~ Elder Box Elder ~

With gnarled persistence, drove its thick roots down,

Conquered the rocks and divided the dirt.

Spread out its branches, claimed this piece of ground,

When people etched into its bark, it hurt.


It survived such scars from their careless blades,

Grew taller, stronger, bore fruit for the birds.

None picnicked beneath to enjoy its shades,

Hard roots ran rampant, to escape the words


Carved for all time on its beautiful skin.

There, by the cave, it was brave; weathered storms,

Bent branches without and strong spirit within,

The world demands change and the soul transforms.


Soft  spirit deep inside this elder tree,

Expanded, extended life through its roots.

The Native Americans set it free,

And chose its sacred heart wood for their flutes.


~ C.L.R. ~ © 2012

(( This is a picture I took some time ago, of a really neat Box Elder tree in the Dunbar Cave Natural Area near my home. This tree has always fascinated me and it makes me sad to see how many people have carved their initials or names into its bark. My friends and I used to call it the “Ringwraith Tree” because it reminded us of the tree where Frodo hid from the Ringwraith, but Box Elders also have a very special place in Native American culture.

The Anasazi flutes were carved from these trees, and the originals were only carved from these trees. It was believed that the tree’s unique, sacred spirit was imparted into each flute carved. The Anasazi flute is the flute played by Kokopelli, a Native American Indian fertility god. “It is also said that the hunch on his back depicted the sacks of seeds and songs he carried. Legend also has it that the flute playing symbolized the transition of winter to spring. Kokopelli’s flute is said to be heard in the spring’s breeze, while bringing warmth. It is also said that he was the source of human conception. Legend has it, everyone in the village would sing and dance throughout the night when they heard Kokopelli play his flute. The next morning, every maiden in the village would be with child. For anyone who has never heard the beautiful, haunting sound of this flute, I invite you to watch and listen to the video below. 🙂 Enjoy!))

P.S. I also decided to use this for my submission for Victoria’s prompt to write a piece about the word “Spirit”. The spirits of trees lift my spirit in ways I cannot describe. There are some really good entries for this prompt, so you might want to check them out, too!

About dragonkatet

Regarding the blog name, Dragon’s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). It’s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because that’s my favorite way to view the world. I post about things important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because it’s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. It’s all about ‘connection(s)’ and I don’t mean “net-working” with people for personal gain, but rather, the expansion of the 4 L’s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.
This entry was posted in Inspiration, Nature, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to ~ Elder Box Elder ~

  1. eebrinker says:

    Really beautiful…..bringing the spirit of the wood alive, with such nice expansion on the metaphor. Also enjoyed that video…pretty!

  2. wightrabbit says:

    Trees are so important to our world and our souls – your words are so evocative and the photos are so beautiful. Thank you!

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thank you! I wish more people understood how vital trees are, and you’re right – for both our world AND our souls! I’m so glad you enjoyed and thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂

  3. So very beautiful, so very inspirational! Music and words! It made me think of Byron’s poem:
    “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
    There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
    There is society, where none intrudes,
    By the deep sea, and music in its roars:
    I love not man the less, but Nature more…”

    We people have intruded so many places where we shouldn’t. We’ve left our marks here and there, when the unmarked beauty of nature is so important!

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thanks so much, Blaga! 🙂 Ahhhh what a lovely association to that poem. Very true. Indeed, mankind has left indelible marks in nature and I wish that more people valued the unmarked variety more.

      • Thank you for your comments on my last story! There were few places where I wasn’t quite sure about the tenses, but that’s always a little problem with me 🙂 I hope you’re ok and soon you’ll have my greetings on paper, in an envelope 🙂

  4. Jo Bryant says:

    There is so much to discover in this post…love the tree, and the history behind it. Beautiful poen girl !!! Oh and that video…what a feast for the senses you have provided with one post !!

  5. carpetbeater says:

    can YOU see the fingers in the roots?

  6. That tree would be proud to read your words, they are beautiful. You have a passion in your writing that I really enjoy, thanks!

