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Posted by on 25 May 2018 | 0 comments

Take a Moment: Poetry and Art with Rich Okun

The Cottonwood Tree has fallen.


That big, old,

cottonwood tree,

has fallen

in the wind.

Up-rooted when

tornados came call’n,

as mighty as

it may have been.

It leaned much

too far over the house,

since before I moved in,

20 years ago,

and although,

I was warned it

threatened to fall,

I would not let them

cut it down,

and lose its connection

to the all.

In late Spring,

it would yield its

generous seed,

and for days upon days,

like a snowstorm,

they were dancing in the air.

Any malaise,

would surely transform,

as white angel cotton wings,

were flying everywhere.

And when the great tree

was finally taken

by the winds, 

it remembered and knew

not to fall on the house,

as it was so perfectly

positioned to do,

instead, when it fell,

it fell, exactly parallel.


I placed tobacco and sage

on my sacred

and fallen friend.

I thanked her

and said a prayer,

“I know that you heard

what I intend.

I will miss seeing

and being with you

dancing in the air”.

There is always magic in the ordinary.

The Cottonwood Tree is very sacred to Native American spirituality, culture and ceremony. The Sun Dance is performed using a Cottonwood Tree as the centering pole, and the young sapling cottonwoods are used to build their Sweat lodges used for ceremony, purification, prayer and visioning.





Rich spent his professional life in various corporate positions. He was the youngest member of the Art Students’ League of New York, and after many years and diverse careers, he now devotes his focus to creative passions. Having lived a lifetime studying many different ancient spiritual belief systems, he was inspired to action when a new little puppy, Maya came to town. He has developed a unique format of quote/poem/illustration using Maya as his muse specifically to help children of all ages understand spiritual and moral issues and to closen the relationships within the family. He is taking storytelling to the next level and these daily meditations can also awaken the child in you.. Rich lives in Connecticut with his wonderful wife, four cats, lots of other animals and Maya.
Rich has 4 published books which he authored and illustrated you can find them all at or the Books tab on his site

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