What is the Importance of a Tree?

A few days ago, when I went to the Light Center because I was ill, I was thinking about the mountains. The trees were soaring over head and the air was so clean and fresh. I thought about how amazing it must have been to have traveled here 100-200 years ago. I was looking at the trees and wondering how long they had been there. Below are some of the pictures I took.

Veterans of Foreign Wars asked the government to set aside a fitting stand of trees to the memory of Joyce Kilmer. Kilmer was both a WWI soldier and a poet.  He is remembered most for his nature poetry and his poem “Trees.”




I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet

flowing breast.


A tree that looks at God all day

And lifts her leafy arms to pray.

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair.


Upon whose bosom snow has lain.

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

—Joyce Kilmer




Evergreens. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

Evergreens. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

“Let my mind bear sweet fruit and

fragrant flowers,

as this tree is planted of the soil of Thy spirit.

—with branches downwards:


I see Thy hand

blessing me

—-rising upwards.


in the night:

My heart stands in waiting and hope

as the trees stand through the darkness of night.”

—Hazrat Inayat Khan



The trees give us clean air and shade in the summer. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

The trees give us clean air and shade in the summer. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016


“How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!

The heavens declare Your glory,

the arch of sky display Your handiwork

In Your love You have given us the power

to behold the beauty of Your world

robed in all its splendor

The sun and the stars, the valleys and hills,

the rivers and lakes all disclose Your presence.

The roaring breakers of the sea tell of Your awesome Might,

the beasts of the field and the bird of the air

bespeak Your wondrous will.

In Your goodness You have made us able to hear

the music of the world. The voices of loved ones

reveal to us that You are in our midst.

A divine voice sings through all creation.”

—Jewish Prayer



The tree seem to scrape the sky

The trees seem to scrape the sky. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Till It Happens to You

At this year’s Oscars, Lady Gaga and a stage of Sexual Violence Survivors took a stand for all the victims, with her anthem which became the theme for the documentary “Hunting Ground” about sexual violence on college campuses.




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A Woman’s Issue


The woman in the spiked device that locks around the waist and between

the legs, with holes in it like a tea strainer

is Exhibit A.


The woman in black with a net window

to see through and a four inch

wooden peg jammed up

between her legs so she can’t be raped

is Exhibit B.


Exhibit C is the young girl

dragged into the bush by the midwifes

and made to sing while they scrape the flesh

from between her legs, then tie her thighs

till she scabs over and is called healed.

Now she can be married.

For each childbirth they’ll cut her

open, then sew her up.

Men like tight women.

The ones that die are carefully buried.


The next exhibit lies flat on her back

while eighty men a night

move through her, ten an hour.

She looks at the ceiling,listens

to the door open and close.

A bell keeps ringing

Nobody knows how she got here.


You’ll notice that what they have in common

is between the legs. Is this

why wars are fought?

Enemy territory, no man’s land,

to be entered furtively,

fenced, owned, but never surely,

scene of these desperate forays

at midnight, captures

and sticky murders, doctors’ rubber gloves

greasy with blood, flesh made inert, the surge

of your own uneasy power.


This is no museum.

Who invented the word love?


—————–Margaret Atwood, feminist author and poet

Author of the Handwife’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood






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Giving Thanks


We, in America, are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is tomorrow but I have company coming in for the feast. So I will not be blogging tomorrow. Every person on Mother Earth will be on my mind and in my heart.




I would like to wish all of my American readers a very joyful and happy holiday.

To my readers around the world, I would like to wish you a safe, healthy and happy weekend. May all put aside differences and focus on gratitude and the miracle of being alive. I wish to thank all of my readers for your loyalty and your wisdom as you leave your comments. You have all blessed me greatly.


We give-away our thanks to the earth

which gives us our home.

We give-away our thanks to the rivers and lakes

which give-away their water.

We give-away our thanks to the trees

which give-away fruit and nuts.

We give-away our thanks to the wind

which brings rain to water the plants.

