Ancient Branches



how many generations
sky gazed through ancient branches,
before the Napa fires

Copyright 2017 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: This photo was taken in the Petrified Forest, Calistoga, CA in late August, before the fires. I wonder if this tree is still there. The Petrified Forest website relates that their buildings survived, but the condition of the property is unclear. Their parking lot was used as a staging area for emergency responders, some from as far away as New York and Australia.

23 thoughts on “Ancient Branches

  1. Moving and deep…. I have been in Córdoba province, Argentina last October and I saw a colossal cemetery of burnt trees. It was powerful, to say the least…. From time to time, a green tree here and there, upright… Plus: new pines growing too, from the seeds of those lost trees It gave me hope and made me think that Nature is certainly miraculous, as it often perpetuates itself, against all odds. Hugs and best wishes, dear Brenda! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Forest need to burn, apparently. But those of us living at their feet can’t let them, not in the natural way. So many people lost everything, their photos, their papers, their baby’s first blankets, their books, their art, their everything. It’s overwhelming when you think about it. The cemetery you describe sounds devastating, yet a precious illustration of the circle of life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Brenda,

    How lovely your poem about the fires.

    Bruce’s son-in-law’s parents had a vineyard in Napa with a house, guesthouse, acres of grapes, a barn with cows, a wine pressing house and all of the attendant accoutrements. Everything was lost in the fires – the cows survived. He is a professor at Berkeley and USC and won the Nobel prize for macroeconomics in the early 2000s.

    Wonderful people who are trying now to reinvent their lives.

    I feel so badly for them and your poem brought it back for me so I had to share.

    I guess the ancient branches were very dry.

    Thanks for sending your work to me. Hi to Bret.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Tina, I’m so sad to hear about that. I saw a wonderful comic about it, and it moved me. I thought a poem, though sad, would be better than appalled silence, which is where a lot of people are at. It’s where I was at. The rebuilding and reinventing will be going on for years, in some cases. They are vigorous, talented people in Napa. I wish them all the best. Hugs, Brenda


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