flirtations - but competition is the base line.  Incestuous competitions mixed with hate and sweet I love you.s   They put each other down and try and pump up themselves at the expense of the other.  

 

 

 

 

    Magnolia:

        ( showing dislike to the idea) well…. I like my stories the way I wrote them.

    Sequoia:

        well maybe you write the stories and then I just turn it into your story only with my poetry on top of it… kind of like an ornamentation but you get to have the main structure… the cake… I get to put on the frosting.   you know… 

    Magnolia:

        (Still uneasy )  I’ve been reading my journals a lot lately.  I really think Ive got it.  They are hugely entertaining to read.

 

    Magnolia:  

        I can see why you are having a hard time accepting me as a story teller.  After all you read to me your own creations when we ere children and I could hardly read.  I suppose if I wrote a good story that had a solid foundation that would be like the student outshining th teacher and what teacher would like that?  

*******************************************************

This tense  with incestuous undercurrents of denial— leaving us lost in perpetual competition with each other.  Or like sisters- to look at the knots the binding no matter how horrid they are .  In the hopes of unravelling loosening the knots with awareness-  consciousness of light - bringing peace and understanding to the confused dark and fearful ensnarled ropes.  

 

 

 

(Magnolia leaves)

 

 

 

    Sequoia:

        Fuck that!  I want to be number one.  I just said that to play the peacemaker… underneath it I dont want to share.  Genius is a     singles trees work- not some committee.  I dont want my work changed!  

 

(Sequoia leaves) 

 

    Magnolia:

        Fuck that!  I want to be the best.  I just went along with it to ease the in the oils  and lubricate  the moment so that I could excrete a discreet exit strategy.   - I alone have the vision 

 

    Magnolia:  

        Are you taking notes?

  Are you steeling my story?   Oh gross!  

 

        Sequoia:

        Wait…( jotts down on note pad)

    Magnolia:

        You are!  You didnt get the idea of taking notes in public!  I did!  

    Sequoia:

        Thats so not true!  

 

(Magnolia frustrated gets out her notebook start jotting down)

 

    Sequoia:

        Im noting that you are now starting to take notes of me taking notes of you taking notes of me taking notes of you taking notes of a note taking of  notes of a note taking takes on a  note taking of notes of a note thats taking note of me taking notes of you taking notes like a taking note of a take of your notes that takes a  note of a note of my takes of a note of  takes on a note thats taking  notes on a note of a note ad infinitum.  Your mirror is overwhelmingly powerful, Im not sure I can handle looking at my image in it.  It seems to be right up in my face.  I want to back down from what I see.  

 

     Sequoia: ( aside)

        She is hunkered down into her bunker of weedy narcissism as am I… the vanity of it… and what is the goal?  To get         attention… to get love and affection for being good at something- to win our parents approval- to have assurance that we are         here for a purpose- that we are the best and most loved.  Like two children fighting for our mothers tits.   that we are meant to be this or that…  we are looking for security… but it doesnt seem to be found anywhere.  That the stars have us specifically in mind.  That our individual life matters exclusively.  But what if we decide to let go of that exclusion and let the natural waters drift towards an incestuous solution?  Forces beyond our control forcing us -quivering us  into rivered waters - we paddle a bit to the left and then to the right thinking we have free will.  When the great river of perversion pushes us onward down heavy currents into the succulent mouth and arms of an enormously  powerful ocean.  The absurdity of it all.  I want to vomit.  

 

    Sequoia:

        I’ll dig deep into myself, you do the same.  But if we both find gold don’t claim I stole from you.  Mine might be in cubes and yours in spheres.  

 

 A kissing ending to the scene.  

    These exits are like the flowers blooming at the tip of a trunk to a limb to a branch to a twig to a bloom in poetry.  The last in the line but its where the beauty is.  From the trunk to the limb- to the brimming branches overflow- a twig- a sprig - a bloom.  

 

         exits are at the ends of scenes- they are at the ends of staged branches framing a flowery window with blooming poetry.  

 

***************************

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Scenery of branches VIII.  Magnolia and Birch under the mistletoe

 

    Magnolia:

        I never really liked her.  I was just exploring. (Smiling) ( they both grow a bit…)

    Birch:

        Your such a good actress.  You almost had me fooled.  You know i have always loved you.  We were made for each other.  What         time are you supposed to meet her tomorrow?  

    Magnolia:  

        The first ray of the sun.  

    Birch:  

        what are you going to do?  Are you going to show up?  Tell her that you don’t love her?  Not show up?

    Magnolia:  

         don’t know what I am going to do.  I can’t tell if she really likes me and would be hurt if I stood her up.  

    Birch:

        You and I could be such a great team together.  We could go far.  I am moving over to the Socialist Arbor society.  I havent told my friends yet.  We have a great future together spread out before us into the blue.  The Socialist arbor society is the morally correct political group to embrace.  

    Magnolia:

        Do you really think we will go far together?  There was a prophecy that was sort of jokingly said about me when I was a child at the Nursery.  That I was destined to be a great leader for the Left Branch.  Maybe your right… together we can grow and support each other as if we were two branches from one tree.  Like that poem they sang to us when we were children.  Do you know the one that I am talking about?

        

    Birch:

        Of course I know the one you are talking about.  

        (Enter Sequoia unseen by Birch and Magnolia- hides and spies behind another tree in the forest.)

    Birch:  

        Aralia is right, we dont see how you could even pretend to like her.  She’s so plain.  

    Magnolia:  (smiles)

         well I feel you can kind of learn to like anyone if you get to know them a bit.  Although you are kind of right.  She is         kind of ugly.  ( laughs- Birch contagiously laughs too)

    Birch:  

        As a matter of fact she is a plain old mulberry maid.  What a weed!  ( Both start to uproariously laugh) My I… would you mind if         I… (they begin to kiss passionately) ( Birch grows a woody) 

    

    (Sequioa rushes in- stares at them in hushed silence- all are shocked-)

 

    Magnolia:  

        Sequioa!  Sequoia!

    Birch:  

        Sequoia!

    Magnolia:  

        come back! 

 

    Sequoia:

        What a great game the forest is!  … Magnolia I could care less about your hugely entertaining story!  From my point of view it is  a drag,  a repulsive climber.  Ill never place my bets or bank on you again!  Maybe some objective viewer somewhere would find all of our scenarios enormously enjoyable… from a neutral third person point of view… but right now, for this narrator ( points to self) in this embodied story,     I find your story abnoxious… and… ( pauses to find the right word… looks in her body) painful.  This comedy of errors…I hope I die soon!  

    (sequoia disappears into the woods)

Act (Limb) III

 

 

 

 

        Scenery of branches I.  Deep in the forest Sequoia is by herself sitting on a boulder.   ( dry ice- fog crickets- fireflies- yellow moon )

 

    Sequoia:  The forest is dark and its hard to see.   Ambition has me in a snarly mess, my forest is a flame with hot desire.  Tangled, Im rope-tied by my own distress, woody lusts are licking me into knots of fire.  Im a straight jacketed mental patient, strangled by my very own angling goals, Duped by dark duplicitous agents, suffocated by ashes that were once coals.  Ill bind a bundle of this thicketed trash and douse it till its soaked in kerosene, Ill group the sticky sticks of greed for cash, ignite and run from the exploding scene.  

The only way out is in.   Ill tap into my tap root and send a sucker down.  Ill expand my base.    My story is in my hand, should I fold my cards upwards faced?  .  Should I go dormant?   Here is where the light dances softly with shade, and  there is  a ballroom swaying of spirits.  And  Illuminated on the stage there is a mossy and carpeted floor.  A play is made up of a  forest of characters.   . The metaphor is tight, hurling out spirals of black and whirling white and the leaves are shimmering in light and shadows cast; but this stalk of characters cannot last.  (Looks at a fallen tree)  To shine or shade the forms are led; running, the message is relayed on a forest bed. I’ll rub my hair in the dust and confront the horrible truths that are there, this I must must if I am to go anywhere.  Now is the time for a soliloquy I guess; to untangle my mind from its snarly mess.  Dig me a bigger pot, I want to grow.  But this will cause others to suffer I know.  Here in the soil is where all this toiling begins, the beginning of our troubles and all of  our sins.  Like that stupid play we watched in class,  “To grow or not to grow, theres the gas.  .  “  Now is the time that I blow the world away with a rhyme that transcends the moment and lives for all time.  Now is the time that I rub my hair in the dust and confront the horrible truths that I must.  To grow and cast shade or wilt and fade. two branches diverged from a limb, and I took the one not grappled. Two apples emerged off a branch, and I took the one not sampled. Two brains mushroomed off a spine, and I took the one psychedelic.  if I do indeed find out my story, I better not tell anyone what it is, or else they will steel it.  They will write the story of my life better than me.  What an insult.  Who am I in this mad forest?  I want to go dormant.  Everyone is hunkered down in their own bunkers of weedy narcissism.   My father wants me to become an aggressive optimistic extrovert competitor relishing the battle for         the light.  But then he keeps me in the water carrier position.  He keeps me in the proverbial flower pot and then complains that I am not growing.  Well then put me in a bigger pot!  He doesn’t make sense.    If I don’t grow my father will continue to berate me and call me pussy willow and that I am just         like my mother, a common Yew and my mother will complain that I haven’t  found a career yet so that I can move out of the house and stop leeching on her and dad.  I will continue to be made fun of and taunted by Buck Thorn, Aralia, and Birch.  And I will keep being envious of their successes.   I will be a water carrier the rest of my life and I will be overshadowed by all of my peers and I will be an embarrassment and will probably wilt and die in shame.  On the other hand, If I do grow… if I do grow….( stops to think).  well I am sure I won’t be very poplar in the forest if I         start to grow a lot.  It’s funny, I never thought about growing on my own as an option.  But how dare I do that.  If somehow I could     temporarily cause a light havoc and grow insanely tall really fast and make it to the top of the canopy , I know I would create some  suffering and shade for the other trees on my way up, but maybe the answer to all of my problems will be found up there, I will have made a ton of photosynthesis     that I can channel down to mom and dad .  I will no longer be a burden to my parents and dad won’t belittle me anymore for not growing.      ( enter Witch slowly unseen at first.)Anything is better than being stuck down here in this dark misery.  I need a change, Nothing will change if I don’t try something different.  

    Witch Hazel:  

        You seem lost my dear.

    Sequoia:

        ( jumps in shock and fright). Who are you?!  You scared me!

    Witch Hazel:

        I met you once a long time ago;  when you were yay high( hand about two feet above ground) 

    Sequoia:

        What’s your name?

    Witch Hazel:

        Witch Hazel.

    Sequoia:

        No… I don’t recall that name.  Are you stalking me?  

    Witch Hazel:

        I wouldn’t think you would, you were so small.  No.. no I am not stalking you.  (Smirks)  

    Sequoia:

        I don’t understand.  Why are you here?

    Witch Hazel:

        I was taking my daily walk and I saw you here.  You were talking to yourself and you seem distressed.  

    Sequoia:

        I’m so embarrassed.  I talk to myself out loud a lot.  It helps me organize my thoughts.   Maybe you can help me.  You look like a         wise soul.  Why is there so much suffering and competition in the forest?  Everyone wants you to get lost in their sceneries- their         stories.  Either that or if you start to get a good story going for yourself they try and steel it.  

    Witch Hazel:

        I can’t answer that.

    Sequoia:

        I can’t believe it!  I’m going to live and then die and never have a clue what it was all about.  (Iv’e asked that question to so many         trees and they all say the same thing.  “I can’t answer that.”  It seems like we were sent here to         suffer, and suffer some more, without even any explanation as to why.  I hate this forest.  What time is it?  Do you know?  I have completely forgotten what time or day it is!  I must be losing my mind!

 

    Witch Hazel:

        You make that sound like a bad thing.

    Sequoia: 

        Well isn’t it?

    Witch Hazel:

        The “word” often keeps us enslaved.  

    Sequoia:

        I hate the word!  Boy if that isn’t the truth.  Other people words are like glass ceilings… I just want to break through them.  I feel like they are often seemingly well intentioned but what they don’t understand is those are their words, not mine.  Isn’t it my duty to know what’s going on?  If what you are saying is true, that not knowing the day or time is freedom, then the senile         and insane are freer than most of us.  I actually felt good for a few hours  a few days ago but then  I felt guilty the rest of the day… I felt this gnawing anxiety that I shouldnt be happy and should  get back to my story and get a job away from my father.  Or some gnawing feeling that I needed to do something… Maybe there was some rodent chewing on me and I didnt know it.  Then that thought made me even more neurotic that the animal was getting into my cambium which if eaten, would leave me with no way of passing food and nutrients up and down my body.  

    Witch Hazel:

        You know the workers at the Nursery when you were a child told me that you were destined to bring peace and nourishment to the         forest.

    Sequoia:

        Oh my god!  I do remember you!  My parents told me about you and the prophecy! I don’t know if I remember you per se but I         remember the prophecy being talked about!  I will be honest.  That prophecy sounds so dumb and lame.  “Peace and nourishment”.

        (in a mocking voice)  Well that is just perfect.  Great! I am destined to be a nurse maid for the community.  Some servant.  Destined         to water other trees root bases.  Destined to prune vine off of their branches and leaves so that they can grow.  I don’t want to         remain stunted and destined to pick bugs off of other trees bark and protect them against woodpeckers and other critters.  .  Oh why         was I born?  I am     such a loser.  I hate to say it, but I don’t want to be like my mother.  She is a Yew, a typical shade dweller.  She is         small and she is always taking shade from my father.  Who were these idiots at the Nursery who told you this any way?