We give-away our thanks to the sun

who gives-away warmth and light.

All beings on earth: the trees, the animals, the wind

and the rivers give-away to one another

so all is in balance.

We give-away our promise to begin to learn

how to stay in balance with all the earth.

—Dolores La Chapelle


The joy of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The joy of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

A Trip Up the East Coast of America


It has been a very long week here. Not bad, just full of hassles and things not going quite the way I had hoped.  I found this video and a friend of mine has made the trip several times. I have been to different sections of the Intracoastal Waterway. So I have included two of my own photographs. It is very pretty and some day I would love to make the entire trip.


So in honor of all of us who need a minute of relaxation and to see the beauty of Mother Earth, may I present…










   Intracoastal waterway, the Carolinas. Photograph and

                             copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013




DSC_0711                               Intracoastal waterway Carolinas. Photograph and copyright by 

                               Barbara Mattio 2013





    “Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain,

                                spirit of the garden,

                                 Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood

                                 Teach us to care and not to care

                                  Teach us to sit still

                                   Even among these rocks

                                   Sister, mother,

                                   And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea,

                                   Suffer me not to be separated

                                   And let me cry come unto Thee.”

                                                                     —T. S. Eliot



















Happy Hallowe’en

Happy Hallowe’en to all my readers and friends.


I’ve decided to be totally not serious, and not deal with reality in honor of it being Hallowe’en.


Some of you may remember these songs; for some of you they may be new.  But they’re some of my favorite “monster” songs, from when I was young.

The first is Vincent Price doing a wonderful cover of the Monster Mash.  For those of you who are too young to know the wonderful Mr. Price, he ruled the Horror films in the 50’s and 60’s, and did the ghoulish rap at end of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.


Flying Purple Eater is what was called a “novelty song” from the 60’s and it’s always been one of my favorites, never failing to make me laugh!


I have to go now, to chase the Zombies on the River!


Have a ghoulishly good day!


Monsterously yours,





Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe


It was many and many a year ago,

In a kingdom by the sea

That a maiden thre lived who you may know

By the name of ANNABLE LEE;

And this maiden she lived with no other thought

Than to love and be loved by me.


I was a child and she was a child,

In this kingdom by the sea:

But we loved with a love that more than love —


With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven

Coveted her and me.


And this was the reason that, lonb ago,

In this kingdom by the sea,

A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling

My beautiful ANNABEL LEE;

So that her high-born kinsman came

And bore her away from me,

To shut her up in a sepulchre

In this kingdom by the sea.


The angels, not half so happy in heaven,

Went envying her and me —

Yes!–That was the reason (as all men known,

In this kingdom by the sea)

That the wind came out of the cloud by night,

CHilling and killing my ANNABEL LEE.


But our love it was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we —

Of many far wiser than we —

And neither the angels in heaven above,

NOr the demons down under the sea,

Can ever disserver my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE,


For the moon never beams, without bringing my dreams

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;

And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes

Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;

And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side

Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride,

In the sepulchre there by the sea,

In her tomb by the sounding sea.









The woman who has nodded to me from her porch

for weeks, still nodes now, bobs her head

leading me inside to see

21 grandchildren posed on a shelf,

sills full of colored glass.


Twice, I heard, she left her husband

and then returned


He stays outside with the dogs,

hollering them away from the barn.


Chickens flutter and squall,

leaving patches of brown feathers.


She says she’s been nodding 26 years.

The doctor calls it ‘the trembles’

but she knows something sharper

is pecking her brain.


Twice his fists have hit,

knocked her against the wall.

Twice she’s returned


to faces of grandchildren

perfectly still in the tilt

of their frames, glass

shining on every sill,


to hens squawking themselves into trees

whenever a dog comes near.

She sweeps up the puddles

of brown and white feathers

that fear send flying,


pours them into ticking

to cushion her relentless,

affirming head.

–Betsy Sholl






Arden, North Carolina. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Arden, North Carolina. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015