    • dragonkatet says:

      Aw, thanks, Cap’n. I have passion in almost all areas of my life, but it probably shows through most clearly when I write. I’m glad you liked this one, and it’s always good to see your smiling legs around these parts. 😉

  7. Luke Prater says:

    Soem strong imagery here; I like your penchant for trees! They are wonderful and doubtlessly sentient beings. I have a few thoughts crit-wise, but this os not the place (you know where I am.. I get myself into trouble giving any kind of critique in blog comments)

    big love your way, sister

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thank you, Luke. Yes, I suppose I do have kind of a “thing” for trees – been a life-long “tree-hugger” and always will be. Yes, I know where to find you and I’ll post this over there, although I’m a tad wary because there are sooooo many talented writers there. It’s a little daunting to be in the presence of such poetic greatness. As for trouble…you? No way…lol 😉 xox

  8. supertramp says:

    Oh my, what a beautifully written poem, created a very strong imagery in my head.. I was reading it while listening to the video you’ve posted and it’s such a haunting experience.

  9. This just called to me in so many ways, dragon. Between my love for trees and for Native American “Spirit,” how could it not?! Yes, passion is the word as John pointed out.

    • dragonkatet says:

      Aw, thanks so much, Victoria! I know what you mean about the trees and Native American “Spirit”. I thought I might link this one as my submission for your challenge. As for passion, life would be very dull without it! Thank you again for stopping by and commenting. 🙂

  10. zongrik says:

    this was very beautiful. reminded me of the tree in the movie Avatar.

    i answered your comment on my blog. good comment.

  11. Bodhirose says:

    This is perfect for Victoria’s prompt on spirit. I too feel sad about the carvings in that most remarkable tree…it somehow seems sacrilegious doesn’t it. I have great respect for the Native Americans and their belief in the spirit that resides in all things. Beautiful flute music too…spirit in the flutes too. I love your writing, Corina…so expressive and you manage to get to the essence so beautifully.

    • dragonkatet says:

      Thank you, Gayle. I really enjoyed your entry, too! Yes, it does seem somewhat “sacrilegious” to me…that’s the perfect word for it. Many times I have wished that we all still lived like the Native Americans did (and some still do) – the planet would be in much better shape, for sure. As for manitous, there are some which speak louder to me than others, but I believe all life is sacred. (Even things I don’t like, like cockroaches and mosquitoes…which I sometimes apologize to before killing, as silly as that sounds). Thanks very much for the super nice comment. 🙂 It made my night!

      • Bodhirose says:

        It’s funny you mention cockroaches…one of my most feared creatures that makes its way into my house on occasion. If I find that I must do away with them…a quick prayer is said for their souls. Otherwise, most other critters I try to catch and put outside…some spiders can stay as long as they don’t get too large and menacing. 🙂

      • dragonkatet says:

        That’s toooo weird – I have always had a phobia about cockroaches and I do not for the life of me know why. It’s just in the past few years where I could be even close to one without completely freezing up and feeling faint. YES, I also rather like spiders and will catch and release them (exceptions being brown recluses and black widows). 🙂 I’m glad I am not the only one to say a quick prayer for the spirits of things killed.

      • Bodhirose says:

        When growing up, my sisters and I would run screaming from cockroaches…I continued this behavior well into my adult years. 🙂 For several years now, I have been able to “battle” one on my own (as long as they don’t fly!). 😦 I finally can face my fear…sorta… No, I do not save brown recluse or black widows either.

  12. Jamie Dedes says:

    My first reading of the day and I couldn’t ask for anything better: a perfectly imagined poem (in spirit indeed!) complimented by your photograph (I don’t think I’ve ever met a box elder) and Native American flute. Thanks for the info on the Anasazi flutes. The image of nature’s generosity and forgiveness here… a literal history but also as the tree a metaphor for man and the flute of undying spirit. Inspired and inspiring.

    Thank you, Corina. Hope you are passing your days in peace and joy.


    • dragonkatet says:

      Aw, thanks so much, Jamie! It’s so nice to see you in the blogging world again – you have been much missed! I’m glad you enjoyed the poem and that it started your day with a smile. 🙂 Peace and blessings right back atcha! xox

  13. Jo Bryant says:

    In the last 24 hours I have suddenly become a spammer it seems so you will need to approve me again…

  14. eva626 says:

    great poem…full of imagery. nice!

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