The Green Goddess of the Trees
Looking for the Jolly Green Giant

My lips grow redder by the day,
so hungry am I for him,
and no way to spend my passion as I’d like.
I’ve toyed with a few mortals
            and tossed them away,
needing something more gigantic
            and more green.

Perhaps you have seen him,
the once-proud green man of the forest,
fallen now on hard times,
fleeing from one forest to the next
            as each in turn is felled?

I saw him last in the Amazon
before he took the gig doing TV commercials.
Actually, he was never all that jolly.
Sarcastic at times.

He could be anywhere now—
a walk-up in Brooklyn, a tenement in Cinci,
            a salt-water shack in Key West….

I long for yew, my oak, my sycamore,
my jack pine behind the willow’s whispering curtain.

Never fear, I shall find him.
The forests shall persist, now and forever.
The Shiva-branched labyrinth is my mind,
the luxuriant canopies my hair.
The sky is the blue iris of my eye looking down
on you tiresome mortals who meddle stupidly
            with things you cannot understand.

If you see him, tell him to hang in there
            and buck up.
His roving days are not done.
Tell him to come as a redwood.
I shall be the rowan tree heavy with berries
            beside the babbling brook.

—Timothy Walsh, Madison, WI