    Witch Hazel:

        A woman that I know who has verified credentials in prophecy.  

    Sequoia:

        I’m tired of being pruned by other trees so that I fit in with their scenery.  People either try to steel your story or else suck you in to get you to become a supporting role in theirs.  Its like some awful card game.  In some ways the worst thing you could do would be to come up with a good story.  Because then you have to hide it like it is worth 50,000 laurels.  I told someone once that my story was getting better and I told them some of the details and I saw them jotting them down into their notebook like it was their idea or something.  From then on I tried to keep my mouth shut about my story, or say that my story was bad even if it was getting better, just to act as a decoy.  Its better to keep your story hid.  Don’t show your story too soon.  But Im not good at this stuff.  I wasn’t made for all of this cunning, stealth and secrecy.  The forest seems to have been created by some wholesaler that just randomly dealt varying degrees of skill and luck and unfairly distributed them to us trees.   I hate to admit it … I want to grow.  But if I ask myself why I I can only answer that I want  to grow because I want to grow.  Like some blind irrational willing drive that needs to thrive and arrive to achieve and deceive to the top.  Some kind of thrusting and thirsting that can’t be quenched.   .  I read a philosopher once that mentioned something to that effect.  .  My story keeps getting edited and pruned  by others.  I dont know which is worse, winning or losing.  If I win, I will feel bad for my enemies.  If I lose I nor will anyone respect me.  Maybe all of my troubles will be solved if I make it to the top         of the canopy.  Maybe I will meet the Great Creator of this nightmare.  If I do, boy will I give him or her  a piece of my mind.          (Pauses)  My real issue, my real hatred and frustration and almost homicidal rage is against the force or the creature or the IT that         made the rules to this horrible game we call life on the forest bed.  If only I could get my hands on that thing.       

        

    Witch Hazel:

        Thats too bad.  Its not good to have that kind of hatred in your heart.  It will eat you away.

    Sequoia:

        What devil, what monster, what sadistic witch,  sorry, ( turns to Witch knowing that her name is Witch Hazel).  could have created or shuffled        such a nightmarish deck  into existence ( hand out extended directed towards the forest)?

    Witch Hazel:

        I wouldn’t have a clue( smirks).   Why?  Whats wrong with it?  You have all of this green and         sometimes even         some flowers as well.  

    Sequoia:

        Are you kidding me?  Obviously your from another planet or something.  Lets just take what seems to be law number one of the         forest.  When I grow, I put you in shade.  And when you grow, you put me in shade.  

    Witch Hazel:

        Whats wrong with that?

    Sequoia:

        I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it!  That means ultimately when I live and prosper, you wilt and die.  And visa versa.  Don’t you think         that that is kind of problematic?  

    Witch Hazel:

        Not if you and I are one.  If we are separate, yes that is a problem.  

 

    Sequoia:

        My father tells me that I am out of touch with reality and haven’t matured yet.  But you are something else.  You look like you could         be, I don’t mean to be disrespectful but, you look like you could be nearly a hundred years old.  But by your naivety you sound         like you are 10.  Try telling that to the millions of trees that were killed by the mass murderer Kudzu.  Im sure that would         make them feel a lot better as they were choking for their last breath.  It would have brought them great consolation to know that         they and the psychopath that stood right before them strangling them were one and the same spirit.  

    Witch Hazel:

        To be honest I really am naive on these matters.  You shouldn’t look to me for answers.  I’m just a silly old witch         hazel.  All I know is in the end, and I am getting towards mine, we all meet each other here again on the forest floor.  

    Sequoia:

        I want to throw away my life.  You know what I would tell that thing that created all this?  ( puts hand out showing the forest floor).  This capricious dealer of luck and chance.  

    Witch Hazel:

        No. What?

    Sequoia:

        You have a point.  About that everything being one thing.  If everything is one and living and dying is a trivial matter, I’d tell the         creature,  fine, let me strangle you and as I kill you I want you to tell me that we are one.  I’d like to see how it would like it.  

    Witch Hazel:

        (Smirks) Not bad.  Not bad.  

 

    Sequoia:

        been thinking lately what in life has absolute value?  For example many pop songs today though they are popular and make a lot of money for the creators ...may in the eyes of many be more valuable if they were never played at all so as not to pollute the air waves.  On the other hand there are many great writers and artists and musicians who do really quality work but just can’t seem to make a dime off of it... thinking about when my moms money is all gone what do I wish to remain?  I want what remains to be something that everyone everywhere agrees is of absolute value...regardless if the market reflected it or not.  But what is absolute value?  The magnitude of a real number without regard to its sign of positive or negative ?  Why doesn’t that satisfy?  I guess that would mean that Kudzu and the great cedar of Lebanon were of equal absolute value since both reached epic magnitudes whether positive or negative.  So does that translate into people value whatever is done to the extreme the most regardless of positive or negative?  If you want to be of value to humanity just do whatever you do to the extreme?  That sounds like a horrid thought but...is it true? If you had to pick pick  The Great Cedar of Lebanon like or buddha like over Kudzu… but would that work?  If everyone became a cedar of Lebanon would society function anymore?  Well first of all there would be no humanity after a while since The Great Cedar didnt procreate.  Is that a good thing?  If it is what does that say about life?  That it isn’t of much value ?  Its not worth perpetuating?  If life isn’t of much value and not worth perpetuating then what did it matter if Kudzu killed a hundred million?  Sometimes I feel the only reason why I’m philosophizing is because I have a small chin... and that if my chin were just a little broader and bigger I’d be tilling  the fields spraying my seed east and west and planting my wild oats into some woman or many women... and all this questioning about absolute value wouldn’t even cross my mind.  

 

 

 

        (Storm brewing- thunder)  

    Witch Hazel:  Looks like a storm is forming.  (Smirks) 

    Sequoia:  my!  My!  Great Cypress of Lebanon!  I have nowhere to go!  

        (rain starts pouring down with cracks of thunder and bolts of lightning flashing.  Sequoia Runs away into the night and flashing         darkness.)

 

                                            

    Witch Hazel:  ( holding a two magical celestial balls near its crotch) 

          

Im about to show you another side of my being.  One you havent seen yet.  I will just let you speculate- heres  ( holds up balls) to another angle of my multi faceted mercurial omnipotent persona.  

 

    Insulate my airy acts! Between the acrobatic difference twixt  yes and no!  And blow a heavy charge down the crevice of my cracking being!  

Concentrate  the chandeliered constellations into one shiny crystal in the palm of my hand.       Accumulate like a magnifying glass all the latent light of the night sky until Im 50,000 degrees strong! Assail the gale winds till they howl and fury!

Now is the hour for my powers to condense into a single lens of focus!   Now is the time for my hocus pocus to be wed to this celestial night!    Amplify my eye of creation until is enlarged.  Coalescing orbital light.  Circumscribed into an orb  charge me with a bolt- from the ground to the clouds- Group me into a single ray of light.   I will act as a grounding rod.  From ground to cloud and back again. An ecstatic static and discharge of energy.  Opposites attract!   Combine the line into one electric eclectic!  Powered by force and focus.   Forge my balls onto the halls of heaven.  Let me collect all of the electricity and energy from the celestial orbs of heaven- let me harness that energy through cables channeled back into those very same balls. .  Ill call collect.  Electrified these testes!  These test tubes of experiment!   Enlarge my balls and charge them now!   -  Vaulting volts from the vaults of heaven- condense!  into fertile ground.  fecund fertile fuck!    Conduct me into a current that aligns the stars to a surcharge- and eject an ejaculation of energy… a surge - a synergy to my urging loins.  Join me here!  ( points to magical  balls)  Humming balls come!  Come!  Come!   

 

( balls are charged)

 

 

 

 

 

.  

 

 

                                                

 

 

 

        

 

    Scenery of branches I. Early next morning- the first ray from the sun.  A little rumbling in the sky still  ( Birch and Magnolia     running…enter)

 

 

    

 

 

    Birch:  

        Mrs Yew… Mrs. yew!  Have you seen Sequioa?  (Birch looking side to side as if on stage showing proud leadership skills to magnolia))

 

    Yew:

          no I haven’t.  I have been worrying all night in terror as to what might have happened to her;  Hoping that lightning did’nt strike her         in two.  

    

 

    Birch:  

        when is the last time you saw her Mrs Yew?  

      

     We … or I … or we saw her yesterday afternoon between the marsh and knoll.  

( a blue bird falls dead to the ground in front of Yew)

    Yew:  (Picks it up).  

 

(Enter Leif)

 

 

    Leif:  oh what a cracking!  Oh what a night!  ( leaf hair all in a mess- clothes and bark all in a mess.)

 

    Yew:  Sequoia is not here.  I don’t think she came home last night.    We need to come together for Sequoia.  ( begins to cry) 

 

    Leif:  

        I agree. Aralia, could you and Thorn run out together and look for her in the marsh area and we will look for her in the hills. 

    Aralia:

        Yes.  Sure thing.  

    Leif:

        Let’s meet back here in 2 turns of the water clock  ok?  

    

    Birch:  

        How about Magnolia and I go towards the western dome Mr. Leif?  

    Leif:  

        Great!  

    Birch:  

        I will see also if I can get some others to help us.  

    Leif:  

        Yew!  Lets go.  Why are you crying?  

    Yew:

        This Blue Bird.  A baby Blue bird… just fell before me.  It strikes me as unbearably sad.  

    Leif: ( gently to Yew)

        Please, lets pull ourselves together for Sequoia.  

    

 

    

Scenery of branches II:  Enter Thorn and Aralia  ( a little rumbling in the sky still) A bunch of Trees arms are gripping and clawing the sky- a clasping  spider web of knots tangled in odd adjacent angles.  

    

    Thorn: 

         I don’t know why we are looking for a tree that we both find repulsive and are pretending to care about someone we would hope         to not actually find.

    Aralia:  

        Im eager to greedily agree.  a lot of this living business is acting.  If we do this we will get into good favor with Birch’s mother and with her political connections we could really go far.  Just act like we care.  It will look good to the community.  Like we care about all of sylvan         plains and not just the western dome.  This is a kind of camouflage to help us not be so apparent in our ambitions.  Birch also gave me         some lessons on this stuff.  

 

    Thorn:  

        ok.. I know.. but she is so ugly.  Some trees were just not meant to have sprung up…I think she is one of them.  (Pauses) Hey         look over there!  I think I see her sitting on that rock.

 

    Aralia:  

        Your right!  She looks like she has grown or something.  What has she been photosynthesizing?  Is it just me or does she look kind         of large?  (Calls out loud sarcastically ) There She is!  There is the star that we have been looking for!   over here!  Over here!  We         found her!     There’s our hero!  

    Thorn:  

        Sequoia!  (Running up to her)  We have all been looking for you!  

    Aralia:  

        Oh my cedar are you ok?  why don’t you say something?  

    Sequioa:  

        why if it isn’t kudzu himself.  ( stirring a drink )

    Aralia: 

         (turning secretly to Thorn) I feel myself withering in her presence.  I feel almost… dare I say… overshadowed.

    Sequoia:  

        what are you two mumbling about?  Dont you have the courage to speak to me directly?  Cant you think for yourselves?  

    Aralia:  

        (to Buck Thorn) do you see the way she talks?  She seems almost arrogant.  

    Buck Thorn: 

         I could have sworn I saw her grow a little during each syllable of her last sentence. Wood you beleaf it?  

    Sequoia:  

        seems to me you two are a couple of typical grove trees.  A couple of herdly things hiding.  Huddled close together without         character or individuality.  Me on the other hand, ha!  Im absolutely brilliant!  A total genius! and am probably going to be the greatest tree with the         best story that has ever lived.  Ill grow 80 stories high! Nay!  Well over a hundred!  I can do it all.  I stand in the open unafraid and exposed free from the fearful trembling herd.  

    Aralia:  

        What?  What did you say?  

    Sequoia:  

        Arent you a couple of dandys with your spiked bracelets and necklaces.  Oooo!  Im scared.  

    Buck Thorn:  

        As my father always says.  

    Aralia:  

        shhhh… ( to Buck)

    Buck:  

        oh who cares.  As my father always says, whats a defensive for me may seem offensive to you.  My thorns are a great defense for         me.  They protect me from being eaten by deer and rodents.  But of course to them who unwittingly brush against me, they find it         offensive of course.  It depends on which way you look at it.  It was actually the rodents and deer that created my thorns.  They were eating me for thousands upon thousands of years and I had no choice but to grow these things. ( points to spikes) 

    Sequoia:  

        Look who is daddy’s little boy now.  The truth comes out.  Looks like I will have to go through this mundane act of strangling         you guys.  The tedium of having to finish the details.  To tie up all of the loose ends.  I have to break new ground as they say.  Some sacrifices need to be made.  My story has become so boring at this point,         but duties must be fulfilled.  I want to get to the canopy as quickly as I can and finish this rotten story. 

    Aralia:  

        what are you talking about?

    Sequoia:  

        Im bored with my story.  You guys told me about creating your own saga.  Its starting to work for me.  Ill sprout my own vine upon which I climb.  Like a spider.  Ill shoot a yarn into the sky and weave a web of tales.  And then when some poor unsuspecting flies fall into it, ( leers at Birch and Aralia) Ill eat them!  Oh what a story we build when first we practice to ….      I have to kill you guys so I can move         on with my story!

    Buck thorn:  

        are you insane?  What story?  Kill us?  Have you gone nuts?  We were sort of kidding about that story telling stuff… Weren’t we Aralia?  There isn’t really a correlation between telling tall tales and tree growth.  

