The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet

The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet is now available in print and as an e-book.  You can order it from Powell’s Books and other independent book stores, as well as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  

Quartet EbookCover

The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet:
A musical fantasy

When a stray young cat struts boldly into Giselle’s life, the restless young teacher finds herself compelled to “go north.” She’s drawn from the city to rural Arundel where, with the help of a man who prowls the forest as a grey wolf, a librarian who slips through the night as a cougar, and a gardener who rides the wind as a red tailed hawk, she sets out to save the world. 

Listen to Butterfly Winginga short song from Journey to Ninas Twei sung by Katie Winton-Henry.

—-

Synopsis

The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet is a near future fantasy set in the mystical world of Ninas Twei and the real world country of Uhs. In Ninas Twei all of Earth’s species dance and sing together to ensure the continuance of life on Earth — all, that is, except Homo sapiens. Greed and the lust for power has barred them from the dance.

A small gray cat, a red-tailed hawk, and a mysterious homeless woman urge teacher Giselle to “go north” where she finds a new job in a small rural community. There she hears songs from the earth and the trees which lead her to a group of people who, becoming their Tla Twein (mythical animals or gods), travel to Ninas Twei.

Gathering an increasingly diverse group of people from the city, the country, and the world, the Tla Twein engage in a life and death struggle to heal the rift in the natural order and defeat the forces of greed. But they know this is just one step in the journey. They must stay vigilant if humans are to stay in the dance.

Giselle, now the Earth Woman Tree Woman, joins with the Wolfwind, and together they become all things – earth, air, and water; flora and fauna – a compassionate force for the well-being of the earth.

The Earth Woman Tree Woman Quartet contains four illustrations and many songs, some of which have been set to music and can be found at earthwomantreewoman.com.

 —-

Some Excerpts:

Missing

It  was nearly midnight, a moonless night allowing the stars to glow large and bright.  The cougar hunters tramped out of the forest and down the driveway to the dark lump, shadowed by the hills, that was the Bidewell house.

“Hey, Amundsen,” one of the men called out to the silent old man.  “How old’s your granddaughter?”

Amundsen kept walking, his old 30-30 swinging at his side.

Finally the deputy answered for him.  “Nine.  And the missing boy’s the same age.”

“Old enough to get into some mischief,” the man muttered.

“Hey, what’s that?” yelled another man pointing toward something standing out near the edge of the cliff.  It was a tall, dark shadow, tree-like, and yet clearly not a tree, black against the starry sky.

The men turned to stare at the strange object.

“We should check it out,” muttered the deputy and they all followed him across the meadow.  A small cat slipped out from back of the dark house and padded across the trampled grasses behind them.

The men circled to the front of the object where it faced out over the ocean.

“What is it?”

“It’s a carving of a tree…”

“Or a woman.”

“Looks like both,” added the deputy.

“Look!  Her feet are roots.”

Old man Amundsen’s eyes narrowed as he glared at the tree woman.  “The devil,” he whispered.  “The devil is here.”

Just then one of the men noticed the little cat sitting looking at them, his head cocked to one side.  “Hey, look at the way that cat’s looking at us!”

He started toward the cat, but the kitten became frightened and turned to run.

Suddenly a shot rang out and the cat leapt in the air as a bullet hit the ground next to it.  It tore across the yard to the house as two more shots followed, but managed to duck under the porch without being hit.

Amundsen lowered his gun.

“Jees,” muttered one of the hunters.

The deputy took a deep breath.  “Amundsen…”  He shook his head.  “I don’t think you needed to do that, Amundsen.  It was just a cat.”

 —-

Acorn Moon, Waning
Racing the Wind

… she felt herself sinking into the Earth Woman Tree Woman, becoming the woman, becoming alive, herself and the woman, made of the earth and the tree, the sun and the ocean, supple as the willow and strong as the oak.  The man and the wolf became blurred, floating together, one and wild and freeborn.

He howled and sang to the sea, she – woman, earth and tree – jumped on his back, and they ran, racing the wind along the cliffs.  Within her was a wild confusion.  There was herself, and then another that was many, that was All.  And the many sang:

I am the earth, the growing, the first born,
anchored no longer.
I am the highest form, called the lowest,
synthesizer,
anchored no longer.
I trap the sun spirit.  I am the transformer,
I am the earth, source of all life,
anchored no longer.

Hair flying, tail flying, they climbed the forested hills and called to the day-moon.  They cantered through the high meadows, flying down on the wind to the sea to gallop along the wet beach as the sun sank into the foam, taking the light, leaving the night, and the moon shining on wet sand, and glinting in the wave swept rocks.  Cold, white light when the earth becomes still, and slowly a tree is a tree and a wolf is a wolf, and the circle is broken.

