Forest Floor

by Barbara Hanneloré


Forest Floor


Where are they now, the old fallen trees?

The ones so old that they crumble when you touch them,

into little cubes of tender wood, into dust.


We would find the great logs lying near the cabin,

lift the crumbling pieces between our fingers,

easing them out of their place within the loosening

grain of the wood,

and move them around, creating openings,

pathways in the patterned decay of the greying trunks,

moist and mossy or dry and brittle,

the seams between the rings having fallen away,

opening to another dimension of play.


We played then, not on the boughs themselves but

within them, moving the soft slivers, imagining

cities or towns. The wood like stepping stones,

terraces, boundaries.

A great room here in this space.

A castle there with faltering towers.


The old trunks fall, and over the years

continue their descent into the soil. Wood cracks open,

empty spaces glimpse behind the bark.

My eye peers closer and I imagine being small.

Queen of this domain

with winding passageways

and magic if I wish it.


Bears come here softly on the cushioned soil

and snuffle among the decay,

looking for termites, for beetles.

As the grain of the wood gives way,

and the architecture tumbles aside,

the trunk hollows

and we crawl in.



Barbara Hanneloré

Barbara Hanneloré is founder of Women's Way Moon Cycles, sharing traditions that support women's powerful rhythmic nature. She grew up in northern California, and now lives in southern California, always within view of the mountains! Barbara has studied many healing modalities and spiritual traditions throughout her life. Her book, The Moon and You, a Woman's Guide to an Easier Monthly Cycle, won two awards for content and design in 2014. Learn more and download your copy of The Woman's Calendar at