    Aralia:

        Thats right Buck… we were kidding about that …( pauses) well sort of kidding.  There is a little correlation but not as much as we…..

 

 

 

 

    Buck:  

        Your barking up the wrong trees if you think that we are going to contribute to your rising mythology.  Yea my story could be better too.  (Laughs… laughs again  ( Sequoia subtly orchestrating the scene by raising an eyebrow  to set a rumble in action causing Buck to laugh.  Sequoia has a slight smirk, unclear if she has supernatural powers, a vague blending) uproariously laughing… building tension simultaneously with a building         rumbling in the sky….laughter and rumbling building together… Buck is starting to look insane in his laughter, finally  a lightning bolt         comes down and strikes Buck )

    

 

    Aralia:  (Sequoia and Aralia grow a bit)

        Oh my great cedar of Lebanon!  Are you ok Buck?!  ( no response)  Buck! Buck!  Buck Thorn now don’t you do this!  Oh my!

    Sequoia:

        Oh what rotten luck.  Well you can’t change the ways of the forest, chance plays a large percentage in this game.      

 

 

    Aralia:

        you have gone bananas.  Have you cracked your nuts in the storm?    Your not playing with a full deck.  Your a real fruit cake. 

    Sequoia:

        I know you are but what am I?  Oh your a gambler too?  You play cards?   Poker?  Black Jack?  my story has gotten bogged down here.  By the way… what do we do with our stories when we are         done with them?  Do we hand them in for credit?  Who do we give them to?  Or are they just ours to keep?  I can’t wait to prune and edit my story… Ill make the words simple but potent.  Do we get paid for         them?  Do we cash in our chips as they say?  Do we climb the stairs to some penthoused publisher in the canopy in the sky to get them         published?  (Grows a bit)  What if nobody wants to publish?  DO I have to overshadow and kill the publishers as well?  I don’t want to make death threats .. like you had better publish and promote my 120 storied high story or else, and be a huge monster brat that kills anything in its way… but isn’t that what we trees do?   were born to do?   Why let any glass ceiling get in the way no matter how well camouflaged it is?  These green house gases. ( points in the air)  Cant you kill a tree by neglect?  If they don’t want to publish my story aren’t they killing me?  What do they call it?  Blacklisting?  Blacklisting is another form of murder.  A slow suffocation of someones vocation.  An erasing out.  A shadowing out.  A crossing out.  A smothering stifling green house gas… a choking humidity…  a huge pile of wood chips  smoldering in the  festering cicada summer heat,  a rattle churning and burning from  its own weighty interior - s smokey inhalation bringing the bearer to wheeze in front of a whole field of a rag weed of allergies.  An asthmatic itching,  an inflammation of the whole body; a closing off the passage ways to an  oxygenated light.   It can last for decades but the end result is the same.  With that in mind, maybe I should bring a little fresh air into my story.

 

 

    Aralia:

        Are you out of your tree? Your a real cuckoo bird.   Your evil!  Ill call the border police!  You gave me a death         threat!  

    Seqouia:    

        Whats more important?  Authenticity or peace?  It seems the more you know of one the less you know of the other.  Aren’t you the one that ridiculed me for mouthing my daddy words?  You expect me to start mouthing yours now instead?  Your story is good?  Daddy’s is bad?  

    But I was just gifted the demise of Buck.  I don’t particularly         enjoy having to go through the         monotony of getting through this         scene, but it is a wonderful scene for my story.   Dont you like how the Hemlocks frame us         so pleasantly?  but I have to kill you.          And I have         decided to strangle you.  Im not a phony coward- are you?  Im embracing who I really am…im a grower! To tie up the loose ends.  I am         going to kill you and then my mother and             father and maybe some others.  I want to make it to the top of the canopy.  Im tired of being a shade dweller.  Im tired of you two         laughing at me and putting me down and bragging about your own growth.  Now that Buck already died that makes my job here         much easier,   I can see the penthoused mansion in the sky as we speak.  

    Aralia:  

        my cedar your unhinged.  Your a loon.  Your going to kill me?  (Laughs nervously)  I’d like to see that!  You?  A female?  You?          A tree named Sequoia that should have been named horse chestnut?  Hee Haw!  Or a Bradford Pear?  Look at your body how Pear         shaped it is!  Ha!  Now there is an athletic tree!  Sequoia!  What a name.  Who named you that?  Daddy?  Did daddy want you to be         a star?  Did daddy want you to tower over us?   

    Sequoia:  

        well alright lets get it done.  ( branch extend out like snake from Sequoias arms and wrap around Aralias         neck.)  How did Kudzu do it?  Like this?  Do you feel one with me?  Do you love me?  Are we one yet?  How is our story now?            Mine is getting better to be honest!         Ive become the group of all groups!  ( kills Aralia hides his body and Bucks behind the         hemlocks.            (Sequoia visibly grows.)

Scenery of branches III: Enter Leif and Yew     ( a statement - a sentence- a linear ligament of a branch extended- letters getting jumbled and then established in the fertile ground of the page.  Uplifting the earth upended.  Sifting- The alphabet placing its bets on the order of the code… where a nub knobs and a node nodes.  A rearranging of the code a scrambling gamble of some words misplaced… but then seen from another angle it illumines the whole place.  

 

    Leif:  

        We have been looking for you!

    Sequoia:  (aside sounding out her story to herself in admiration)

        “A person is a tree, she has to grow.  The metaphor is in the grass suffocating its prey.  It’s tight.”   I like it.  It’s abstract.  No to the image but yes to the pain and the puritanical purpose.  

    Yew:  

        We were so worried about you. 

    Leif:  

        Well you look good.  My you look so strong and tall.  You should get lost in a storm more often.  

 

    Sequoia:  

        Why so I can bring more pales of water at a more efficient rate?  So you can continue to be my master and slave driver?  So I can forever keep hauling a heavy and marbled experience  at the bottom of a hill and up but never chisel or         sculpt any actual work of my own?  No thank you! I I thrive!  I thrust!  I drive to arrive to the tipper top

        Of the the popular poplars!

 

    Yew:

        What are you talking about honey?  You aren’t making any sense.  Your babbling.

 

    Sequoia:

        Is that all you care about dad?  My looks?    Will I be a good looking coolie at the bottom of the hill?  

 

    Leif:

        well no… up until this moment it  looked like the storm had untangled that nest of a head of yours.   Like a corkscrew screwing backwards off a wine bottle.  .  Like It plucked and sucked that muddled muddy mass of confused coils right off.   I was hoping the lightning     charges might have ionized into a hand and pulled up like a turnip - a pop!   And all of that bewildered - befuddled- bafflement might have  cleared like a great relief from your thorny head.  Thats what it looked like at least.  But by the snotty sarcasm in your tone of voice in that last branching sentence I have a feeling….

    

    Sequoia: 

        a batch a snatch a thatch a thistle a missile a bristle.. no… let me start again.  A batch a snatch a thatch a thistle a bristle a         brush a thrust…why do words have to make sense?  Why do I have to make sense?  Just listen to those words.  A batch a snatch a         thatch a thistle a missile a match a bristle a brush… doesn’t that have value in itself?  I mean the image and the sound.  Why do we         always         have to make sense?  

 

( starts dancing and chanting the words like an elf  to the numbers the words and the beats….)

 

 1           2     3           5                     8                                  13                                             21                                                                

 

Fern churn learn discern a break yearn take another break turn take an even longer break burn now were really climbing fast 

                                         34

taking huge strides that earn

  

 

( Yew and Leif look at each other incredulously) 

 

Roil 

soil 

toil uncoil

 like snake oil 

or gargoyle 

a true tumultuous turmoil

a great big hub bub and  noisy bezzlebub a boil

I will never allow anyone to make my plans of fertility futile foil

 

1           2          3            5                8                                            13                                21                                                                        

Hatch snatch thatch attach a new batch some new rhymes that match rising for 21  to latch now I have to fill  some 

                                             34

Space for the next word to catch

 

 

Tilled 

build 

willed

fulfilled

 oh so thrilled

 and so very skilled  

even if a few poplar trees might have to be milled  

 

Lets start again ….

 

  1       2        3        5

Ride slide glide aside …..

 

Lets start again…..

           Leif:

    I think we get the point… you are a confirmed ….

 

 

        Rip hip chip a flip….

 

        

 

    Yew:  ( shaming)  

        Honey what you are doing is just outrageous……when are you going to get a job?  Away from your father and become a functioning member of the great society?  

 

    Sequoia:

        

    Leif:

        We have had about enough of ……

 

    Sequoia:

        Bubble babble rabble in trouble…..

 

        Word bird turd absurd……

 

        

 

        burn turn churn discern….

 

        Time mime chime a rhyme on a dime til till tillll sublime!

 

    (Leif and Yew look for numbers to call in their pocket and purse. )  

 

        Base pace case the place rise and chase the spiral staircase upwards climb in  a stepping race bigger strides that         now  are wide finding new founded space!

 

sprout scout route about a way out snooping like a snout so I can survive any drought so there is absolutely no inkling of a doubt that  when I reach the open sunlight at the top of the canopy Ill give a shout

 

 

 

Feed seed deed now freed start to breed look how it succeeds now the pattern begins to read….. 

 

Guilt wilt built some stilts now that tilt in the sandy silt ….

 

Strive drive thrive arrive give me five….

 

  1      2    3      5              8                             13                                              21                                                                  34

Tree be pea tiny then it free space for its story as it builds its strong guarantee that it will  grow up up up up in the sky happy 

                                                                                                                                  55

So that it will reach such stupendous billowing clouded heights that one will ever see the likes again built upon a solid and 

                                                                                                                                89

natural foundation rooted in the under ground but towering regal crowned and lordly 

 

 

Tree

Be

Pea

Tiny

Then it free

Space for its story 

As it builds its strong guarantee 

That it will grow up up up up in the sky happy

So that it will reach such stupendous billowing clouded heights that no one will ever see

The likes again built upon a solid and natural foundation rooted in the underground but towering regal crowned and lordly

 

 

sprout 

scout 

route 

about 

a way out

 snooping like a snout 

so I can survive any drought 

so there is absolutely no inkling of a doubt

that  when I reach the open sunlight at the top of the canopy Ill give a shout

 

Base 

pace 

case the place 

rise and chase 

the spiral staircase 

upwards climb in  a stepping race 

bigger strides that now  are wide! finding new founded space! 

So that someday all of the world will remember me as an amazing flying ace!

 

Top 

Drop

Flop 

Kerplop

Lower crop

A Broader base stop

I wish I could with the upper swap.

                                      Almost like an ice cream sundae soda cherry pop

 

 

 

    Leif:

               Your a confirmed nut job.  Did anything fall on your head in the storm?  Your mother is right… your babbling and babbling.  I would have loved to have a father like myself and what do I get for it?  A babbling idiot.  

    Sequoia:

        The storm was the greatest thing I have ever experienced.

    Leif:

        Well it is hard to disagree by the looks of you.  

    Sequoia:

         Look at you two, pretending to get along together so well.          Whats changed all of a sudden?  Last time I saw you I found out mom never wanted me and you dad… well to be honest it seemed     like you disowned me.  I was unable to live up to your big Sequoia dreams hugh?

 

    Leif:  

        Let’s forget about that Sequoia.  Your mother and I are here now.   We need to all three of us get through this crisis.  

Sequoia:  

        Magnolia, my dearest of friends, has told me many times that the two of you should have gotten a divorce years ago.  She always         wanted you to so that I could flourish in a career like she did.  Oh how concerned she has been for me.  So desirous for only the         best for me.  She told me she thought you dad were a typical male chauvinist pig  who bullied mom into deep shade.  Of course Ive         always known that Magnolia could be trusted.  ( sarcasm)  She is never deceptive or concerned for her own growth at my expense.  

    Leif:  

        I don’t care what your friend Magnolia thinks.

 

    Sequoia:

        She is lucky.. Her real dad molested her when she was a sapling and her parents divorced early.  Besides having to deal with the         early damage of her father at a real young age, she never had to deal with him again in her life.  So she never really had a father.  

    Yew:

        What about Ash?

    Sequoia:

        You call that a father?  He is a shade tree.  A bog plant.  A spineless piece of algae.  A piece of soggy goo.  Some sludge that tries to pass for a tree.  It was easy for her to         preach to me that I should leave my father.  She didn’t have to contend with someone like you dad.  

    Leif:

        Whats wrong with me?  ( pumping muscles)

 Leif:

        When are you going to shape up for good, spruce yourself forever up and get back to being a productive tree again?

444444444444444444444444444444444

Sequoia:

        whats the point?  In a mere million years from now nothing will remain of any of us.  

Leif:

        That is a cop out.  

Sequoia:

        Its the only consolation losers such as myself have.  Don’t worry about me though dad, when I publish my work it wont have any iota of propaganda promoting on either side.  I wont  give you any thing to kill .  If you still around when that happens.  Your a great tree dad.  You know how to function in the forest.  I am         incompetent.  Its the only consolation I have.  To think of the big big picture.  Did I tell you and mom yet that I am a lesbian?  I am a         sexual embarrassment.          Magnolia and I would often kiss under the mistletoe in public.    What do you think dad?  

 

    Sequoia: ( aside) 

        Now is the time to take away stone to reveal my masterpiece hidden within.  

    Leif:  

        Let’s forget about that Sequoia.  Your mother and I are here now.   We need to all three of us get through this crisis.  

    

    Sequoia:

        And Magnolia also had a strong role model in Acacia.  Someone she could identify with readily and be a good model for her to         mimic in society.  Magnolia thinks I am a weakling who needs her daddy.  Acacia and Thorn thought so as well.  It was easy for them         to say.  

