May 17, 2009
By Anonymous

The forest fragments, deadened, emptied, ravaged, and consumed by the tongues and orifices of the only element endowed with conviction to such genocide of life: fire. Flickering flames tenaciously propagate themselves among the once verdant greenery of the rainforest, turning green to endless black—striking imminent contrast between death and life. An indefatigable destroyer ascends to power, consuming all that does not capitulate. Viscerally, the phosphorous origin spits in every direction, blindly and aimlessly annihilating. Assaulting viciously, it has no course but to perpetually set afire, singe, bite, and kill. Affronted, everything burns ablaze with fear, confronted with an apathetic hate. Trembling animals abscond, taking up their own funeral pyres in solemn procession—questing for absolution. The mighty oak stands tall against the flames that lap at its base. It does not surrender to such evil and abase. Recalcitrance will not contain his enemy. The mighty king does not bow to the flames. He shall see the gallows soon enough. His men have been guillotined, his daughters raped, his walls breached, his alters desecrated, his palace given to sacrilege. His death will be the last, the most glorious, the most mocked of men. It shall pass for invisible crimes seen only by the weaver. And still, Apollo sleeps his chariot in repose, the reins slack by his steeds.

Gray skies perfumed with plumes of smoke and the silhouette of the fire’s tail remain, only cleared by the nostalgic memory of rain showers—the humidity unquenched. The dry forest floors and sky-reaching cedars and sycamores yearn for the taste of light, for the sound of rumbling thunder in the distance. They thirst, parched—their vices un-slaked. They, who had once produced abundantly, age and grow barren—emaciated. Frozen in its own reverie, in the depths of an unkind world, swallowed by the inky darkness only found in the wombs of octopuses, the last of life departs. Time sings its mellow lullaby, stretching across centuries of sequestered convalescence. Sleep prevails.

The fire hesitates. Its work is done, and nothing of its formative remnants remain. All is dark. All is still. All is sedentary. Nothing moves and sound is nonexistent. Peace reaches ears that are not listening, that are preserved in a glacier of weary mistrust. Quietly, the forest re-awakens. Dormant and insipid for so long, the first breath of air from the spring tides and currents wash upon the forest like a wave upon a storm-ravaged beach, deluging the sand and taking its course once more. Whisking away the scars, bruises and anachronisms of fire, it knocks on nature’s door, imploring, beseeching, and rejoicing as if it was its last day. Time passes as the winter snows do every year, every season, like still graves in eternity, their sanctity undeterred.

Quietly, a phoenix has risen from the proverbial ashes, trilling a symphony of hope. Hosanna! Hosanna! Rejoice! The forest throws the semblance of a comely party, where revels of spring abound endlessly. Sprigs of blue and white baby’s breath dangle in upturned foxgloves. Lady slippers dance the day away to a music and a song playing only to their perceptive ears. Lemony, yellow honeysuckle and creamy buttercups are born, perfuming the air with the smell of warm, melted sugary molasses and clover honey from the golden hives of the busy worker bees nestled in the tall sycamores and cedars, refugees and survivors of the great fire. The trees are home to all, for they are guardians of the forest that stand firm as shields against the elements. Swaying, chaffed but healthy heather grass envelopes the twins of melissa and jasmine in a delightfully beautiful and tender embrace with chamomile seeds scattered lightly over their joyous rendezvous of spring. Laced with cold pearls of dewdrops, vivacious morning glories and delicately exotic orchids sing praises of the springtime, their voices as lovely and as fragile as those of capering fairies.
Wild peppermint leaves and mahogany cinnamon sticks swirled with fizzy scents of kept secrets receive the rush of air with outstretched arms. The enchantingly damp, chocolate dirt of the forest floor, like loosely powdered hazelnut Columbian coffee spilt lazily from the ground itself, grinds perfectly into a passionate molded and shattered melting pot—shaped and grounded by the forest’s tender hands. Scottish ivy encompasses their trunks, spinning in dizzy circles like a flighty east zephyr of utter spontaneity and restlessness. Hollow trunks thrive with working ants, carrying food and supplies to their own worlds, eager to show their fellow comrades the new beauties that have arisen from the catacombs and carnage. Petal-pink cherry blossoms and petite primroses open sleepy and quiescent eyes to the sun, welcoming its late arrival and its coming warmth. The potent aromas of stinging mint, rosemary, basil, and thyme permeate the atmosphere, overwhelming time in its floating existence. Juicy Grecian kalamata olives ripen on the vine, oiling the rustic branches of the trees upon which they grow. Verdant, green clovers unravel rounded petals in celebration, nostalgic of their Irish home. Serendipity floats gently above it, blanketing the entire forest in a sea of dulcet effervescence. Vibrant and bright, they are the crayons of nature, a tangibly surreal beauty. The forest colors once more, blushing as a convalescent does when warmth lends strength to its cheekbones. This is nature, in all its tempers, emotions, rages, and states—its shadows fading dark to light to mere gray, undulating with a quiet hope and un-fragmented tranquility. Nature heals herself in the most wondrous ways incomprehensible by mankind, its secrets, histories, and truths hidden away in Babylonian gardens of virginity. The forest rises again to begin anew. This is the Odyssey. What resurrection! What rebirth! What renaissance!

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