COAST REDWOODS (Sequoia sempervirens)

Tallest living things on earth— coast redwoods
over 300 feet high and twelve-feet wide,
forest sentinels and nature's flagpoles
honoring four elements of ancient Greeks—

its triangular Λ-top breathing air
and Λ-bottom goosepen carved by fire,
needles nourished by sap bringing water
and strong roots anchored deep in the earth.

Walking amidst redwoods you feel at peace
as if in a great cathedral older than
Chartres, Reims, and Notre Dame de Paris—
built not by masons but born from a tiny seed

that 200,000 of them would weigh a pound.
Sequoia sempervirens— always living
taller than a thirty-story building with
enough wood to build six 5-room houses.

What's admirable about these towering trees
is their singleness of purpose standing
upright shooting straight upward to heaven
teaching us to focus on what is at hand.

Mono Indians say Sequoias are sacred—
the spirit of owls protect these huge trees
with its call woh-woh-nau or wawona
no wonder we feel so serene among them.

Seeing redwoods with Λ-bottom goosepen
singing of Platonic Lambda or World Soul,
I embrace them as if meeting an Elder Chief
seeking wisdom & blessings to share with all.

        — Peter Y. Chou
            Mountain View, 10-28-2012

Λ-Top Redwood
Portola Redwoods State Park

Λ-Middle of Old Tree
Portola Redwoods State Park

Λ-Bottom Goosepen
Portola Redwoods State Park

Photos taken July 1, 2012 on hike at Portola Redwoods State Park, La Honda, California