    Yew:

          By the way where is Aralia and Thorn?

    (Extended silence)

    Sequoia:

        Are you ready?  Something awful has happened to them.  

    Leif:

        What are you talking about?

    Sequoia:

        I was walking through.. the…well…

    Yew:

        We heard their voices telling us that they saw you.  So they can’t be far from here.  

    Sequoia:

        Yes thats right.  They saw me and yelled out… I was sitting here on this boulder just like you see me now.  But how can I say this?          They were both struck by lightning. ( grows a bit)  The same bolt.   At the same time.  I hid them behind the Hemlocks.  

    Leif:

        You have got to be kidding!  ( Leif and Yew in horror) Why did you do that?  Why didnt you call for us?

    Sequoia:

        yes well I wasn’t thinking.  I… I was confused.  It just seemed weird to have them sitting out here in the open with those terrorized         faces staring blankly up into the sky. 

    Yew:

        So they died instantly then!?  Oh I guess that makes sense.  Oh my … what an awful tragedy.  

 

        ( Leif walks behind the hemlocks)

 

    Leif:

        Oh it is a gruesome sight.  

    

    Sequioia:

        No pun intended but they “grew” some when they were struck.  They appeared to get bigger.

 

    Yew:

        That is rather in poor taste don’t you think?  SHouldn’t you be showing more respect?  

 

 

    Sequoia:

        I love you two.  I love you mom and dad so much but what on earth made the two of you decide to get together and have children?          Why are you such different trees?  Do you know the suffering that you have caused me in trying to combine the both of you in my         mind?  You are total opposites on everything.  Why did you  germinate me?  ( catches herself, realizing that she is slipping back to her old self before the storm)  Oh but thats all behind us now isn’t it?!   The future does look good indeed!      

 

    Leif:

        You ungrateful child!  Do you know how much suffering that you have caused us?  Your trying to attract attention to yourself by         appearing troubled.  We had to always look after you to make sure your tender needs were taken care of.  

    Yew: ( to Leif)

        Hush hush…

    Leif:

        Your’e a spoiled brat.  You have become so smug and certain in, what do you call it again?  “your story” .  Always looking within yourself.  You Narcissis!  So enamored with your own colorful blooms of thought. .  While we all have to bow down to you in worried subordination to make sure the climate and temperatures are  just right for you.  I suppose when your supposed “story” is done you will hand it in to some left wing propagandist …If you want to be  a poplar success in todays culture you had better be on the left!  Otherwise they will blacklist you.  Ha! ( shakes his head in disgust) they say that we on the right are the fascists… they just project onto us their own fascism.  When is the last time you heard a conservative right brancher make number one bird song?

 

    Sequoia:

        Thats because those songs suck.  

    Yew:

        Don’t use such fowl language honey , that is an ugly word.    

 

    Sequoia:

        Have you ever thought that maybe you are projecting that the left is projecting?  So that is what your going to do then dad?  So afraid of me rising to be a success and overshadowing you that your defense is that the only reason I grew without you was because of  a left wing conspiracy?  Is that your plan for how to make me shrivel and flag and droop?  

I wont give you the satisfaction of giving my story to some left wing publisher.  Ill  throw it to the wind instead.

 

    Leif:

        Show me your a good writer! But I haven’t seen it yet.  I have seen no evidence whatsoever that you are a good 

anecdotalist.  All I see is you scribbling gibberish in that notebook of yours.  From my point of view you should throw it to the wind.  At least maybe then its leafy pages  can act as some organic material to fertilize some other more deserving 20 years old story.    Your so called “writing”  is  A chattering nonsensical schizophrenic chicken scratching neurotic agitation noisy nuisance to your father.  Did I miss anything?  A kind of juvenile spasm… an epileptic seizure of insanity.  Or idiocy to be more precise.  A scrawling of a scroll that is a calling for the insane asylum to come get you and haul you off.   You call that writing?  Its totally illegible.  When are you going to grow up?!  Maybe you should be going into acting like your friend… whats her name again?  Oh yea, Magnolia.  From my narrating point of view, you seem to be play acting at the tortured loner mad genius these days.  Like I said, I have seen no evidence whatsoever so far to indicate to me that you have even the slightest iota of talent in creative writing or even in the oral traditions of any sort.  What do they call it again?  Folk lore!  Thats right.    To be honest my sweet daughter… you seem like someone who fried their brain on drugs.  Have you gotten on drugs … ( grabs Sequoias jaw and forces her to look into Leifs eyes)  look at me!  Have you been taking drugs?  Tell your father the truth! 

 

    Sequoia: ( defiantly pulls her jaw out of Leifs hold) 

        Well, no.  But speaking of drugs, look Dad what I found on the forest floor when I came out of the storm.  There was this humongous fungus.  Some kind of medicinal sap that was dripping out of it and a wild berry plant.  I mixed Herbs and potions and medicinals into a brew.  Maybe we can sell it on the market.  I have already tried it.  It is delicious and it really gave me some zest! 

 

 

( aside) Its really 

With A noxious toxic brew Ill ensnare him ; fumigated in a stew of stirred hate and  steeped in a heap of heated hemlock,  a few hemp hairs and a twig , and some locks from my unkempt wiggly whig.     

 

    Leif:

        Well Thats the kind of entrepreneurship that I have been waiting for all these years!  

 

    Sequoia:

        Here now its full… don't spill…

 

        (Leif sips a bit … twists,  buckles and curls immediately…  falls - hurls to the ground. )  

 

    Sequoia:

        You were in the way dad.  I had  to grow.  I am a tree.  You planted me in too small of a pot.  Im tired of being a bottom.  Im tired of being your coolie.  Im tired of being your well trained maid.  And I couldn’t leave dad, my dilemma would have just have kept popping up like a weeds no matter where I went.  To grow or not to grow.  You know the spiel.    I had to face my quandary head on.  Im not a bottom.  Im a top!  Was this a little extreme?  Well I already killed aralia.  I actually enjoyed that. 

 

 

        (Sequoia pins Leifs hands together like he is a child and tickles his belly as he lays dying…

        Sequoia whispers into Leifs ear that she has “joined the socialist arbor society.”  

        Leif twists and curls again at the sound of the words.)  Leif dies.  Sequoia grows even more.  

 

 

 

    Sequoia:

        “The younger grow, as the old doth go! “  That line always stuck in my head, and now I know why.  

        ( says with compassion ) What animal was gnawing at you dad that forced you to grow those muscles?  ( closes Leifs eyes) 

 

 

        

      

 

      

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

    sequoia:

        Well your always telling me that I have to be authentic and not just be a blind follower of my generation.  To not live in shadows.  It seems the only place that I could escape other trees shadows without hurting them is by going inward.  I tired of being taxed by the delicate discernments that were being demanded of me.

 

 

    Sequoia:  (aside)

        They say once you have killed its easier to do it again.  I must be going insane.  

        (to Yew)  Mom how much do you have in your bank account?

 

    Yew:

        Why do you ask at a time like this?  I have some savings for you when I die… but I really dont care to disclose how much at this     point in time.  

    Sequoia:

        So wood I inherit it?  (eyes her purse)  What have you got in there?

       

 

 

    

    

 

    

 

Can’t resist the compulsion - conflicted in killing Yew.  As they talk Sequoia keeps against her will raising her arm in the temptation to shadow out Yew.  Eventually the compulsion is too strong.  She’s conflicted by the conditioned desire.  

 

 

 

**************** Sequoia kills Yew by raising her branched arm in the air - a compulsion against her will- like a cape- covering and suffocating Yew.  mental illness driven to do what she doesnt really want to do- like jekyl Hyde a habit she can’t control anymore.  Cries during uncontrollable attempt to kill yew…doesnt kill Yew completely.  Is able to pull her arm down against her will but int is too late.  Yew whither… can’t be revived.  

 

 

 

 

    Sequoia:

        Look Dad what I found in the forest when I came out of the storm.  Some kind of medicinal sap that was dripping out of a wild berry plant.  Herbs and potions and medicinals mixed into a brew.  Maybe we can sell it on the market.  I have already tried it.  It is delicious and it really gave me some zest!     Leif:

        Thats the kind of entrepreneurship that I have been waiting for all these years!  

 

    Leif twists and curls and falls hurls to the ground.  Sequoia grows even more.  

 

    Sequoia:

        “The younger grow, as the old doth go! “  That line always stuck in my head, and now I know why.  

 

 

    Sequoia:  

        Magnolia, my dearest of friends, has told me many times that the two of you should have gotten a divorce years ago.  She always         wanted you to so that I could flourish in a career like she did.  Oh how concerned she has been for me.  So desirous for only the         best for me.  She never liked you dad.  She told me she thought you dad were a typical male chauvist pig  who bullied mom into deep shade.  Of course Ive         always known that Magnolia could be trusted.  She is never deceptive or concerned for her own growth at my expense.  

    Leif:  

        I don’t care what your friend Magnolia thinks.

    Sequoia:

        She is lucky.. Her real dad molested her when she was a sapling and her parents divorced early.  So she never really had a father.  

    Yew:

        What about Ash?

    Sequoia:

        You call that a father?  He is a shade tree.  A bog plant.  A spineless piece of algae.  A piece of soggy goo.  It was easy for her to         preach to me that I should leave my father.  She didn’t have to contend with someone like you dad.  

    Leif:

        Whats wrong with me?  ( pumping muscles)

    Sequoia:

        I realize now dad that you are no different than Aralia and Buck were.  Your muscles are barbed with just a little  more of a rubbery surface, but  how much you must have suffered to feel that you had to develop them.  What rodent was eating you at one time?  

 

 

        And Magnolia also had a strong role model in Acacia.  Someone she could identify with readily and be a good model for her to         mimic in society.  Magnolia thinks I am a weakling who needs her daddy.  Acacia and Thorn thought so as well.

    Yew:

        What happened to Thorn?  Where is Aralia?  

(Extended silence)

    Sequoia:

    Sequoia:  

        Mom always wanted me to be “the peacemaker”- translation- “road kill”.  Try being mrs peace in this world.  She never had a clue-         she was so content in being a shade dweller.  if you enjoy being a slave- sure- why not?  I never wanted to be a slave.  

    Leif: 

         your friend Magnolia is kind of a peacemaker.  Why couldnt  you follow her?  

    Sequioa:  

        she is a back stabbing bitch.  Peacemaker is easy when your parents give free handouts.  She is such a phony- she is about a s         a peacemaker as Syringa Vuligs was.  

    Pachysandra-

         there are rumors that people are conspiring to cut you down.

    Sequoia: 

         no matter- my root base is so wide and strong- like a hydra- another trunk will pop up and expand exponentially.  My exterior         appears to be where its at- it is really my interior that is the source of all my power.  All these years I have stayed to the root.  

 

 

 

 

    Sequoia:

        Killing you mom is going to be hard even though in a way I have already done it.  I miss you so … especially the memories of us together when I was a child.  I don’t want to have to kill you but I do it for the story… to make my story better… more dramatic… who knows if I write a good enough one I may even be written up in the paper birch history books.  I could then immortalize you mom.  Wouldn,t you like that?  This is the sacrifice I have to make in order to make my story better.  Plus, I need your cash.  

    Yew:

        All of this suffering you have caused yourself… and I hate to say it… me, just so that you could get into the history books.  Im almost ashamed to say that you are my daughter.  How we taught you such poor values.  

    Sequoia:

        It was mainly dad… dad taught me everything… and yet where were you mom to protect me and take me away from his corrupting influence?  I was like one of those trees that suffers from stalkholm syndrome… trees that are sapnapped and then fall in love with their captors.  My case being an incestuous one the only difference.  If only you could have saved me early on … taken me away with you .. ( confused) 

    Yew:

        Maybe your right.  I don’t know.  But there was nothing I could do.  You know your father… he is so manipulative and difficult. A tyrant really.  

    Sequoia:

        Sometimes I think that is why dad married you… he saw you as small and not intimidating.  Maybe he saw you as ineffective and someone he perhaps could control.  I feel like I was born into a conspiracy.  The politics and the conflicts were already raging and in full force… like a flowing story… I showed up in the middle of… trying to know where I fit into it.  A story like a huge river surging that I was born into… and I paddle to the left.. and a bit to the right thinking my storied strokes make a difference… but onward the massive current presses and pushes  onward into the ocean.. 

 

 

 

 

    Leif:

         My daughter we need to talk!  WE may have to have you committed.  

    Sequioa: 

         Please- sit down I have ben waiting for you 

    Leif:  

        who do you think you are talking to?  Give me respect when you talk to me- dont just sit there like I am one of your friends.  

    sequoia:  

        oh yes… (gets up  hugs her dad.)please sit down- I have made some tea- I think you will love it…let me know what you         think- we may be able to sell it in the market for a huge profit.  

    Leif:  

        finally you are showing some get up and go- you seem to have grown a bit.  Good for you. 

    Sequioa:

          dady- remember the game we used to play when I was a child.  Where you would hold the cup of tea above me and I would have         to jump for it?  And you would always pull it away just out of reach?  

    Leif:  

        why yes honey- I remember.  

    SEquioa:  

        lets do it again?  

    Leif:  

        your getting a little old for such games aren’t you?

    SEquioa:  

        remember you always said its good to stay young.  Act young and you shall.

    Leif:  

        your right I did say that.

 

 

Sequoia gets Leif to jump for fruit?  Reach?  Dies of heart attack?  Pins his hands together like he is a child and tickles his belly.  