 —-

Ayoabia, Oya of the Winds

The sun was just rising in Bayomar. Ayoabia Asukiye lay curled up inside a cardboard box in an alley not far from Shanti Place. Something stirred within her, something deep, whirling within her, and her large eyes opened wide.

“The wind,” she whispered. “The wind is mine again,” and she leapt up, tossing off the cardboard and old blankets that covered her.

Shaking out her skirts, she ran calling, “The wind is mine. I am Ayoabia Asukiye, and I am again Oya of the Winds!” and she began to spin, spinning out to the street, across to the park, faster and faster, until she was just a blur in the eyes of the homeless man who lay awake nearby.

A low hum came from the spinning blur and others awakened, and watched as she stretched herself up and up into the sky, a whirling funnel; a humming, roaring swirling funnel of shades of gray with sudden flashes of greens, blues, reds, and yellows, shining in the newborn sunlight. She pulled up her feet and sailed across the sky, a huge dark cloud with jagged lines of lightning illuminating the bright whirling colors of her skirts.

And the rumbling, roaring wind became a terrible symphony of drums and deep ascending bass, breaking into a high pitched siren of sound. “Let my people go!” she cried:

Come winds of judgment,
Winds of change.
Blow fiercely, blow,
Let my people go!
Sink your thunderous lightning teeth
Into the festering bruises of our grief.

She dived downward, flying with incredible force into the private prison found just north of the city – into all the prisons and immigrant detention centers across Uhs.

With a fierce gentleness she lifted the guards out of her way, setting them down in a nearby field, whispering to them:

Grace you are given to cherish and earn.
Remember this gift and offer no harm.

Even more gently, she lifted the prisoners and set them on the road home, singing again:

Grace you are given to live long and free.
Lift up your head, step out and believe,
Care for each other and care you’ll receive.
You are love in your soul,
Your life be made whole,
Remember this gift and offer no harm.
Grace you are given to cherish and learn.

Returning to the empty building she whipped her winds, roaring:

Private prisons,
Profiting on sorrow and pain,
Anguish and shame.
Let my winds batter, shatter and cry,
And the place of your evil, crumble and die.

The shivering treble notes of broken glass sailed across the top of the roaring basses, as if the sound had been released, set free by the shattering of the windows, the crumbling of the walls:

Slaves no longer!
Let us go!
Prisoners no longer!
Let us free!
A people born of love and joy!
Love and joy WE WILL BE!!

Soaring upward again, she tore across the land to all the offices and factories of the largest purveyor of semi-automatic weapons, bombs, and drones – Wiebe Armaments.

Security, the word rumbled in the air.
Chaos, she screamed.
Security – Money, money, money for you!
Death and chaos for the rest.

The night watchmen fled as she let her feet down to drag through the barbed wire fencing, so that the wire flew through the air and spun around, and around the buildings, tightening its grip until they exploded upward, a pounding tympani sounding the bass, the beat of the storm.

She released the wire so that it lay wound through the mass of destruction, a warning to any who would try to salvage the ugly contents.

Hear our wailing!
Hear our cries!
Our children march to kill and die.
Enslaved as surely as before
When they march to death and war.

Her voice slipped to a whisper – almost silence. The center, the eye of the storm.

Mothers of murdered children sigh,
Our sweet sons shot, left to die.
Murdered by each other, and…

Suddenly her voice rose again, thundering, splintered by jags of light piercing the dark roiling clouds.

And by YOU!
BY YOU!

And she whirled, rumbling and tumbling, around the police headquarters of all the cities, sending the burly men and women skidding under desks, huddling under tables.

Moaning and groaning the winds swept over them, this time only a warning:

Hear our wailing, hear our cries,
We will not let our children die!

Then she gathered her skirts around her and strode back across the skies to Seaview Business Park where Kasimir Goddard, and the other Gold members of the Giants of God sat, their eyes glued to the computer screen, watching the live video of her destruction of the prisons and factories, and the menacing of police headquarters.

The early morning sunshine filtering in through the recently repaired windows suddenly disappeared, and darkness, pierced with jagged light, descended on the building. “O my god, it’s coming here,” yelled Reginald

The men, with Stuart clutching the laptop to his chest, flew from the room, running for the elevators and stairs, tumbling down the eight stories as fast as they could, and down one more to the basement.

Oya laughed and the winds rumbled and screamed.

Run, she sang, run,
but you cannot hide.
Beware the winds of judgment,
The winds of change.
Let my people go!

The glass shattered, and the building shook, the desks flew back and forth in the rooms, the computers crashed to the floor, and the few people who had been in the building at that early hour huddled in the basement wondering if there was a building left above them, if they would get out alive.

Oya smacked her hands against each other, brushing away the debris, the dust and the dirt.

Enough, she roared.
Enough, she rumbled and grumbled.
Enough... she whispered,
For now.