My dream is fractured by sounds of the night

The squeaking of bats; an owl's white-winged flight

The rushing of water from somewhere below

Hides from the starlight and moon's pale glow

On the fey wind unread omens are borne

I shiver and wish for the sunrise at morn

Still dreaming, I rise from my bedstead and walk

To my window, and listen. The alder trees talk

In whispers of riders and fires 'neath the pines

And holes in the earth that menfolk call mines

They speak of the poisons despoiling the streams

And they cry to the few who still listen to dreams

"We beg your attendance, for we are imperil'd-

Nay, not only forests, but indeed, the whole world."


"I'm here-and I hear!" to the trees I do speak,

"But how can I help you? What is it you seek?"

"She hears and she's here!" I hear one alder say,

"Do you see? In the window!" -- he's pointing my way

I gape and behold two large trees turning round

Extending boughs at me with leaf-rustling sound

Then ever so slowly their roots are withdrawn

And yet slower still they are crossing my lawn

Until at my window I clearly do see

The heart and the soul and the face of a tree

I pull on my robe and I tie it around

"Good Alder, please wait," I say, "I'm coming down."

I run down the stair, past the statues that see

And into the night for to talk to a tree.


"Your dreams we do seek," says one alder to me --

"In them we have faith that the answers will be.

The heart of a lady, and her dream, it is said

Restore to this place things that should not be dead."

I listen to this, and I know it is right

For my dreams are of forests and darkness and light

Of hope and of growing, of new leafy bracts

Of wondrous renewing of wooded trees' tracts

Of life's restitution where death did once rule

And clear water flowing pristine, pure and cool.

The truth, it is clear -- there is work to be done

And Fortune and Fate say that I am the one:

Now, what I need do I have no clear idea

But Healing is needed, not mere panacea.


And so to these trees I reply quietly,

"Whatever I can do, I shall do for thee

I now must repair for my slumber to seek

That dreams I may dream, and visions will speak

These things, they are fated, and I shall not fail

To tell on the morrow to you the travail

Through which must be passed to bring peace and rebirth

In any small way to our mother, the Earth."

Then with a sad smile this dear alder does bow

His limbs to the ground, and he wrinkles his brow

He gives me his wish for my rest to be sweet

My dreams to be good ones, the morning to greet

Now sighing, he turns, lifting roots as he goes-

"'Til the morrow, dear Lady. Now to your repose."


So then to my bedstead I come and recline

And sleep through the night, but no dreams can divine,

Until morning arrives with her bright, yellow sun.

I garb myself quickly and downstairs do run

But my garden is empty -- no Willow I see --

Nor Alder, nor Pine; nor indeed, any tree;

Confused thus, I turn and flee back up the stair

And back to my chamber I quickly repair.

I wonder if maybe I'm going insane

This whole episode seems to me clearly inane

I sleep and awaken, but this time, instead

I notice the Tolkien books next to my bed

And this time, on rising, I know what it means --

My Entish adventure has just been a dream!





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