I Asked the Giantess What She Likes

Painting “Forest Path” by Cheryl R. Long
in the spirit of Emily Carr

I Asked the Giantess What She Likes
(for Charlie Two Legs)

and she said she liked the Cassiar
jade from Charlie Two Legs, rough and smooth.
“Only the Skeena River is that color,”
she said,” That glacial till,
reflected Red Cedar green, smoky
and rich.”

She said it reminded her
of Emily Carr painting in Haida G’waii
and over in the Git’san country,
all those greens on her palette,
the way she never felt
she could get the greens right
(leafy green, blue-green, emerald green, lavender,
greenish black, deep cedar/Big
Leaf Maple/Sitka Spruce/ Doug Fir green;
Devil’s Club, Stinging Nettle, Horsetail,
Vine Maple, tag alder green).

Emily Carr knew the secret
of Cassiar jade—how the north
forest cedars and Skeena green
got locked in the stone long before
even the Giantess was born, she
who lived out the Ice Ages
in a sunny cave facing south.

Before any of us, she had her
Cassiar jade, stones in a circle,
dreaming a land bridge,
dreaming a people,
dreaming her own totemic face
high over Alert Bay,
her own mask at the chief’s side,
cedar, jade and Skeena green
her oldest gifts
to the people she dreamed.

“And I also like,” she said,
but I said, “Hush.
I am silenced.
That’s enough
for now.”

Oregon White Oak Agate

I am slowly being changed
from the inside out by the giantess
who lives in my tree—we
have become an Oregon oak
struggling to connect
the sky to the pure agates
hidden in our roots.

I vote for acorns;
she votes for falling leaves,
for shrugging off all color.
She wants to brood,
wrapped in her thick wood
until not even the sharpest stars
can pierce her dream.

I grub for the lost agates with both hands.
Stuffing them into my apron
pockets, I climb up her
chest limbs to Raven’s
unruly nest. I can place
the round stones there where the moon
can imbue them
with milky light.

Still held tight
by her dry, mossy hands,
I can turn the cheek
she can’t see to a salt breeze
coming from a sea
not far from here—
over the hill by the river’s mouth
where my jade horse still stands,
and ready to run.

–Sandy Jensen

Pear Tree of Life

Last night I attended a magical party at a place called Featherstone Arts. Set deep in the woods at the end of a dirt road, I first viewed the house immediately following the first major rain and thunder storm of the season. Cloud cover completely obscured the sky and white, wraithe like ground fog added to my sense of being in fairy land. I needed but did not have a flashlight to find my way along a dirt driveway to get to the house. I found it by following the glow from the windows and the sound of a a female vocalist. I looked up at 10′ granite sentiels surrounding a pond. This marked the entry and I stepped into a house filled with estatic art, music and food, wine and amazing artists. I have lived here for 14 years and I just now met my art community. It is a homecoming, a true deja vue experience. I accept with gratitude and complete bewilderment. Once again, the very best things that I have ever received in my life have come to me on a silver platter, overflowing.