Life Goes On

Life Goes On
great redwood

in repose

tangled root
like tentacled mouth

ripped raw
from breast of mother earth

in a land of giants

through the canopy
of this majestic forest

thrusting skyward
in your day

shallow rooted
I observe

but deep enough
to proudly stand
this thousand years

and yet
you’ve fallen

you did not fall unnoticed

a thunderous final bow

all around you
new life


even from your fallen mass

in this lush calm
of nature’s vast cathedral
the eternal pulse of life
goes on

not unaware of your misfortune

but certainly


rob kistner © 11/4/94

12 thoughts on “Life Goes On”

  1. Thank you Kathryn! The experience that inspired this poem is still with many years later.

    –and so it goes–

  2. Great poem. The massive redwood tree is one I would love to see in the future. I can’t imagine what it must be like standing below one.

    ‘…nature’s vast cathedral,’ – A wonderful line.


  3. The sense of power and presence felt in a giant redwood forest, under the canopy of “nature’s vast cathedral”, is absolutely amazing. Words truly do fail to describe it adequately. I hope you can have that experience someday Beaman.

    Standing in a forest of redwoods was, for me, a profound spiritual experience — life altering. It was a strange mix of humbling, rejuvenating, exhilarating, and saddening. The touch of sadness came from the fallen giant about which I wrote.

    That sparked for me the realization that people are slowly destroying the ancient forest, through careless logging, over-crowding pressing in, and airborne diseases that result from pollution. If left to the whims of some who log the forests, these wonders would be cut and killed.

    There are Bristlecone’s here in the ancient forests of the west coast of America that are 4,650 years old. How sad it is that these forests, which have stood for over four millennia, are in danger.

    Responsible logging is possible, but so often the greed makes people shortsighted. Living in the Pacific Northwest, my home in a grove of giant Douglas Fir, I am reminded daily of the delicate balance that exists between people and nature on this planet.

    We must all come to grips with the fact that it is essential we quickly and effectively learn to live in balance with the rest of the natural world, or like the cancer that the spread of human population looks to be from space, we will consume and kill the host — planet earth.

    Sorry, I can’t help but rant. I love this miracle in which we live, and I detest the human arrogance that would have it destroyed — while we mindlessly and soullessly destroy each other. So sad!

  4. Life and death, ying and yang.

    I don’t know if you thought of or intended this as you were writing, but your poem made me think of the World Trade Center which used to stand like a giant redwood among the shorter trees of Manhattan. And it fell, but life springs from its fallen mass on the very spot where it once stood. Life is going on in New York City, painfully and slowly and not without remembering what transpired, but it is continuing, as I wrote about here:

    Beautiful poem. You are an amazingly talented writer. I just discovered your site today, but will be back!

  5. Wow Janie! I had never looked at this piece of mine from that perspective — but how appropriate. Thank you for giving “Life Goes On” an additional, and very worthwhile meaning.

    The entire second stanza, from “You did not fall unnoticed…” could be a tribute to the World Trade Center and 911. The serendipities of life never fail to amaze me.

    Thank you for visiting my site. I do hope you are able to return. I will be visiting your blog today.

    –and so it goes—

  6. This gift of the earth is awesome. I hope we all learn to fully appreciate it someday, especially on this celebration of Earth Day.

    –and so it goes–

  7. Thank you very much Annie!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your piece on the topic.

    Please stop back and visit.

    –and so it goes–

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