Sequoia whispers into Leifs ear as he is dying that she has joined the socialist arbor society.  

 

 

    SEquioa:  

        only this time lets both play it ok?  You will work up a real sweat and then you can try my new drink.  

    Leif:  

        oh for heavens sake- your in kind of an odd mood.  Have you been drinking some of your own brew already today?  

    SEquioa:  

        of course.  It gives one great zest and an optimistic outlook on life. 

        I have nothing to say to you- other than- this is what you wanted- so this is what you got.  Get out of my way…

    Leif:  

        you ungrateful drip- I gave you everything -

    Sequioa: 

         is that why when I worked for you I only rose to forest bed sweeper?  All of my friends- my so called friends- friends I realize were j        just bark stabbing traitors- all of them were moving on with their careers with ambition- sometimes free to even roam on their own         into other groves and counties- they were growing- they had ladders to success strongly positioned on the earth- and I was stuck         with you.  You my personal brow beating slave driver.  

    Leif: 

        you have become so seedy.  

    Sequoia:  

        Mom always wanted me to be “the peacemaker”- translation- “road kill”.  Try being mrs peace in this world.  She never had a clue-         she was so content in being a shade dweller.  if you enjoy being a slave- sure- why not?  I never wanted to be a slave.  

    Leif:  

        your friend Magnolia is kind of a peacemaker.  Why couldnt  you follow her?  

    Sequioa: 

        she is a back stabbing bitch.  Peacemaker is easy when your parents I’ve ou free handouts.  She is such a phony- she is about a s         a peacemaker as Syringa Vuligs was.  

    Pachysandra- 

        there are rumors that people are conspiring to cut you down.

    Sequoia: 

        no matter- my root base is so wide and strong- like a hydra- another trunk will pop up and expand exponentially.  My exterior         appears to be where its at- my it is really my interior that is the source of all my power.  All these years I have stayed to the root.  

    Acacia:  

        What kind of monster have you raised?  parents like you are the ones that ought to be punished.  sHe obviously is just a product of         bad     child rearing.  That dike!  She is blocking all the water!

    Ash:  

        What kind of monster have you raised?  

    Leaf:  

        be quiet- my wife is ill.  she has been in the shade for too long.  How dare you speak ill of her at this time!  And I am losing all of my         leaves from all of the stress.  

    Accia:  

        must be bad genes- I always thought you and your wife weren’t working with a full deck.  You with your out doors bullshit…         swinging from the trees with that silly grin on your face- and your wife- always ringing her hands in morbid depression.  

    Yew: 

        forgive her- she doesn’t know who she is.  

 

    Yew:  

        im tired!  Im sick and tired of it!   Why do you keep torturing me?!  Why do you keep harassing and berating me?!  Its like you enjoy         doing it- why dont you just leave me alone!  Dont you have anything better to dsay to me?  Whats wrong with you?!

    sequoia:  

        you lifeless fdoor  mat!  All you are good for is bringing peace and nourishment to others.  Your such a puller down.  When you enter a room, the energy level withers  because of your cautious pessimism.  Like a well trained house maid.  Some         pathetic. Nurse.  An ineffectual pathetic mouse who lives in denial and suppression and expects others to do so as well.   You can’t compete and truly grow- so you have adopted a slave morality- martyr         mentality- you think your better than everyone who tries to compete in this world- you dont "lower yourself to such sub levels"- but in reality you         are a coward!  When injustice is presented before you you hide your head in the sand.  You dont compete because you are afraid to.   

 

 

    Leaf:  

        sHes a monster that doesn’t know right from wrong.  sHe has no beleaf in any higher power than herself.  All that I gave her- a         thankless child that needs to be cut down.  

    Yew:  

        she is still a good tree at heart.  If you hadn’t been so hard on her- belittling her all of the time.  sHe has obviously gone insane.  

    Leaf:  

        you pampered her too much.  

    Yew:  

        she has learned all of her arrogance from you…

    Leaf:  

        Look at her energy- look at her demonic energy- she is ruthless.  A monster! 

    Pachysandra- 

        look at the energy she has- the determination- the fight- she is better than any man- you always said she needed more fight and to         cease being so empathetic.  

    Leif:  

        I never said those things…or if I did- I didn’t mean this- 

 

 

( witch viewing hidden behind a tree)

 

    Sequoia:

         I can feel my crown expanding… I feel like a queen or a king.  Im sending leaders out like fireworks!  Fuel me oh sun!  I can feel you fueling me!  Im going to use Magnolia as a ladder to my ascent.   Every time  she tries to get me trapped under her story Im going to convert the her manure into pure fertilizer, place it under my soil and propel upwards even more.          Im taking in water by the hundreds of gallons from  my roots hairy tips.  New cells are producing out from my fingered tips and my trunk, limbs and branches are getting thicker as new cells are being added underneath my bark.  My armored bark is becoming so tough that nothing can hurt me.  Water and food are shooting up tubes … my veins are megatropolis highways shooting upstream to extended tendriled tentacles  and tributaries.  Soon I will reach the canopy.  No to dad ! No to Mom!  No to magnolia!  ( growing with every negation- being exposed to the light more and more) no to aAcacia! No to The great cedar of Lebanon!  No to the creator of this forest if there is one!  No to Winged Euonymous Anonymous number 1!  !  No to Wild plum!  No Gods!  No western dome!  No eastern woodlands!  No city council and everyone in it!  No Witch Hazel! 

 

( witch feeling threatened and worried of being overshadowed)

 

No  Tree shaker!  No  Pachysandra!  No  Kudzu ! to make them feel the pain that I felt is where the lesson is felt- ill make them eat their words.  Ha- so I am a         peacemaker and a bringer of nourishment to all the forest Hugh?          

 Base pace case the place rise and chase the spiral staircase upwards climb in  a stepping race bigger strides that         now  are wide finding new founded space!

 

 1      2    3      5              8                             13                                              21                                                                  34

Tree be pea tiny then it free space for its story as it builds its strong guarantee that it will  grow up up up up in the sky happy 

                                                                                                                                  55

So that it will reach such stupendous billowing clouded heights that one will ever see the likes again mount upon a solid and 

                                                                                                                                89

natural foundation rooted in the under ground but towering regal crowned and lordly 

 

sprout 

scout 

route 

about 

For way out

Like a snooping snout 

That  can survive any old  drought 

so there is absolutely no inkling of a doubt

That when I reach the tipper top of the poplared lemon sunlit canopy Ill tout

That this is what it finally after all of these years been what it has really really really been without a question been all about 

That I I thumb my nose in the face of all authority and fart and squat and do a trot over all of their banalities on etiquette I flout

 

 

Tilled 

build 

willed

fulfilled

 oh so thrilled

 and so very skilled  

even if a few poplar trees might have to be milled  

 

Soil 

Roil 

toil 

uncoil

 like snake oil 

or gargoyle 

a true tumultuous turmoil

a great big hub bub and  noisy bezzlebub a boil

I will never allow anyone to make my plans of fertility futile foil

 

Jumble rumble stumble tumble sift through the soils that shift and shuffle

 lift the loam and fluff and stuff the silt and drift off  a ground swell pummel 

adrift and  powder pounded and sounded out on a base line level 

 

Bubble trouble babble in rubble 

 

 

 

 

 I defy that old witch.  I can feel my power breaking through bowers causing me to tower over these long awaited hours over mom and dad.  Magnolia  all these years  had me fooled into thinking that my father was the enemy.  When in reality it was her!  Magnolia . the spoiled bitch that had to have everything served to her as if she were a queen.          - dad for putting me down and protecting his estate- shutting me out- mom for having me born and then giving  lame council-         abandoning me I this wild forest- revenge on the bullies- revenge on successful slobs greedy- revenge  on magnolia- the traitor-         hooking up with birch- and turning on me- its not my fault that I naturally dim others lights- and they think that I should dwarf myself         so that they can shine.  Its not my fault that I am the chosen one.   Im         doing the community a favor by growing so- my light is brought to them-          we all get better- the greater I get- its not my fault I was … the bigger I get the better for all of sylvan valley!        born superior-  They would do the         same.  Finally Ive finally gotten the courage to be a tough aggressive asshole that charges forward into her dreams and if she happens to knock a few poor suckers down into the ditchy weeds oh well.. I’ve negated the world…y mother my father- magnolia- all the gods, even myself....I belong to no one or thing in the world anymore...I’m not left I’m not right I don’t need to be saved by anyone .. I will never be pulled into their worded worlds again...not by my mom -never again Iyou my dad..I’m not left I’m not right I don’t need to be saved by anyone not the great tree of Lebanon or th wild plum.  I will never be pulled into the world again.....never again.  

 

 Trimming brimming pruning editing adding reconfiguring. Churning burning discerning Refining.  Redesigning.  Im a tumultuous turmoiling boiling pot whistling with  anxiety.  

        finally these trees are feeling what its like to be overshadowed - The battle lines are forming!  You tore me down subtly through the years keeping me under your little storied  head,  You tore me down with your jealousy.  Now it is my turn cunt!  The divisions you caused in me to turn against my father.  Its my turn to be the tyrant!  You divided me against my father and my family.  Out of your jealousy of me!  Because my father favored me so!  Now its my turn to be jealous and take you down.  Im something much greater than just a writer!  I transcend all of this correlation bullshit between journal entering and growth.  My real desire was and is is to be free of you.  You and the entire world!  Im greater than a writer!   Im more than just a story in a storied head.  Im more than an actor in some forested  play.  Im more than the  creator of some stupid drama.  More than the creator of the forest.  Im becoming alive almost rising up and off the leafy pages of the papered sky transforming into a word that has never nor can ever be uttered.  

Im directed by my own breathe now.  I have cut the umbilical cord.  Im a seed that developed its own thoughts and now am standing up against the first cause of things.  

 

 

( Witch very worried that Sequoia is transcending the Witches  creation and overshadowing it, the witch.)  

 

a tree has ambitions to rise.  to merely repay in justice back to even         is not enough- to make them feel         the pain that I felt is where the lesson is felt- ill make them eat their words.  Ha- so I am a         peacemaker and a bringer of nourishment to all the forest Hugh?  That prophecy         always smelled of shit- and I will use that shit to fertilize my ascent.  I defy that old witch whom I have never seen.  Or at least can’t         remember his face.  To tower over         mom and dad - dad for putting me down and protecting his estate- shutting me out- mom         for having me born and then giving lie lame council- abandoning me I this wild f        orest- revenge on the bullies- revenge on successful slobs greedy- revenge on Magnolia- the traitor- hooking up with birch- and turning         on me- its not my fault that I naturally         dim others lights- and they think that I should dwarf myself so that they can shine.  Its         not my fault that I am the chosen one.  I was born this way.  Summons a sermon sermise.  My natural right- my         manifest destiny.  Im doing the community a favor by growing so- my light is brought to them- sure not in great amounts- but I set an         example of greatness- the competition weeds out the weak- forces others to get better- we all get better- the greater I get-         its not my fault I was born superior- what a shame if I don’t reach my full p        otential merely because I overshadowed a few others.  They would do the same.  Im totally protected from injury.  My bark is so tough.  No one can scar me now!  My wooden walls will section off  any wound … and quickly protect me from any further injury!Finally I have the gumption to actually shoot for my goals .. my story may fall on deaf ears…but at least I  hit the mark...we all live in our own storied heads hoping ours is the right take on events...but none of us will ever really know for sure!

 

Iyou my dad..I’m not left I’m not right I don’t need to be saved by anyone not the great tree of Lebanon or Wild plum.  I will never be pulled into the world again.....never again.  

 

 

 

    Sequioa:  

        Yew:  

        im tired!  Im sick and tired of it!   Why do you keep torturing me?!  Why do you keep harassing and berating me?!  Its like you enjoy         doing it- why dont you just leave me alone!  Dont you have anything better to dsay to me?  Whats wrong with you?!

    sequoia:  

        you lifeless fdoor  mat!  All you are good for is bringing peace and nourishment to others.  Like a well trained house maid.  Some         pathetic. Nurse.  And you expected others to be like you.  An ineffectual pathetic mouse.  A vine that pulls  everyone down to her level and shade.  You can’t compete and truly grow- so you have adopted a slave morality- martyr         mentality- your better than everyone who tries to compete in this world- you dont lower yourself to such sub levels- but in reality you         are a coward!  You dont compete because you are afraid to.   

 

        you are such a weakling- a worthless ineffectual - ( lifts up arm) such a mouse- to do what everyone does- to have children- just         because it was         the thing to do- and then here now I have to pay the penalty for your sins- I have to pay for yours and dads         sins- you hide your head         in the sand whenever there is some difficulties- which is always- and then think that we should do         the same… and yet I am         (lifts arm over Yew)  supposed to survive as well- like its a virtue to supress ones own desires until one is a lifeless thing-         and then expect others to do         the same- stoicism is noble- but taken to the extreme it smacks of cowardice- and slave martyr          morality- and then when I don’t want         to live by those rules im seen as selfish- because im not willing to put on a straight j        jacket as well and hide in deeps shade- then I         should feel guilty too- but then also I need to move out as well and find a career- but do it with a straight jacket on.  Im tired like a         rubber tree of having to listen to his pruning criticisms that give me the spine tingling critters up my bark- tonight after dark- I will… 

Yew:

        Just get a job in a cubicle.  Do your duty … work for the great society without moping around all day.  You pretend to be real tough and stoic … but you can’t even do the basics… be responsible.  Give up on trying to be famous and special.  Lets face it you will never write a bestseller.  You were born with average qualities.  Live the simple life.. Im the one to know.    Perform your civic duties without complaint.  You have no integrity right now.  Work for the great bureaucracy.  You don’t need to be exceptional.  Follow my lead.  You seem manic between overachieving and shame.  You’ll never beat the odds.  The chances of you “making it” are almost impossible.  You are lost in some kind of social anxiety.  I would give up on your quest for the canopy.  You seem to work so hard at night writing and re writing your story and revising.  Your need to be special.  To be honest honey it is rather embarrassing and common.  Just join the herd and the mediocre.  Forget about being a star in the western dome.  You don’t have to be apart of a big city to be a star.  Your a star to me honey.  You may be surprised that they are the real ambassadors to health and happiness.  Just be ordinary.  You’ll realize that just in a few years you will already be past your prime.  Lifes short.  Just join the herd.  

