Saturday, February 6, 2010

Requiem for a Tree

Let the trees be consulted before you take any action
every time you breathe in thank a tree
let tree roots crack parking lots at the world bank headquarters
let loggers be druids specially trained and rewarded
to sacrifice trees at auspicious times
let carpenters be master artisans
let lumber be treasured like gold
let chainsaws be played like saxophones
let soldiers on maneuvers plant trees 

give police and criminals a shovel
and a thousand seedlings
let businessmen carry pocketfuls of acorns
let newlyweds honeymoon in the woods
walk don't drive
stop reading newspapers
stop writing poetry
squat under a tree and tell stories.
-  John Wright

The ice storm last weekend brought with it the end for several grand trees at Garvinweasel. The pecan tree above was last seen in this post, where it was referred to in Jane's comment as 'slightly scary', which was what I loved about it. I spent one whole day outside with my chainsaw already this week, and have no idea when I will finish the work of cleaning up the remains of this and two other trees that were uprooted by the weight of the ice, along with a couple of other trees that lost major limbs. 
As Brian sang from the cross in the Monty Python film that bears his name, it's best if one can 'always look on the bright side of life'. On that note, perhaps I can turn the wood from these trees into a beautiful floor, something much needed at Garvinweasel.
I love these end-cut parquet from Atelier de Grange. I find their web site mesmerizing. At the least, I should produce several tons of firewood, which would be put to good use next winter. 


  1. Dear James,
    you have a big heart and I agree with you that we should treat every animal and also every tree with respect as they are living fellows. I love the indian philosophy as well with its respect for nature and life.
    Hopefully you will find a good home for your dogs soon and I wish you a very cozy weekend !
    Kindest regards

  2. Dear James,
    I loved the poet of John Wright and I love the way to tell about treating a tree, nature (including animals)!
    And yes the tree didn'y make it but as you said always look at the bright side of life!
    The wood of the tree is there to serve you for making something beautiful of it! So do it!!!!
    Sometimes things go wrong! But don't forget after rain there will be sunshine!
    I hope you will have a nice weekend with your lovely dogs!


  3. It isn't a good feeling to lose something that has a lot of value and meaning to you... hopefully you will be able to re-new and re-purpose what you have lost.

  4. Hi there - that is really sad about the trees. It is always sad when something as bad and noble as a tree dies. I do agree with you about plants, we must always treat them with respect. I make an exception for weeds!! It will be a nice peaceful time with the dogs.

    And if you can turn those trees into flooring you would be a person of rare skill. At the very least, I agree, firewood. Or maybe a driftwoody mirror frame?

  5. James,

    I'm saving this poem for my daughter to read. Thank you for sharing. So sorry about your trees. I've lost major trees in many storms (worst offender, Hurricane Elvis). It's amazing such destruction can come from such beauty. Your images of the ice are beautiful.


  6. Such a magnificent tree to lose. I trudged through thigh high snow yesterday and today to give every limb I could reach gentle smacks with a broom to attempt to eliviate the weight of the snow on bent limbs. I know I will be saying goodbye to many cherished friends of nature. Beautiful poem, glad I found your sight.

  7. James,
    (I somehow missed this post until today!)

    I was very touched by the loss of your tree. In high winds we had a couple of months back, I lost major branches from my beautiful olive tree and felt bad for days --wishing I could have done something to protect it somehow! And I am as sensitive as you are with regards to the feelings of your dogs. A respect for nature and the soul of all living things is a gift that not everyone shares. So while it may be difficult, at least we can be grateful to have this awareness. All the best to you. ~LeAnn