by Tova Beck-Freidman
Asherah is probably one of the most ancient of mother goddess symbols, recorded in the pantheons of several civilizations from the tenth century BCE. This cine-poem draws on Ashera’s manifestation as sacred trees worshiped in groves. It resurrects the ancient goddess who was entrusted with protecting the environment. In personifying her role as a protectress of nature we observe her pain while she laments its destruction.
here I stand among the trees at the top of the mountain tall – wrapped in foliage I see soft undulations of green emerald green – sage green green turning to gold and reds with the seasons I see the curvatures of hills a landscape that bulges and swells I see the beauty of it all they call me Ashera queen of the forest queen of the forest indeed I am commanding respect for the hills and forests respect for the rivers and creeks for all that is green for all that lives and grows One day not long ago I heard rotating blades tractors and bulldozers encroaching on my forest my beautiful green woods they moved closer and closer leaving marks of burnt earth truncated trees lying wounded the river below muddied its clear water murky the bulldozers kept moving gaping holes opened up the forest shrunk where would the birds come to nest who would sing me a song at dawn from where would clean water come what air would we breath with grieving heart I weep at the distraction tears roll down my face cascading down converging into a river I’m fading away
Film, Poem & Production — Tova Beck-Friedman
Narration – Duvall O’Steen
Music — Kamila Kostur