I’ve seen Notre Dame,
Chartres, and Sainte-Chapelle
but the holiest place on earth,
I think, is in the dapple shade
of those giant redwoods,
there at the brink of heaven. Defended
by the spotted owl, envious loggers
can only howl at the wasting of natural
resources to whom their god gave the nod.
Another god holds dominion over
this realm, those trees of life,
those trees of knowledge, there
at the helm of that holy, holy, host
of trees. Oh, my lord! Those trees of forest,
that forest of trees. Can you see them?

Alan Abrams worked in motorcycle shops, construction sites, and architecture studios. He has lived in the heart of big cities, and in the boonies on unpaved roads. His poems and stories have been published in numerous literary journals. His poem “Aleinu,” published by Bourgeon, is nominated for the 2023 Pushcart Prize.