Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: Autumn's Stars

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Autumn's Stars

Ribbons of gold snake their way
along familiar watery paths.
Bursts of brilliant yellow
dot the landscape, shimmering
against blue sky
and black branches.

Autumn's Star--
the lowly cottonwood--
makes its grand exit
from the stage
retiring in a fiery blaze
only to return--meek and mild--
when the seasons change
& the arroyo
springs to life
in a grand spectacle
of roaring flood
where there was only

The lowly cottonwood
begins to bud.

-Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa, 1 November 2005
(Photo credit: Prabhu Singh Khalsa)

The cottonwood is a much maligned tree here in the SW. When I was growing up in Texas, they were not-so-affectionately known as "trash trees." People took the first opportunity they could to chop them down & clear them from their property. Here, they serve as a beacon in the night sky--a literal oasis in the desert. Wherever there are cottonwoods, there is water. So as reviled as they may continue to be, they serve a valuable purpose here in New Mexico.

The bonus is that they, along with the Aspens, provide a spectacular show for us in the fall.