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Wild Poetry

Across New Zealand in Poems and Song: How Thick is the Branch

How Thick is the Branch: on being but a guest in a world much older and more powerful than the one you move in daily

Thick is the branch

And green is the moss

Watchful are the eyes

That gazes upon us

How Thick is the branch

How Small are we

Strong is the magic

And thick is the air

Quiet is the whisper

‘Come if you dare’

How Strong is the magic

How Powerless are we

Deep go the roots

Sacred is the ground

Mighty are the trees

We see all around

How Deep go the roots

How Deep dare we venture?

Origin of the poem:

In the Tararua Ranges in New Zealand one will find one of the most magical forests that are to be found. It is called the Goblin Forest, and in this forest I walked with my friend Dave Bagge in November 2015.

There are many “Goblin Forests” in New Zealand, but they all share one characteristic: walking through them you will feel like you are but a small guest in a world that is much older and more powerful than you are. Walking into these sacred lands is something you do at your own risk.

The poem was written as I was reading Tolkien’s The Two Towers, from his Lord of the Rings legandarium, and while there were no Ents nor any talking trees to be found in the Tararuas, the feeling of being in these woods must be very close to what Tolkien imagined it would feel like to walk in Fangorn forest, where Treebeard dwells.


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