WELCOME TO THE LYRIC POETRY WEBSITE
A REFUGE FOR POETS WHO WRITE IN THE LYRIC TRADITION,
WITH RHYME AND METER, WITH OR WITHOUT MUSIC
LEAVE IT ALONE
A mighty windstorm swept through here
At break of dawn last week,
The strongest winds in forty years
To strike these mountain peaks.
Where virgin stands of pine and spruce
And hemlock lately stood,
Lies timber torn up by the roots,
And shattered, splintered wood.
Trees that were already here
When the white man first appeared;
Trees that stood four hundred years
Through fire, flood, and drought;
Trees that all escaped the axe
Of nineteenth century lumberjacks
Now, like toothpicks, lie in stacks,
And loggers want them out.
They say that it would be a waste
To leave these fallen logs in place
To rot upon the forest floor
When they could sell them in their stores.
They cite the risk of forest fire
As, over time, the logs get drier.
They would cut them into lumber.
They would tear the ground asunder.
If every time a windstorm blows
We build a maze of logging roads
Into the virgin wilderness
There will, in time, be nothing left.
Fire and wind are part of nature,
Just like mudslides, floods, and glaciers.
I would thank them very much
To leave the wilderness untouched.
Look what has become of them,
The trees that grew so tall.
We want to rescue some of them;
They want to cut them all.
They measure value in board feet;
But I have always found
More value in an old growth tree,
Alive or on the ground.
Saranac Lake, New York, 1995
See Table of Contents
Go to next page