Topanga Song

For Ellen Geer and everyone who lives and breathes the culture and politics of Will Geer’s Theatricum Bontanicum.

I sing this song to all the trees,
I call them by their Latin name,
They weave my words into the breeze:
“We cannot leave this world the same.

“We came as exiles to this wood,
Like pioneers in Shakespeare’s day,
We speak his words; we seek the good,
Our tongues, like leaves, will find a way.

“This truth we tell will set us free,
Innocence will heal the hurt;
Come, live your life like poetry
Upon the stage, or in the dirt.

“Let’s make our way and find our style,
Loving sisters, gentle brothers;
Here we’ll work and walk a while,
Through these trees in shoes of others.

“Great Creating Nature’s laughter
Bids farewell to misfit sighs,
We are happy chasing after
Shadow-dancing butterflies.

“Trip away; take up your task,
And follow with your soul unfurled,
An open heart is all we ask
To help us make a better world.

“Together we can bear all care,
In courtroom or in fairy bower;
Like Lear’s Fool, we smile and dare
To speak the truth to those in power:

“Stand fast, you know it’s time to end
The one per cent and ninety-nine,
So share our music; sing, my friend:
This land is yours; this land is mine.

“There is no black; there is no white;
Our dream is for an equal role,
And so we act for what is right:
All people are a seamless whole.”

My song is rooted in this love;
I’ll sing it till our play is done;
While branches cross like scars above:
Will Geer’s song has fresh begun.

by Paul Edmondson

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