This particular piece of Poplar, weathered, misshapen, worm eaten and on the verge of decay begged to make a statement.  With a Carnelian stone embedded in a knot hole, perfectly located to represent the eye, this piece of tree branch has been transformed into a tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien's comentary in the, Hobbit, of the human condition in the 20th century, one that continues today.  Smaug is the antagonist, the dragon that would dedicate it's existence to defending it's ill gotten gold, preventing the flow of wealth to all others at their expense, of course, but also at it's own.  Metaphorically, Tolkien's Smaug reflected the greed of humanity. This representative branch is supported by an unfinished steel bar, strong and effective, but not beautiful, like the institutions of our world that effectively keep the control of wealth and power in so few hands.  Set on a beautiful piece of solid polished walnut, the head lords over a smokey quartz with formations of mica very similiar to pyrite, fools gold, for it is the fool that thinks they are above the natural order, the flowing of energy as means to balancing that which is not.  The smokey quartz and mica metaphysically reprensent hope for the human condition, assitance that is provided by our mother Earth, for she is the source of all, and all reflects her support.  Smokey quartz absorbs and alleviates the symptoms created by fearful, negative energy, in this case the human fear that there is not enough.  The Mica aligns energies that are not, enhancing flexibility and the strength of character necessary for humanity to see past it's narrow definition of self.  All is in balance or seeking balance, regardless of it's temporary condition, and seeing the flow of nature is to be a part of it.