Snow-Storm Poems: 478 / 500

The Two Oaks

Rating: 1.8

He was old. Even for an oak tree.
So ancient that he could not remember
which wars had ended one way or else
and when he saw his first belcher of smoke,
the automobile. Think of the memories.

Thousands of couples, on the bench
or in the bushes if they were a bit in a rush,
so many birds hatching from the nests,
some of them perishing, so sadly,
seasons that would bring differences,
no snow storm was entirely the same
as last year's, and the day when it happened,
lightning struck and split off the biggest branch,
a real worry, but then, the rain had put out
the fire and cooled things down again.

Ah, yes, time, there was so much of it,
one good enough reason to postpone,
even to temporarily forget the scrumptious one,
a stately she-oak, just across the creek,
it was love, of course, no question at all,
and God, in his infallible foresight and wisdom,
had not allowed a single competitor to settle,
in all these year, actually centuries, by now.

So, he had always excused his inaction,
which was mostly shyness, needless to say,
with the widely accepted belief that oaks,
all oaks, male and better, lived long lives.
Very long lives. There would be time.

Catastrophe struck. A Northeastern, bad one,
coming down, howling as all get-out,
from the Yukon Territory, scaring the wits
out of the Fraser Valley and its creatures,
had split off the upper outer branch,
right where the best leaves hung and prospered,
and the very next day, the governor, an idiot
with no understanding of Nature or much else
had declared whatever it is these no good bimbos
with their van Heusen shirts and pomade hair,
their concerned facial expressions, had declared
the state to be an emergency state of affairs.

Which meant, and it had almost killed the old oak,
that anything posing a danger to the people,
those under his mandate and protection,
had to be eliminated. Killed. Taken away.

So, a couple blue overalls came in the morning,
in their logging truck by International Harvester,
and they cut her down without a kind word
or an apology to anyone or anything.

The old oak became very rigid, his bark got brittle,
many of his leaves fell unceremoniously, down,
he stopped making his pleasant creaking noises
which he was always sure that she had liked,
and he just stood there, clearly at the end of his wits.

And then, when the robins began to sing one morning,
in the early days of Spring, he stopped attending to
the rings, a mandatory chore for all trees. He stopped.
Which led to a situation where the same blue overalls,
with the same truck, and with their two Stihl chainsaws,
came again. They were clearing things at first, mainly
because the old oak was so gigantic, having been fully
and gargantuously fully grown during the thirty year war,
but after lunch, which they partook in right under his
westernmost branch, they started on him. Cut him down.

Cut him up, bite size peaces for an airtight Canadian
or Oregon woodstove, perhaps. Funny thing is that,
throughout the entire ordeal, the oak didn't moan,
or groan, it seemed as if he was not only ready,
but exceedingly happy to go. Yes sireee.

Mary Nagy 30 September 2005

Awww! I have always had a love for trees but this personification really warms me. I think it's so interesting to think about life from the trees perspective... Very lovely but also sad of course. I loved it. Sincerely, Mary

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Mahnaz Zardoust-Ahari 30 September 2005

Very sad, touching poem.....Never know what can be....

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Uriah Hamilton 30 September 2005

H, you can be incredibly creative! I enjoyed this one on several levels.

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Pradeep Dhavakumar 29 September 2005

Very good poem, Herbert. Loved this One. Thank you.

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Raynette Eitel 29 September 2005

This is really a good one, Herbert. Ready to go. Yes. And how nice that he knew. Yessiree! (Good old logger word.) Raynette

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