Wednesday, May 31, 2017

our inattention, and the results

the burner turned too high

I feel for the forest on this mountain:
the burner beneath the atmosphere
is turned up too high, our fault,
and the predictable patterns we have known
wrench away into devastating drought and rains,
into winds that roar too fast for the trees,

last fall these woods were drier
than at any time in my 69 years of memory,
some kids arsoned a small fire

Courtesy Google Images

and hurricane level winds spread it,
blowtorched it across valleys and ridges,
a red whirlwind of destruction

Courtesy Google Images

scouring the ground of leaves and twigs
and down trunks that masked earth and rock beneath,
the wind knocking down tree after tree older than me,

since the Great Fire, 
wind storms have revisited these woods,
again and again,
and more great trees have toppled over,
in the last month another great beech came down
across the path above the cabin,
from the same storm that knocked out power
to more than 10,000 in this county,
a power pole snapped in two by the cabin,

now many twigs and branches cover the scarred earth,
the small plants that thrived last year
have come back out and should enjoy
how much more sun and nutrients are now available,

the forest changes, adapts, yet I feel for it,
for how drastic and tumultuous the changes come,

too many are blind to the burner turned too high.

Courtesy Stanton Sweeney

by Henry H. Walker
May 25, ‘17

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