Eco Art

This section includes stories, music, poems, paintings, photographs that express the various faces of Nature via the Green Angel Initiative.
In Eco Art we can appreciate the various expressions of Nature. In the past many, many poems, songs and stories were written about the beauty, generosity and the principles of Nature and now we can create more, highlighting whatever aspects we feel moved, inspired or entertained by.

Shape Shifters
                       By Ruth Deighton
Going Home
''...I am mesmerized by Nature. She compels me to organize activities that will link me closer to her. She entertains me, exhausts me, absorbs me and amazes me. Her strength and her vulnerability confounds me.

For endless months I cut myself off from the modern world and live in her embrace, only to become more enamored.

My art cannot begin to compare with her majesty, but it is a game that I play with her. Perhaps it is the mystics’ path of identifying with the cosmos. Like the shaman who attempts to communicate with the other side of the veil, I attempt to communicate through my games of re-arranging her, and through sharing my adoration with you.

For I believe that if we all love Nature, and honor her, that Nature holds the key to our survival. And if we listen to it, we might just live on to play another day...''


Yunus Emre

Books are composed by the sages
Who put black words on white pages;
My sacred book's chapters are all
Written in the hearts that love truly

Turkish culture is full of legends about or attributed to Yunus Emre. One famous story about Yunus Emre describes how he became a dervish. [1][2][5] Young Yunus was a poor Anatolian villager, who would starve if the harvest was bad and live like a king when it was good. One day he ran out of seeds for his field; he got on his donkey and collected various wild fruits from forests in hope of exchanging them for seeds. After a long journey he stopped at Haci Bektas Tekke, the famous tekke (Sufi lodge) of the founder of the most latitudinarian sect of Bektasis of Anatolia. He entered Haci Bektas's room and asked him for seeds in exchange for his wild fruits. Haci Bektas, a grand Seyh and poet in his own right, offered Yunus a "nefes" (a breath of blessing) in return for his fruits. Yunus refused. Haci Bektas then offered ten "nefes" for each handful, but Yunus still refused. To his suprise, Yunus ended up getting as much seeds as he could carry from Haci Bektas after this incident. On his way back to his village, Yunus reflected: "This man must be a noble spirit; how could anyone else be so generous to a poor stranger?". Thus he took the seeds back to Haci Bektas to ask for a "nefes". However, Haci Bektas replied: "I cannot, because I have turned over your padlock to Taptuk Emre".

Let us pause here and think about possible the symbolism of this story. Yunus begins a journey in search of "seeds" in exchange of "wild fruits". A wild fruit is the untreated, uneducated version of the corresponding domestic fruit, Yunus seeks to give away these to get seeds, which symbolize the foundations of a new life, the beginning of a transformation, a journey - in short, "the Way" described by many Sufis. His journey leads him to Haci Bektas, a Seyh and a man of great wisdom, who offers Yunus "nefes", something that many people would yearn to get but Yunus refuses. Haci Bektas is a generous person, however, - one of God's attributes, or the attributes of a perfect man in Sufism.Thus he gives Yunus many seeds, which makes Yunus reconsider the situation. Yunus understands the signs given to him by Haci Bektas through this incident, but it is too late; his "lock" has been turned over to Taptuk Emre. In Sufistic terms, this means that a spiritual guide, a Seyh or Pir, has been appointed for Yunus on his path in search of God's truth - here in search of the source of Haci Bektas' wisdom.

by Turgut Durduran
[1] "Yunus Emre", S. Eyuboglu, Cem Yayinevi,Istanbul, Turkey, 1980
[2] "Yunus Emre, Butun Siirleri", C. Oztelli, Milliyet Yayinlari, Turkey, 1971
[5] "The Humanist Poetry of Yunus Emre", T. S. Halman, R.C.D. Cultural
Institute, No.39, Istanbul Matbaasi, Istanbul, Turkey
A version of this book could be viewed at:


Long ago, just after God had created the world, He stepped back and gazed at His wonder.
The sun shone like a large dazzling topaz in the soft blue sky,
the moon, like a silk balloon, poured its gentle, silver light throughout the ebony sky.
Day was blessed with a golden eye and Night with a silver one,
each opening and closing at the appropriate time.

Earth with her innumerable flowers, trees, animals and people was like a painted canvas that changed her pictures four times in the year. A kaleidoscope of colour and form which changed in every season as Earth silently moved around the golden sun.

This harmony made Mother Earth a sanctuary of Peace for all who lived on her .
There was no fear, mistrust, no injury no complaint.

Then one day it happened and the perfect harmony that existed was broken.
There were a group of stars in the sky who complained bitterly to God,
"Why have you made us like this ?
We are not like the sun and moon which give light everywhere.
We are just tiny specks in this vast space that hardly anyone can notice".

