Tunnels and Tunnels of Trees

This week’s theme for Lens Artists Photo Challenge is Weathered and Worn:


Okinawa’s a long snake of an island
that swam to the south of Japan,
with a western vestigial limb
that perpetually pulls itself free,
and that breaks into tinier islands,
that pepper the East China Sea.

BiseNakijinJo 103

These islands achieve a seclusion
that’s rare in the hubbub of towns,
where people escape into solace,
among waters of blue and of green;
seclusion and solace protected
by the tides of the East China Sea.

BiseNakijinJo 047BiseNakijinJo 048

But the shores that stay stuck to the mainland
have beaches that aren’t so remote,
with white sand and plenty of fishing,
they’re as hectic as cities can be,
but lay helpless and baldly exposed
to the rage of the East China Sea

BiseNakijinJo 113

And being a tropical island,
the inner terrain will be thick
with plants that can withstand the weather
and create havens along the lee,
and basically serve as a buttress
to buffer the East China Sea.

BiseNakijinJo 045 (2)

The village of Bise is shielded
by rows of Fukugi Trees.
For one hundred years it’s been thriving
in the shelter that they guarantee.
For one hundred years it’s been hiding
within feet of the East China Sea.

BiseNakijinJo 199

The founders of Bise, when seeing
Fukugis grow deep and grow wide,
with leaves that are waxy and dense,
had wisdom enough to foresee
that they could safely build houses
this close to the East China Sea.

BiseNakijinJo 205

The forest had weathered the air
for three hundred years or more;
Can tolerate salt and stand up to wind
and endure the brunt of debris.
These trees are the perfect companions
to life lived on the East China Sea.

BiseNakijinJo 044

Sometimes place names are so perfect
and capture an essence with ease:
‘Fukugi Namiki of Bise’,
a name meant to simply decree
‘The place where Fukugis line up’ –
like a grid on the East China Sea.

The lines of trees create tunnels
that serve as the main thoroughfares,
worn smooth by a million footsteps,
and imbued with a mystic esprit;
A truly transcendent excursion
into a world devoted to trees.

BiseNakijinJo 042

When you enter the tunnels of Bise,
prepare to suspend disbelief.
Houses are nestled like hatchlings,
Evil averted by dogs,
And attacks of the East China Sea
are thwarted by limbs and by leaves
of sixty-foot guardian trees.

BiseNakijinJo 192

When you enter the tunnels of Bise,
prepare to get lost in the maze,
expect to see children at play,
take comfort in the rare gift of shade,
and relax with a hot cup of tea
at a local, airy café, tucked away
in the roots of a thousand trees.

When you exit the tunnels of Bise,
you’ll be once again aware of the world,
like Dorothy, going back home,
full of dreams of a magical realm.
You’ll be changed by an obscure degree,
as you squint at the sun-dappled waters
that churn in the East China Sea.

BiseNakijinJo 096


Thank you visiting!

How can you participate in the Lens Artists Photo Challenge? Find out here.

© 2019 Lindsay Sears @ soanuthatch.com All Rights Reserved



38 thoughts on “Tunnels and Tunnels of Trees

Add yours

  1. Now that’s a fantastic post – I love how you kept working in the East China Sea, that’s very clever. As always, fantastic photos – You’ve got a great eye. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    The avenues look very inviting!

    (I think you might have put more effort into this challenge than me!)

    1. The place is magical. You really do feel in a different world when you’re walking those paths. Thank you for your kindness. And lol. You managed the tragedy of the best opera in a picture and a sentence. I mean… Ratty got broken… need you say more?

      1. Oh yes! Reminds me of the Tolkien writing you posted not too long ago. You just have to go through! I actually googled tree tunnels. There are a lot of cool tunnels out there. They are magical places! Thank you.

    1. Oh wow! Was he Navy? Okinawa was my last duty station. When I got there my commanding officer had a required reading list of books on Okinawa history and the Battle of Okinawa. I always felt that history wherever I went over there. There’s always some memorial or marker. Okinawa was a very different place back then. I have special admiration for the people who fought that war. Thank you for sharing that!

  2. Yes, Navy. His brother was captured in Japan and was one of the survivors of the death march, but neither one ever talked about what they experienced. Glad it is different now and it is soooo beautiful. Your pictures are a reminder of how the land seems to always heal itself. We can learn a lot from Nature.

    1. Thank you! Bise was one of our favorite places to escape to. It’s such a beautiful testament to living in harmony with nature and enjoying the benefits she has to offer! Thanks for the visits today!

  3. Tree tunnels. That sounds like a great theme for a photo challenge. 😉 Poetic words to match the beauty of the photographs. I am learning so much about Okinawa. Thanks for that.

    1. Haha! I like it! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Okinawa is a wonderful place. So full of many different places from castles to beaches to tree tunnels! We enjoyed our time there and really tried to make the most of the place. Thank you!!!

      1. Okay. I had the impression you were in an RV moving around in Okinawa! My knowledge of Okinawa is quite limited. I am still trying to get my head around it being tropical like in climate. Lol.

      2. lol. Yes, we didn’t know what to expect when we got there either. It is hot and humid all months except December, when it gets down all the way to about 60 for a few nights! lol. Just as well, I guess since it’s surrounded by beautiful beaches. We are in New Mexico right now. Floating around the SW US. So a little different! lol

      3. Yes. I would say so. But there is so much diversity in this one state. Dry deserts, tropical forests, alpine forests, and some high elevations in the 10,000s that have snow-peaked mountains almost all year. Some great skiing in Taos and Cloudcroft. I think you would really love New Mexico!!

      4. Oh yes! Taos is a pretty popular site. This year we spent most of the winter close to that area and there was plenty of snow. And lots of slopes. So the perfect combo.

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