Rivers and Roots, a Poem from Stan Brunn for Earth Day

Last week Stan Brunn, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, University of Kentucky sent me this lovely poem, with a suggestion that it could be a good theme for a painting or a song. So I took him up on it, as my way to say thank you to the Earth and my friendship with Stan.

"Rivers and Roots" in studio setting detail 1, Kathleen O'Brien

“Rivers and Roots” watercolor, drawing, collage, words, scripts in studio setting detail 1, Kathleen O’Brien

Rivers and Roots                                           

Planet Earth has millions of rivers and roots

                Everywhere: above, below and at the surface.

Many are their bends and branches everywhere

                Seeking light and nourishment and bringing pleasure.

Continents everywhere have millions of rivers and roots

                Some are named features, but countless remain unnamed.

Rivers are “horizontal trees;” and trees are “vertical rivers” everywhere

                With twists and turns carrying growth that flows unceasingly.

Family trees everywhere are “rivers” with millions of roots and branches

                Names new and historic, long and short, known and unknown.

Visible at the surface everywhere are hundreds of these rivers and roots

                Roads, forests, ancient rivers, pilgrimage and heritage sites.

Invisible at surfaces everywhere are thousands of rivers and roots

                Knowledge, dreams, prayers, music, genes, progress, freedom and social media.

Subsurfaces everywhere are also many rivers and roots

Crops & trees, water & liquid energy, burrowing animals & schools of fish.

Above surfaces everywhere are also many invisible rivers and roots

                Weather systems, flight paths, migrating birds and satellite orbits.

As planetary citizens let us not forget that everywhere there are

                Rivers and roots of love, justice, caring and passion.

Each of us on Planet Earth everywhere is both a river and a root

                That continues to flow and also to grow.

                                                                                            Stan Brunn          12 April 2015

"Rivers and Roots" in studio setting detail 2, Kathleen O'Brien

“Rivers and Roots” in studio setting detail 2, Kathleen O’Brien

"Rivers and Roots" in studio setting Stan Brunn's poem detail , Kathleen O'Brien

“Rivers and Roots” in studio setting Stan Brunn’s poem detail , Kathleen O’Brien

"Rivers and Roots" in studio setting, Kathleen O'Brien

“Rivers and Roots” in studio setting, Kathleen O’Brien

"Rivers and Roots" in studio setting, Kathleen O'Brien

“Rivers and Roots” in studio setting, Kathleen O’Brien

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