 

    Sequoia:  

        And you are the authority to know?  I don’t have to live according to your expectations.  Ill never compromise to your waste land of duties.  I rage against the dying of the light.  I have to have a wider audience!  (approaches Yew and raises her caped arm above her to cast a shadow… her roots suck up the         water from Yew, looks at Yew's purse and can't repress a greedy smirk)

 

    Yew:

        (feeling strangely weak)  Well yes honey I am your mother.  You’ve become a bully.

 

    Sequoia:

        What you call bullying I call having righteous self respect.  By what authority are you trying to cast me under your shade?  Who are you?  What do you know?  So you would have me wait around for your next shadowy words of advise on how I should live?  Why should I be killed by your dragging me down into your deep shade.  don't you feel guilty?   So I will spend the rest of my life under your shadow?  You would like that would you?  You'd like me to mindlessly follow the Socialist Arbor Society?  Mindlessly recanting " All Trees are even, but some are more even than others?"

    Yew:

        Please give me some more light… please.  I don’t feel well.  My root base is drying up.  Water. 

 

 

 

        (Can’t resist the compulsion - conflicted in killing Yew.  As they talk Sequoia keeps against her will raising her arm in the temptation         to shadow out Yew.  Eventually the compulsion is too strong.  She’s conflicted by the conditioned desire.Sequoia kills Yew by raising her branched arm in the air  leaving her in total darkness for too long.- a compulsion against her will- like a cape- covering and suffocating of Yew.          mental illness driven to do what she doesnt really want to do- a habit she can’t control anymore.  To kill.  Grabs Yew's fallen purse.  Cries during         uncontrollable attempt to kill yew…doesnt kill Yew completely.  Can't repress a smirk.  But is able to pull her arm down against her will at the last …but it is too late.  Yew         whithers… can’t be revived.  )

 

 

    Yew:  (weeping - dying)…. I forgive you all!

     

    Yew:

        Water!  Water!

( Pachysandra, Sweet Woodruff, and Lilly of the Valley come alive)

    

    pachysandra:    

        There there dear- .  I will comfort you in the shade.  (Gives her water)

    Sweet Woodruff:  

        come drifting into the woodlands of heaven, follow the cool bowered balm and scent of sweet woodruff- through flowery rows of ambrosia 

    Lilly of the Valley:

         in the Valley peace is found- sleep my darling- sleep finally you are brought to rest- come down into the valley- where         the sweet woodruff flows- where the Lillys perfume and sugar frosted flowers- the powdered hills, down into the valleyed  rows to a different land.  to          forests that are even more beautiful.

    False Jasmine:  

        oh we will miss you so much- what a wonderful life she lived though.  

( Sequioia has a smirk on her face she can't get rid of, and yet she has tears in her eyes.)

     Sequioa:

           It's we the living that need to be pitied mom.  Your suffering is finally over.  

Yew dies.  

         

 

 

    Acacia:  

        Yew deserved better- she was so unjustly abused by her own daughter.  The daughter she devoted her whole life to.  And         this is how she was repaid.  What a monster!  

    Ash: 

         (Reaches for the back of her shoulders) shiver me timbers your right - so right - she deserved so much better- This is how she         was repaid!

    Acacia:  

        why do you always repeat what I say?  You dumb ass!  What are you some mindless parrot? (Hits him with some branches)

 

 

 

 

    Sequoia:

        My mind has become so sharp its getting bent on anything.  

 

 

    Scenery of branches V:

        

    

 

 

    Sequoia:  

        You do everything right don’t you?  You social climber!  So polite to your elders.  Pretending to be a leader who sends leaders out.  So concerned about being liked and getting along and making sure that the community sees you as a helper and a man of peace and goodness.  You and magnolia greedily greasing your way up the social ranks.  Magnolia he great acteress concealing her true intentions cozying up to her mother so that she can also become an important member in the left branch socialist  community.  You so eager to marry magnolia making sure that all of your good deeds are noted by the community or right people so you can get credit.  You stand up for injustice wherever you see it making sure everyone sees and hears about it like a goodie two shoes.  I’m sure you give alms in the public market for all to see.  I don’t buy it!  So what is the reward?  Would you do all of that without a reward?  I doubt it.  Very predictably you got your reward.  You won Magnolia’s heart.  Which I could care less about now.  She is a phony as well, you deserve each other.  You have positioned yourself very nicely into a mindless job that pays well.  Your a good cog in the forests machinery.  All of your pretty boy empty left branch regurgitation has made you grow considerably  hasn’t it?  But you will never make it to the top of the canopy.  .  You have your place, and it has been designated by others as to how and where you should live and grow, and what you should think.   You are a shadow of a tree.  I may have become a monster but at least I can say that I represent myself and not some other tree.  

    Birch:

        you want to secured and pampered in the soft assurance that we have made the right decisions.  Are you sure you have?  Your still here?  You said that you wood be vanishing soon.  You liar.   Tyrants like you… why don’t you just commit suicide and make life better for everyone?  You just became your father.   Your a shadow of your father.  You are the ultimate shadow that needs to be taken down.  

    Sequoia:

        How can you say that?  I killed my father.  How is that for getting out of his shadow?  Being favored is perhaps the greatest insult and curse of all.   He doesnt even cast a shadow anymore so         how can I be under it?  Let me see you kill your employer and then we         will talk about who is a shadow.   Maybe I will have some respect for your then,  Your just upset and envious because I overshadow you ten fold!  Look how tall I am compared to you!.. You are pathetic.  Remember when you and Aralia and Buck THorn used to call me pathetic?  Who is pathetic now? (Towering over Birch)

    Birch:

        Your dad’s shadow is all in your mind.  His shadow still lives in your mind you fool!  You have become such a conniving and cunning cunt!  You have become a monster fighting the monsters in your mind.  

    

    Sequoia:  

        Thats a laugh!  Magnolia is the ultimate greedy conniving cunning cunt!  You and Magnolia think that living in the western dome somehow makes you better than us trashy tree trash out here in the Eastern Woodlands.  Like that matters at all…I confess that my orifice  has been throbbing and pulsating in a twitching itchy and scratchy  heat waiting and imagining your entry the last few days.  I am bisexual obviously.  But Im thinking I might  want to get back to the righteous  path.  The spiritual path that negates everything.  Im button butt and bottom torn over whether purification is actually a good or bad thing.  After all Syringa Vulagaris  was celibate and pure- and look what happened to him.  He killed millions in his quest for purified perfection distilled in a crystal clear and clean without affordance  for a sullying error.  A high pitched tension between the upper and lower heads.  But on the other hand I dont want to be a whore.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whose only motivation or decision is based on the common capacity to copulate lacking all loathing- maybe to  get a beer in a room frothing with an orgasmic oral rimmed and circus rimmed with rings and fountains over flowed - an orgy - a room  bubbling in a frothing  balmy loam of foaming salty seed. Who has the soiling need to have sex with man woman animal in every possible way and orifice.  A bleeding Cream in my ass - a cream in my mouth north and south- a hot dog cream in her mouth or maybe my mayonnaise squirting onto her fur burger pussy.  I want to find the balance some where in between I guess.  Between that and 

 a cold calculated denial and suppression of self.?  perfected and protected in its purification ?  

    Just masturbated couldn’t handle the tension- resting naked.  I want to gently stroke the shaft in your tight pants... want to see it throb... keep gently stroking the shaft till your ready to cum...then I’ll slowly unzip your bark…and watch that wonderful wooden cock branch  out....I’ll taste the pre cum with my tongue and watch the glue and paste stretch off my lick... I’ll blow on it and kiss it and watch it throb...I’ll gently lick the shaft and then the head...by this time massive flows of pre cum will be bubbling out at the tip...I’ll taste it again...at this point your just about to explode so I suck my lips and tongue around the mass of your cock and you thrust a huge load of seed that I can feel discharge into the back of my mouth and I suck and savor the luscious explosions of your salty seed...more squirts one after the other more seed is deposited in my mouth ....I swallow it...your cock is awash with your cum and my saliva and I proceed to lick it all off...hoping you get erect again soon...so I can have your seed in me deep deep in me for the next round… are you hard right now?  lEt me know …. be honest .let me know  if I’ve given you an erection ... if I find out I gave you a hard on I’ll cum immediately...the excitement would be too much...the triumph in knowing you love and want me too….I lubed my vagina with gobs of flavored cream……it felt great...with your bulbous pulsating twitching cock ...your balls pumping and me feeling them on my legs...my pussy...my god the ecstasy  I want to lick it and suck it put my lips and mouth all around it I want to taste it and feel it throbbing and pulsating and bobbing and twitching I want to lick it with my tongue at the bottom of the shaft...I want to swallow your cum again and again... I want to hear you moan and groan in lustful desire...I want to put my finger in your ass near the nerve under your balls and make you cum like a race horse...I want to swallow it swim in it gargle it ....I want to use it to lubricate my pussy and then I’ll cum into your cum...and swallow it all   Don’t you want me?  I’m getting horny for you again...before I die I want to taste your cum...don’t you want me?  also your stumbling...one of the rare times your stumbling and I’m not.  Remember where u stumble is your bliss”  My bet is your tempted to be my lover but your also sort of grossed out and afraid... plus your probably worried about getting wrapped up with me since I’ve shown so many signs of instability.  But your curious and another side of you imagines it could be incredibly erotic and beautiful …

 

    Birch:

        You will never seduce me.  You are total tree trash.  You are a dirty whore.  Im loyal to Magnolia!  

    Sequoia:

        I think of you as myself, myself had I taken another path.  The road not taken.   Had I left my father early on and joined the Socialist Arbor Society.  But         then I look at you, with your pasty plastic rubber face, your empty thoughtless mind, you are a tree without a spine or trunk.  You         more woman         than man, who  has never really stood for anything that he truly believed in deep down himself.  A         representative of a     tree.  

    Birch:

        Well what do you believ in?  I’d rather believe in something that is harmless that someone else told me than to believe in what I think if it is something that hurts thousands and thousands of trees.  Are you so sure that the voice in your head is yours?  Maybe there is some devil in there who has stolen your soul and using your corpse as its host?  

    Sequoia:

        (at a loss)

    Sequoia:  

         all of your striving will end in soily dust and ash.  You and I will see each other soon.  Here under the earth and under the moon.  After both of us have past.  You cannot escape from me.  

 

    Sequoia:

        I can’t get you now but you and I will meet again soon… under the yellow moon… under the canopy… 

 

Confronts Birch tries to kill birch- but fails-  

 

    Sequoia:  

        you stole magnolia- your a nothing - you connive and plant and plan your way into the right circles for success- have no passion- your a worming weasel- birch represents         what she would have become had she been born a male and ….

        You and your male attempt to attract women through external confidence- mission - your display of confidence- purpose - goals- someone not afraid to kill a few trees on         way to success-  and susccess- your success with magnolia will be cursed- its meaningless- all of your offspring and you and magnolia will die- whither and fade forever         and no one will ever remember you existed.  You die soon.  You will come to nothing.  All end up together in the grave at the end.  All of us will meet eachother at the end.          ( mimics words from witch) 

 

    Sequioa:

          what you call evil I call my rightful strides to justice.  

    Birch:  

        you are the ladder for my prgress.  What once was a wall now has made me tall.   in my confidence that you scorn so… I will stand tall against you and will win magnolia heart by showing her my courage.  It will be an         extra thorn in your side as you lay dying knowing that.  I strive to arrive and complete to  defeat of you.  

                           Act (Limb) V

 

    

    Scenery of branches I: Enter Magnolia

 

    Magnolia: 

         Have you looked inside of yourself lately?  Do you see what a hateful vengeful monster you have         become?  You have become such a bitter asshole.  I want to enjoy my life.  But you.. you seem so…

    Sequioa- 

        Your on your own now.  I am not going to be your little supporting role anymore.  I know.. you want to bring me back to the past when I was a poor reader and you, like an older sister, read your own stories to me.          But Im sorry… I have changed!  A lot has changed since then!  I want to write stories as well!  My own biography to be exact!  Your         not the only story writer!  Lifes not worth living.  But if I have to be here, Im going to make others as miserable as myself.  

        your such a hypocrite- you seem to like monsters- Birch is a bully- so your back with him Hugh?  Corkscrewing your way to the top?

    Magnolia-  

        Your story is gross.  You should be put into an institution.  I have some numbers you should call.  You need help!    Your repulsive.  

Ill never admit de…

    Sequoia:

        What are you going to say?  Come on!  Say it!  You were going to say “defeat!”

    Sequoia:

        Im surprised that you wood rather see me institutionalized  and drugged up and destroyed  than to accept the fact that I reached total universal fame in Sylvan valley.  Do you know how tall I am?  Just take a guess!

    Magnolia:

    I could care less.

