stumpsthis rough-barked sequoia stump, sitting in majesty
in its coastal home, victim of wildfire, burned down
to its gnarly roots, its nicks, holes and char, eons
of scars, life seemingly cut off, goddess snake alive
inside the concentric circles, the smell of wood and
scorch of fire, at the verge of our infinity, in its truth ~




haunted by the geometry of limbs, the calculus of green,
the algebraic eloquence of a world within a world  ~

So present.

So essential.

So primal.

it sings to itself in the marrow of our bones

– Jamie Dedes

Victoria Slotto’s Writers’ Fourth Wednesday inspiration is the “Wilderness,” in preparation for Wilderness Week starting on Sunday, August 31. The wilderness around here is rich in Sequoia. Hence this poem. Please join us at The Bardo Group blog today and link in your own work. Details are HERE.

© 2014, poem, Jamie Dedes, All rights reserved
Photo credit ~Bay “The Bay Nature Institute, based in Berkeley, California, is dedicated to educating the people of the San Francisco Bay Area about, and celebrating the beauty of, the surrounding natural world. We do so with the aim of inspiring residents to explore and preserve the diverse and unique natural heritage of the region, and of nurturing productive relationships among the many organizations and individuals working towards these same goals.” Read more HERE.


  1. I like your numerical connections here, Jamie. I would love to see those Giant Sequoia someday. Often fire is a necessity for some habitats to flourish…like I found is true for the Florida Scrub Jay which is a threatened species and like Priscilla said about certain seed pods needing fire to open. But fire destruction by humans is most often damaging and hurtful.


  2. It’s interesting to consider a sequoia’s relationship to fire…they are extremely well adapted to surviving wildfires that cull the competition. In fact, Wikipedia says, “One recent study, the first to compare postwildfire survival and regeneration of redwood and associated species, concluded fires of all severity increase the relative abundance of redwood and higher-severity fires provide the greatest benefit.” And Douglas firs, who share the redwood habitat, actually depend on the heat of wildfires to open their seed cones. So…are they “victims”? Or is the relationship something else…”seemingly” describes our limited perspective on this co-existence. A closer look at the wild always changes that perspective. Let’s keep looking closer! 🙂


    1. There seems to be a lot of evidence out there that there is a reason for wildfires. Unfortunately here they are not always wildfires. They are due to human carelessness. We seem many burned sequoia, not always a total take-out. Sometimes part of the tree is burned and they keep growing, but other times they are burned down to stump. We had four acres at one point and there was an old stump on the property and several burned trees, apparently from a long-ago wildfire. Interestingly, there seemed to be a bit of magic about the spot. Thanks for your visit and comment, Priscilla.


  3. I find it hard to realize that destruction is part of nature’s plan to regenerate–especially tragic to see the loss of a giant sequoia. When visiting there I can’t but think of nature’s cathedral. Magnificent. And part of the circle of life.


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