And God replied,
“But your sparkling faces are like a million pearls
that light up the dark night where the moons light cannot reach.
Human beings guide their ships by your light.
Through you they understand the beginning of dusk and dawn.
You signal to them when to awaken when to rest. Your value is great”.

"Do not try to make us feel good," grumbled the dissatisfied stars.

"Our light can never compare with that of the sun or moon, never!
So many good things are on the earth,
so many interesting things happen there
and we stars are stuck up here, away from it all.
God, we are just your after-thoughts ,aren’t we ?
First you created the best, the most beautiful things on the earth,
then the sun and moon
and finally you made us from bits of rocks and stuck us here.”

"It's not like that", God tried to explain.
"The whole picture was already in my mind before it manifested.
I knew that everything, whether on the earth or in the sky,
has its own position, purpose and specialness.
There is no lesser or greater."

"That is all very well for you to say when you are God", the stars replied rudely.
"You can do what you want, when and how you want, we have no choice, none, do we?"
"Not true", God lovingly answered.
"Of course it's true", stars replied defiantly.
"We cannot be or do what we want because you have made us like this!".

"Not true", replied God again patiently.
"Firstly remember that God doesn’t lie and secondly and, more importantly,
you have it in your power to be what you want to be
and do what you wish to do.
It’s up to you not me. Always keep that in mind".

"O.K, if that is so", one of the stars snapped back,
"the other day as we looked over the earth, we saw the sea.
Its green-blue waves sparkled like turquoise silk, looking so fresh and cool.
However we are suspended up here in this dark, cold space unable to reach it, touch it or smell it.
It’s not fair".

"Then in your mind create where you wish to be,
where you want to go.
the choice is always yours", God told him

"Really?" the stars replied, blinking in deep surprise.

"Up to you" said God and He disappeared.

So the group of dissatisfied stars sat together
and discussed what they really wanted in their life.

"We want a change don’t we?" asked one of the stars.

“We all want to be in the tropical warm sea with the turquoise waves
and then we will be so happy, won’t we ?" he shouted
"Yes,yes,O yes!" they all clamoured.

So they sat together for many nights
and wanted and wanted to be in the turquoise sea,
absolutely not in the sky .

Suddenly one summer night,
people saw a huge group of stars falling down somewhere onto the earth
but no one knew exactly where.

The stars actually fell into the turquoise sea,
which they wanted so much
and they stayed there and very soon they changed their form
They were no longer pieces of luminous rocks but became fleshy.

People were very surprised to find them,
they had never seen such creatures in the sea before.
They started to call them the "star fish" because they resembled stars.

At first the stars enjoyed the colour, the coolness and wetness of the sea.
After some time they started discussing amongst themselves,
"It is so wet here, so deep here, everything is always the same.
We cannot see anything except this turquoise water and fish,
no flowers, no trees , no sun ,no moon, no people.
It’s so boring. Why are we stuck here? " they moaned.
"God, why are we stuck here? It's always blue here, always wet.
God can you hear us ? Do something!"
Nothing happened and the starfish got upset.
"God, you are not listening. You are never there when we need you ,are you ?".

Nothing happened.

"God, its not fair. Who can put up with so much water daily?
Our only visitors are fish !
We deserve something better than this!
What kind of fate is this? Do something” they pleaded.

Nothing happened except there was some faint echo in the depths of the ocean,
"Create what you want to be ....where you want to go.....the choice is yours.....the choice is yours".

They heard but did not understand. Their memory had faded after so many years in the sea.
Occasionally one starfish would remember where it came from, would make a great effort of will and was able to return to the sky. But this was very rare because it was much easier to come down than it was to go up.

In fact, still there are stars in the sky who know that a long time ago, some their relatives had left the sky to go and live in the sea and they wanted to do the same.

So whenever you see a falling star you know what is happening and where it is going.
We often see such falling stars.
However I have never seen an ascending least, not yet!.

The First Pearl

Once upon a time off the coast of Honshu in Japan,
lived a family of many, many oysters at the bottom of the ocean.

They lived happily, everything was easy and they enjoyed each others company.
There was food in abundance; they simply opened themselves up and caught the food without any difficulty.
They did not have to hunt or go anywhere, it came to them.
One day, as they were living happily and peacefully in their underwater kingdom, a great great storm came.
A storm no one of them had ever experienced before.
The waves rose as high as the tallest pine trees,
the wind blew in a cold fury everywhere,
the lightening sent its electric fingers over all the land and ocean.

The turmoil reached the quiet and comfortable bed of the ocean,
where the family of oysters lived.
They started to be thrown about and the sand was whirled in all directions.