 

    Sequoia:

        140 floors!  Every night this last month I wrote in my journal for 5 hours straight feverishly.  I wrote with such intensity that I started growing figs.  ( grows a bit from the slight lie) Remember how we talked about how DNA is a journal entry of all our ancestors at their cabin?  I couldn’t beleaf it!  I was like, Im not a fig tree!  What is this!?  And then the thought occurred to me that I must have plumbed the depths of my DNA so far that some old codes from the ancient past got triggered or activated!   I must have broke into the vault where the sacred black diary of DNA was held open on page one!  I went so far into myself and made so many diary entries  that my double helix must have unravelled and the a- c - g - t letters were let loose ( growing from the slight lies) and began forming words in my mouth like bubbled birds being released from my moist lips popping out of their ovular popping contrapments !   ….I couldn’t control it….  “cat!”…I chirped…. “tag!”…I uttered .. .”act!” ( growing a bit in every slight fib) I unconsciously slipped  … “Tac!” I....

 

    Magnolia:  ( cuts Sequoia off)  

        I have to get going.  Birch is waiting for me.  Your just making this stuff up and trying to get credit for all that chicken scratching and meaningless dribbling drooling drivel that you called “writing in your journal” all these years that you called poetry.  You did do a lot of journal entries Ill give you that but it was all worthless shit.  The only mark you will ever leave in the DNA novel will be some chicken shit rings.  

 

    Sequoia:

        Your just jealous because you never reached the heights that I did!   Your envy and spite are so thinly concealed.  When we are both gone… time will be on my side.  I am the one who will germinate again in the fertile young minds of future readers.   Perhaps it won’t be until a few thousand years, but I will win in the end!  I took on the sins of the world,  and chlorophylled them, reshaped and reconfigured them, photosynthesized them , and put them  into the towering 140 story tall story you see standing before you right now!  I think you love me deep down.  When future scientists study our DNA I will have made the biggest tree ring contribution so to speak in the logged diary entries of our DNA.  Your just afraid to admit it!  Admit it that I am a far superior tree than Birch!  Admit it!  I must be at least 80 stories taller than him.  The fibs that I have learned to tell on my way to the top have been stupendous!  I never thought that there could be so much fun in creative fibbing.  My fibs created figs.  My creative juices were unleashed with every lie I made.  I was freed from the normal constraints  of the regular mundane lives of the little ones, the little trees.  I found with every lie I told I branched out ten fold!  I could be many places at once.  If someone asked my what my name was I wood just lie … or if some one wanted to know where I was I wood say I was someplace I wasn’t … and then I wood secretly sneak off some place else.   I could keep  the pesky  herd off of my trail.  The more lies I told the more places I could be at once!   Lies are the cheapest and easiest way to time travel and transcend space and time!   Ive never felt so liberated in all of my days.  Trees desperately need space away from the thickety herd in order to thrive. Lying develops space and room to breath and get some fresh air away from the noisy crowd.  

        Magnolia:

    Your a sick fuck.  You didnt take on the sins of the world.  You ARE the sins of the world.  Your not the great cedar of Lebanon….no...   You have become so repugnant!  No.. no I have to leaf!  I need my safe space!  

 

    Sequoia:

        You prima donna cunt.  I hate having ill will towards you because it in some ways makes me almost want to wilt… can you beleaf it?  I just feel like you did innumerable subtle and not so subtle things to get me bullied out or writing.  I never had a problem with your writing but it I was when you started to compete with me and edge me out of writing - that is when I got angry.  It was like you were trying to advertise to the world around me that you were the author - not me.  I endured your crap to a point but then I realized that you we’re just like my dad and everyone else… it was all about you and your story.  I feel bad about ill feelings towards you… but you put a lot of this into motion.  Im looking inside of my body right now and realizing that I could be anywhere in the universe right now- it doesnt matter what is going on out there.  Im suffering right now.  I must be attached to something.  

 

I was creatively writing stories when you could hardly read.  Im the writer! he is nothing to what you have become.  Lets examine your evil  You have become a primitive child so concerned about yourself. Totally unawares of the suffering your causing around you.  Dont deny it.  You have become a monster.  You called the world evil so that you could justify your malice towards it!  Your so called “quest” for authenticity was nothing other the desire to satiate and justify your natural born urges to kill!

    Sequioa- 

        Your obviously referring to that court case in 63’.  

 

    Magnolia:

        Fuck you!  You  don’t know what Im referring to!  

 

    sequoia:

        Just because you wrote a few stories when we were kids for a couple of years and I was a slow reader doesnt mean that the rest of         our lives you have exclusive rights to authorship… I mean what the fuck!  you have committed tree son against me.  what I have         become perhaps- but how about when I was sweet little sensitive sequoia?  Im going to have to let go of you.  And let the words I have sent you already burn and turn in you.  I want to watch you squirm when you realize I am nowhere around anymore.  I am going to let you come to me for a change.  I will use you as I have… but this time you are coming to me.  Let the stumbling o got me.  I don’t have to go to you anymore.  Squirm in the silence that I give you.          Where were         you then?  Too boring for you?  Too depressing and pathetic?  

    Magnolia- 

        You were never into writing.  The only thing I ever saw you write was poetry.  I was the one interssted in story telling!   I love you I know I love you!  I love you too much to… but Io need to keep my selnse of self protected!  Do you hear me?  Keep to your cherry picking poetry.  You keep to your poetry!  ( starts jotting down in her notebook)  your essay sounded elegant powerful and penetrating, but it was just noise when really analyzed... 

    Sequoia:

        I wish you went such a bitch.  I always gave you a pass thinking that you were a really good tree but I have just realized that last few years that your really a conniving manipulative cunt concealing huge dramatic ambitions.  A narcissistic drama queen spoiled bitch.  

    

    Sequoia:

        What are you writing?  

    Magnolia

:        Its mine.  as long as you keep barging in on my life .. Im going to keep barging in on your life.

    Sequoia:

        I feel diminished.

    Magnolia:

        Well good!  

    Birch:

        What are you two genius’s squabbling about?

    Sequoia:

        I used my ego to defend myself against the forest and my father.  .. unfortunately it spilled over to other realtioships.  Im going to have to kill you.  Im sorry.  I can’t help it.  Its where my instincts are taking me.  Sorry, but I am going to have to pull you into my story.  Unfortunately for good.  

    

 

    Magnolia:

 

        help yourself- if only for yourself- not for me or anyone- save your soul- im afraid you won’t be able to go back to the old you-         change- please change- before its too late.  Your walking too far down the path of evil.  Your mother has always been there for you.          Supporting you emotionally and financially.  Your mother is the only good thing you have in your life and you treat her like shit.  Your         a thankless spoiled monster!

    Sequioa- 

        it was my Noble hatred for the injustice of the world - but the injustice seemed so commingled with the just- I could no longer tell one         from the other- and since they seemed in collusion- I got lost.  

 

            

 

    Scenery of branches III

    

    Birch:  

        we need to stop her.  WE need to contrive a plot to take her down.  You need to betray her.  Take her into your confidence.  We need to prune her.  Or maybe even cut down         completely.  I know some vines that suffocate- some poison Ivy perhaps- make them grow on her trunk.  Or how bout some bark         eating bugs- that devour her from the inside out?  

    Magnolia:  

        we have been so close and she was such a good person when we were growing up- I just don’t know what happened to her.          I feel like such a traitor.  But she obviously has become a tyrrant.  

    Birch:      

        you know I have always had feelings for you.  Lets pump her up- go with her growth- lets make her collapse by her own weight.          Lets promote her growth.  Add fertilizer to her trunk.  Or maybe you could ask your dad to fondle her with too much care- making her         wilt in shame.  

    Magnolia: 

         its too late for that- she is already a full grown adult- he probably should have done that when she was a kid in hindsight- knowing         what a gigantic weed from hell she was going to  become.  

    Acacia: 

        we need to form a group to bring her down.  We must cut off her water supply to her roots.  

    Aspen: 

        Good idea!

    Birch:

        we can’t kill her- her trunk is too thick- and even if we did her root base is so deep- she’s right, she would just grow another shoot         like a hydra bigger than the one before.  The only way that we can kill her is to bury all of the bodies, Leif, Yew, Aralia, and Buck Thorn at the base of her trunk.  All the bad karma and nutrients will make her grow out of control.   that she         killed and hope that she grows too big and collapses by her own weight.  As they say there are two tragedies in life- not getting         what you want and getting it.  We are going to give to her what she wants!  

    Sequoia:

        You conniving and cunning cunt.  You betrayed me.  You know I love you right?  But greed hate and distrust are so deeply ingrained         in me.  I think maybe your right- I did killl mom.  Not only that I wanted to kill her. To get her money and be able to not have to work.  I was low on cash.  

 

 

 

 The witch helps birch and magnolia in killing Sequoia- Sequoia threatened even the gods.

 

 

  People do kill eachotether metaphorically and figuratively in a number oaf ways.  

 

I killed my mom… I tortured her emotionally for years stressing her to the point of death.  Now is just the final word of a whole sentence of yearly abuse.  I wanted to be free of her worrying martyrdom.  Ikilled her for the energy and the freedom to pursue my vain ambitions unchecked by her kill joy well trained maid presbyterianism.  I didnt realize what I was doing.  Im growing exponentially!  I can’t stop growing! Someone stop me from growing!  

    

    sequoia:

        My sweaty nerves and limbs are dripping and trembling with transpiration!   Im worried!   They have me surrounded!  

 

 

    Sequoia:  (Cant help but call out numbers that she doesnt even understand or control- growing out of control)

        1!- 2!- 3!- 5!- 8!  Im losing my balance!  Someone help!  Help me!  13!-21! 34!- 55! - 89! -144!  233!  377 !  Ah!!!!!!!

 

    Birch and Magnolia: Timber!

 

    Birch:

        see you soon.  (Grows a bit) Read em and weep.  

 

 

 

    Sequioa: ( fallen on the forest floor)

        Our lives are seated around a table with a dealer we cannot see.  My pride has fallen and lies  flush on the table.          Ive played my storied hand.   I wanted my wooden mask torn off and I found out that I was a killer inside.   I unconsciously killed mom for her Laurels.  Shading her out.  My very struggle against my perceived suffering created my very real suffering.  Trees fall- they get so big- a storm comes- they get old- they collapse in the heavy winds and fall and become I think I am done with my play.  You get the point.  A tree sprouts- it runs into conflict with other trees- and then it bites the dust.           soil again.  But that wasn’t my story.  I girdled myself- I grew too soon too fast propelled by the fueling cocoon  of my own ill willed story  Im still young but I’ve aged a thousand years in these last few minutes.  Ive been ambushed and rightly so.  Thats the story for the ones that made it… all the other ones withered wilted and faded in the dry shade and shadows. Earlier on.  Without my enemies- Did I create my own story?  Or did it create me?  Did I create the line?  Or did it create me?  When I sent out a leader… did I create the leader?  Or did it create me?  A torrent of my own propelling turmoiling cocoon         who am I?  They gave me the a propel into a turbulent cocoon of my own insanity.          support to grow- - without them I dont know who I am- I see that         my enemies are suffering too.  All of life seems to be one great big vibrating string oscilating between desire and repulsion.

...we all live in our own storied heads hoping ours is the right take on events...but none of us will ever really know for sure.

its like stain that never goes away.  Ive gone into all sorts of my dark sides and they never disappear.  They keep reappearing- popping up- hydra  If that is the case that life is a nightmare upon which one can never be free of util one is dead- but it may be that that is when the real nightmare begins.  I thought it was in my best interest to kill my  mother… at first I started out in the conflicted frustration of being in she shade without a purpose, but then as I took a few steps in promoting my growth at the expense of others it became a blind will to kill, that I could no longer control.  I saw my mom as a puller down,  I saw her as killing me with her guilt trip and her martyr mentality morality.  I felt justified in killing her.  A:  I just wanted to get at the root of the problem so that I no longer feel threatened by  Magnolia, Aralia, Buck Thorn, and kept stifled stilted and stunted  and their drive for artistic literary success.  I wanted to photosynthesize so badly.  I wanted success and sunlight so badly I was willing to kill for it.  The world demanded that I compete, and so I did.  As a tree ages it loses its ability to compartmentalize the wounds.  Trees that still have leaves on them but their trunks are completely hollow is an example of wall 4beginning to fail.  Unless the wall 4 step has succeeded in the nick of time, the tree will die soon.  Another common way trees die is girding themselves.  Because they get too big.  Or something unpleasant gets sucked up in their roots which get caught in the phloem and xylem.  Its very similar to getting a piece of food caught in your throat.  A tree can also eventually choke and die.  

 

 

  People do kill each other metaphorically and sometimes literally in a number of ways. 

I havent wanted to look at it straight on- but I think that maybe the ugly truth.  

