Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week 43: The Tree House

   There's a magic place in every child's backyard. Whether it's real or imagined, the tree house is something children know should be part of a home. Stories about tree houses in literature include the delightful treetop home of the Swiss Family Robinson, Tarzan and Jane's jungle abode, and the Ewok Village in the Star Wars trilogy. All of these literary tree homes have the enticing aura of a treasure chest... full of fascinating and charming features... absolutely irresistible and somehow perfectly reasonable... Because a tree house has the ability to morph into anything! That magic is the subject of the book-of-the-week for week 43, The Tree House. 
   The Tree House is a stiff board book printed on the Pearl letterpress here at Orange Lantern Press. The illustrations are lithograph prints of line drawings. The little book nests inside it's own tree house, an open structure which rises up from the Garden Shed box of Week 42. The four corner posts of the tree house are boxes which have been covered in paper dyed with walnut hulls. A piece of book board, also covered in walnut hull-dyed paper, is glued to the top end of the corner posts to make a sturdy frame structure. The etui box made for Week 42 Garden Shed roof rests atop it all. This is the poem of The Tree House...

The tree house and it's little book

Up above the forest pathways
above the frog holes
and the leaf piles
cradled in the treetops 
of The Woods
or some backyard

... cradled in the treetops...
this nest
this clubhouse
this lookout
this sky-ship
this play house
...this play house beckons.
Ascend the stairs
clamber up the tree limbs
or scale the ladder, 
scale the ladder...

up, up, up...
to this nest
this stand
this stage
this dias

...this stage...
Oh, Exhilaration!
the summit is reached
with a sigh
then breathing in
all the exhalations 
of all those leaves

...the summit is reached!
and the sky
so close by
kisses the cheeks
and busses the eye lids
in the Tree House.
...and the sky so close by...
   There's a headiness one gets when perched in a tree house. Who can say what causes it? What physiological phenomena are triggered by the slightly elevated stature combined with the open-air atmosphere in a largely green-hued aura? Is it just more magic?
treasures in the tree house...