Some of the oysters were swept away never to be seen again.
All of them were in a panic : “what to do in this ferocious storm ?"
All of them decided to keep close together, hold onto the seabed
and close their wide mouth very tightly.

So as Storm pounded stronger and stronger they held themselves tighter and tighter together.

Meanwhile the sand grains were tossed and thrown everywhere.
The grains were also in a panic of what to do, they could not stick together like the oysters because their tiny yellow bodies were different from those of the oysters. How could they get help?

They knocked on the shell of the oysters begging,
"Please let us in, give us some shelter till Storm passes, please".
However the oysters replied : “No room, no room and besides if we opened our mouths to let you in, who knows what Storm would do to us".
"O oysters, don't you remember, we gave you our little yellow backs where you comfortably slept and sat on the seabed for so many years ", pleaded the sand grains.

"Times have changed sand grains, now its too dangerous for us to let you in and besides ,that was in the past. The present is another reality,' heartlessly replied the oysters.

No matter how much the sand grains knocked, pleaded and begged,
the oysters kept their shells and hearts firmly shut.

One of the oysters, Shisuku, heard the pleas of one of the grains that had come to her shell and she felt she should do something.
She told the other oysters,
"Let's open our mouths just a little for some of these sand grains,
after all, they have been so kind to us in the past”.

“You are mad" the other oysters all shouted.
If we open our mouths, even just a little,
the great Storm will enter and rip us open and that will be the end of us. Definitely not!'

Still Shisuku felt mercy as she heard the cries of the little sand grains outside her shell. So, without telling any of the other oysters she opened her mouth a little and whispered to the grain;

“Come, come in my little friend and wait till the storm is over". The grain quickly stepped inside Shisuku’s mouth and very grateful for her kindness.

The storm lasted a long time but gradually passed. Shisuku had forgotten about the little sand grain and many months passed.

And then one day as she opened her mouth to eat, the other oysters looked at her and exclaimed "How beautiful ! We have never seen such a thing before.
Where did you get it ? Why don’t you tell us ? We want one too ".

Shisuku could not understand what they were talking about. Then as she looked inside herself she too was amazed. There stood a beautiful little round ball, the colour of moonlight, shining brightly.

“I want one, I want one, give me one too, give me “.The other oysters all started shouting.

Then Shisuku realised that this was a gift from the little sand grain
and was so happy and so amazed.

The Sun's Flower

Once a long, long time ago there was a garden.
In this garden grew a tiny yellow flower .
She had a round, brown face full of seeds, surrounded by small yellow petals.
Her little green body was so small that when the other flowers bloomed,the small yellow flower become hidden from view.

In fact, she hardly saw the sun.
She hated spring and especially summer,
because at that time all the flowers:
roses, hollyhocks, poppies, sweetpeas, larkspurs were all blooming,
crowding the garden so much that the little yellow flower nearly choked.
And worst of all, she could not reach the warm sparkling rays of the sun, whom she loved so much.

As the little yellow flower grew more and more depressed her petals started to turn brown.
The other flowers did not seem to care what happened to her,
they took all the sun for themselves!

”This was just not fair !” cried the little yellow flower.

One day the situation got so bad,
that the little flower decided
she did not want to be a little yellow flower hidden in the corner of the garden.
She wanted to go away, to disappear, even to die.

However somehow deep within her yellow heart,
she held one golden hope.
The hope that one day she could reach the beautiful sun
and just be with him all day.

Suddenly she felt something.
She felt a voice saying to her,
" just believe in what you wish".
The last words kept repeating inside her,
"Just believe ..........

Who was speaking to her ?
The thought came that it was the sun himself who was saying this to her.
She wanted to reach him and merge into his warm golden rays.
She wanted to stretch herself and reach the sun;
she loved the sun so much.
As she stretched herself she started to think,
"Will it be possible to reach him?".

Again she felt the sun say,
"Stop doubting! Just do!".

So the little yellow flower concentrated her thought
and with determination kept her vision
and her heart on her beloved sun.
As she concentrated, suddenly one warm yellow ray absorbed
her heart and filled her with strength.
So much strength that she felt herself growing and growing,
her body becoming huge.
All the time she remembered the sun.
She never looked back, forward, down or sideways but up,
at the golden beauty of the sun.

Suddenly she found herself towering above the other flowers:
her head was enormous – round, dark green and brown,
surrounded by over a hundred huge yellow hair-petals .
Her body was very long and pale green
and she had about twenty emerald arms ,almost as large as her face.
Could this be her?

She was so happy now. Her face resembled the sun and was watching him.
The other flowers in the garden, were also happy for her and they named her the Sun’s Flower.

Now all day she could watch and ,because of her height, nothing could interfere in her being with her beloved.
Stories by Rafael Rao