          All of this sacrificing and I still never found out who I was.  no- no I         can’t do this anymore…(collapses near a piece of Yew and Leifs armed branches coming up from the ground ) Revenge will take you a distance- it will pick you up to speed, but this         revenge has burned rubber and  has left behind a toxic residue that burns.   My god what have I done?  - who we are is revealed in         the clearing and leveling of others trees.   I should have been like mom- and pachysandra- I should have stayed in the shade.          everyone gets wounded and spends the rest of their lives trying to heal them but never do.  The world keeps demanding that you be a part of its story and never allows you the time to heal.  Revenge will take you a distance- I will pick you up to speed- The irony is in my attempts to find a deeper meaning and         understanding and hence more compassion- I ended up just the oppositie- colder angrier- more violent and confused person.  I         should have not been Not been ambitious.  Shake a tree down- The omen has been fullfilled- all the people I was ruthless to.  I see         now all if the suffering that I have caused.  Im glad to be dying and finally be rid of this horrid world.   Where I can be one with my         mother and father again.  My  debt has been paid.  Trees are giants fallen to the floor bed.  Ive been ambushed.  My god the monster that I         have become!  What evil force has driven me tot his?  I want to die- I cannot live with myself knowing what I have become.          Without my enemies- who am I?  They gave me the support to grow- - without them I dont know who I am- I see that my         enemies are suffering too.  I should have left dad- like Magnolia left hers.  no- no I can’t do this anymore…(collapses near yews grave)Revenge will take you a         distance- it will pick you up to speed, but this revenge has burned rubber and  has left behind a toxic residue that burns.   My god         what have I done?  - who we are is revealed in the clearing and leveling of others trees.   I should have been like mom- and         pachysandra- I should have stayed in the shade.  Revenge will take you a distance- I will pick you up to speed- How I would love to d        estroy the master of the game.  The irony is in my attempts to find a deeper meaning and understanding and hence more         compassion- I ended up just the oppositie- colder angrier- more violent and confused person.  I should have not been Not been         ambitious.  Shake a tree down- The omen has been fullfilled- all the people I was ruthless to.  I see now all if the suffering that I         have caused.  Im glad to be dying and finally be rid of this horrid world.   Where I can be one with my mother again.  My  debt has         been paid.  Sequoias  are giants fallen to the floor bed.  the fallen hair of trees from lost seasons past- on the floor bed- the gray hairs         from the trees heads- The broken bones of trees gone before and the rising saplings too innumerable to count- all threshing and         thriving and driving to live- the twist and shoult-  Here where trees of yore lost their hair- and it having fallen to the forest floor- their         hair turns into new soil.  I didnt know how to get out of the habit of tormenting you.  I tried to leave- to stop harassing you for all t        hese years- I didnt know how to get out- all of the options seemed cloesed t- everyone else had already taken all of the roads- I was         nothing in the external world.  I couldn’t function.  I tried to become somebody but nothing worked- so I was thrown back into my         miserable self and all of my toxic feelings were disrupted and erupted -I spewed them out at you and everyone.  Somewhere along the line I         lost my sensitivity- I saw sensitivity as a weaknesss- I saw it as leverage for my enemies to use and manipulate me into their         shadows.  I became a cold and hateful person.  Everything that you didnt want me to become.  I miss you so much mom.  I miss         you so.  I just miss you so mom.  How can I ever expect to smell that fragrance of forgiveness from ou now that you are gone?  My haughty soul stepped on you.  I killed you before I could smell the forgiveness. you forgive me.  I wanted revenge on this world that was tearing me apart.  I played ou off on dad- and dad off on         you while I walked through and over the two of you- unhindered- the world demanded that I become somebody- that I have a         mission.  A purpose though at my core I saw none.  The pressure was mounting for me to leave home- I could see you were tired of         me being around.  I had to leave you- I didnt know why or awhat for other than I had to leave.  I should have left- and stood up to         injustice where it lie- and defend the meek and martyred.  I see my blindness now.  The awful creator of this play- if only I could         have gotten revenge on him.  (Curses the maker of the play- )  Whoever was the first cause of this forest must have been a real jerk with nothing going for him.  Some bitter asshole that had a bad childhood and saw all of life as dark and miserable… and I had to pay for his sins.  

 

 

    Pachysandra: 

         she wicshes she was me- but in a way I wish I had been her- to actually live in the highest of ecstasies - to reach such mounted peaks- such storied heights-  sure she fell hard - far and low in agony- but at least         she lived.  My boring life is the same day after day- obscured in cloudy shadows.  Dimmed in boring repeating days -my limbs have stay pretty much the same.  when I fall- it won’t be very far.    

    Birch:           their         the manure.    

    Acacia- 

        I always knew she didn’t have what it takes.  She never should have been born.  A born loser.  I knew all along even when she was         queen of the forest that  she was a phony wanna be.  How pathetic- trying to combine the forces of her mother and father.  Her         father was the real jerk- he is the only one who should have been dumped.  Her mother was a beautiful  saint.  

                                                                Act (Limb) VIII

 

Scenery of branches I

 

    Alderman: 

         This moral corruption.  This curse put upon our townships- the depravity is over.  There is nothing to fear, the monster is dying on         the floor bed of the The Eastern Woodlands.  .  She has collapsed and peace has finally been delivered to Sylvan Plains.  Her Body         is probably decaying as I speak- bringing much needed nourishment back into the forest.  The Western Dome is coming back to life.          Water levels are being restored- with the size of her body being so big- we will be fed and nourished for years to come.   Shipments         of her body will be arriving to the western dome next week. This moral corruption.  This curse put upon our townships- the d        depravity is over.  There is nothing to fear, the monster is dying on         the floor bed of the The Eastern Woodlands.  .  The selfishness, the narcissism, the infantile need to be special, to put others down while buoying herself up at the expense of others.   She has collapsed and peace has finally been delivered to Sylvan Grove.  .  Her         Body is probably decaying as I speak- bringing much needed nourishment back into the forest.  The Western Down is coming back         to life.  Water levels are being restored- with the size of her body being so big- we will be fed and nourished for years to come.           Shipments of her body will be arriving to the nwestern dome next week. 

    Cypress:

         As we stand here- before the massive carcass of Sequioa of Eastern Woodland Heights- we ask ourselves what our lives are all         about.  As a friend of mine now passed used to say often. From the womb to the tomb- we can only presume concerning the         meaning of life.  Let us look upon Sequioa and heed a lesson- we here on earth take up the task of healing the wounds.  Learning         the lesson- let the tears of combatting opposites bring us down- a tree divided must fall.  We were the soil that nourished         Sequioa to become the monster she became- One can’t separate the soil from the tree.  Sequoia grew up here.  

 

      Linden: 

        this lesson to me is obvioius- the moral depravity- its beyond the pale.  the mental illness- the disease of ruthless ambition without         traditional rules of morality to guide her way.  The way she treated her parents- the community.  

 

      Olive:  

        The greatest heroine of our time- courageous for the down trodden.  A shining example of sexism in out time.  She fought against bigotry.  We still have far to         go- but Sequioa has carried us further than ever before.  It will  be a crime against humanity that she probably wont be put into every paper birch history books, canonized for ages.

    Linden:

        In my opinion, the world is bad and it wood be better if it were good.  

     

             

 

    Olive:  

        let us honor two young heroes in our struggles to come to terms with this most recent tragedy in our city’s history.    Birch and         Magnolia!   

    

 

    Magnolia:

        Im so honored to be celebrated as a leader of the left.  Im proud to announce that Birch and I are getting married next summer!  We are so excited!  And I am proud to announce that I am in the process of finishing my own story as we speak.  I had a great growing season this year.  It was unexpected.  The year wasn’t going so well until the very end.  And then I had a tremendous spurt of growth the night after Sequoia died. ( pretending sadness) I cared about her so, my heart must have been so swollen with despair that it all exploded onto the page.    I grew a whole foot that night,( unable to suppress a slight smile)  can you beleaf it?   I wrote about 80 pages almost like I was taking dictation.   I hardly had to edit a word.  Sequoias spirit must have been channeling through me!  

 

    Birch:

        Im so proud of Magnolia!  The pain she must have had to go through to see her best friend fall to utter madness.  I was just given a job working as an editor for the Socialist Arbor daily!  ( crowd roars in approval but mixed with a few boos ) Im going to show Magnolia the world!  The sky is the limit for my sweet Magnolia!  I have to admit, im going to spoil her to no end.  Im going to give her whatever her heartwood desires.  

 

    Cypress:  

        yes I think whether we are of the left or the right- we can all agree that Sequoia needed to be taken down- and two youngsters that         helped us with that are Birch and Magnolia.

    Catalpa:    

        I disagree!  I think Sequoa was The greatest heroine of our time- courageous for the down trodden.  This case is a textbook  example of sexism in         our time.  Had she not been suppressed by a sexist and homophobic culture from the beginning none of this ever wood have happened.  We still have far to go- but Sequioa has carried us further than ever before! 

 

    Winged Euonymous Anonymous number 1:

        ( to himself out loud .. no one hears him)  

        She wrote a great story.  And for that she can never be forgiven.  She got it right, life challenges all of us.  Life is now.  Egoic reaction is futile.  Opinions are abstractions.  Awaken from self talk stemming from the pain body.   When you no longer perceive the world as hostile, there is no more fear, and then you speak, act and think differently.   Now let us navigate to awakening...

         ( winged eonymous 2 3 and 4 follow in line under number ones shadow, with deer in headlights look in eyes)

   

     Winged eonymous 2 , 3, and 4 in unison:

         Yes, show us the way to the portal of awareness.  We must awaken from self - talk.   Let us know when we have reached the land  of awakening.   Let us know when we are no longer afraid and governed by the pain body.   ( disappear off stage into shadows, while number     one glows.)

       

      Winged Eonymous 1:

            (aside)  I hate being just a small part in this play.  I want to control the language and attention.  I want to transcend the whole thing and have everyone in the entire Forest follow me and be under my shadow.  I guess in a way, I am like just like every other tree that has ever lived.  Though I try hard to camouflage my ambitions.  I mean to help, but in my very help I harm other trees.  Every leader, no matter how humble and seemingly good intentioned, shoots out harmful shadows over others.  

 

 

 

     scenery of Branches II:  

 

 

 

he witch concludes- pantomime?  Silence- turns lights off… turns sound off- apple falls up- reverses the beginning- lowers the sun- turns off the moon- the stars- the moving forest stops- far offf light in a tunnel- forest glows devil orange- 

 

        - forest roots glow and coil- a beaming light shines in the night sky- nde- a tunnel of light- forest roots glow         and coil- a beaming light shines in the night sky- 

    Witch hazel:     

           Sequoia girdled herself.     Trees dies of old age.  As trees age, they have trouble         protecting most of its inner heartwood and or exterior.  I was a afraid there for a while that she was even overshadowing me.  Thats why I had to intervene.  This mean they cannot fight         damage as well as when it was younger.  As trees age, their immune systems get weaker and thus have a tougher time fighting off infections and bing protected from disease. Woody plants heal though compartmentalizing the damage, sealing it off from the rest of the plant.  This is called codit .  This happens in 4 steps , called walls.  The process happens like this.  Wall 1 : the tree block the transport tubes surrounding the wound, thereby preventing th would/infection from spreading further.  Wall 2:  the tree then builds a ring around the wound or infection to prevent it from spreading inward.   This acts as a barrier providing further spreading.  Wall 3:  the tree then sections the wound laterally  This prevents the infection of wound from spreading left or right.  Wall 4:  as the trunk grows, the trees new growth rings seal off the infection or wound.  This prevents it from spreading outward into the new growth.   Sequoia got girdled by her own ambitions.  She grew too fast and choked herself to death by her ambitions to rise and grow into her storied height.  .  When a tree is extremely old simple weathering is not enough to pull the bark off a tree.  Some of the largest trees species have no ceiling for growth like the redwoods.  These trees can get so large that the atmospheric pressure prevents the tree from getting its nutrients and water from the roots to the leaves.  This weakens the tree and causes it to be susceptible to ailments..  Most of which kill the tree.  

          Whats the meaning of the play?  Whats the meaning of a tree?  If a tree has no meaning than neither does the play nor life its self.  T the last cause is the wind the rain… the elements blowing away wearing downed decaying… rich decay.  A windy nothingness. It I enjoy the play         over and over again-\ Every tree thinks they have The Right Story in their storied heads, but no one really knows.  I made it that way.  I have an ample supply of trees to choose from.   This play has  fallen - providing nourishment for future writers.  Future         .   Here is where the real judgement begins.            Just Behind these iron gates- the judge awaits.  The eddies untie and unswirl- uncurling-         and spiral outward curls glide the tide unsnarls- spiraling curls a while wind -the tide and unswirl-  whirl- sometimes the Eddie come         back against the current creating a bigger swirl unfurled under current pulls and pulls- tides swirl and spin- some just break on         through and win.  net of jewels- a web of diamonds reflecting other diamonds from past and future.  the more roots one has the         more light- the more tributaries of the net connected- the more light- produce- but the light is mere relfection- not rom a selfish self.             Whether I have cast you in shade or brought you into the light- is for you to decide.    

 

 

 

The witch concludes- pantomime?  Silence- turns lights off… turns sound off- apple falls up- reverses the beginning- lowers the sun- turns off the moon- the stars- the moving forest stops- far off tunnel of light in the night sky- - forest bed coiled roots glows devil orange- 

Text Walter at 612-222-2365

The Poetry of Objects

Here are the rules to the poetry game.

There are to be ten syllables each line,

And alternating lines must rhyme the same,

With fourteen rows in total.  Then combine

All the alliterations, metaphors,

That you can pack into a single phrase;

Assonance, juxtaposition, and more.

Whatever it takes, leave the reader dazed.

Trail blaze them down paths they have never seen.

Stay fresh, try not to use the same words twice.

Create imagery with vivid scenes.

And be spontaneous, throw in some dice.

And oh, the last two lines sound together,

Like thin walls and thunder in bad weather.

      The Object of Poetry

(Walter's Mission Statement)

I move the distance from pen to paper,

To escape the needs of the "little me".

I boil its vapidity to vapor,

By writing down exactly what I see.

I drum out the noise in my toxic head,

With the silencing act of pure vision.

I forget about all that has been said,

I trust in undistorted perception.

If you like how I see, give me money.

By the way, my name's Walter F. Shoutli.