A breeze flutters the leaves of the tulip tree
It seems to me
They wave, they warn,
“Remember us. Remember, that we may come again.
That once again forests of greenery will come to be.”
Under this clear blue sky,
Under this bright yellow sun,
In this verdant surround, I see, nonetheless,
Long lines of grieving skeletons
Wandering the gray-brown dessert
Searching for food, for water,
For the lost way,
The fallen times.
Someone has lost the memo,
Broken the schedule,
Failed the test,
Not met the ROI.
I have drawers of papers,
But what do they mean?
And why are they there?
They seemed so important once.
I have closets of clothes
That no longer fit.
I have machines that would buzz and whirr delightfully
If I could find a place to plug them in.
And, in these dead days of gray on gray,
I must remember, I must tell,
Though few believe,
“Once there were forests here,
Trunk on trunk of thick tall tree,
Leaf and flower, flower and leaf,
Green, green, under a clear blue sky.
We can make it live again.”
Now, so the story goes, the Devil tempted us with knowledge
And we were exiled from Eden into this world.
But, really, who is this Devil, anyway, I wonder?
What if, drunk on half-knowledge, we left voluntarily?
Greedy for the shiniest bauble,
The sparkliest stone,
We forgot that sunset on lake,
Icy creeks, and snow-laden trees,
Are more beautiful than jewelry.
I see them marching, line on line,
Mindlessly miming a pattern, a template,
Aimlessly roaming, but all in formation,
With no information, but under orders, all the same.
The cadence of the stepping,
The drubbling of the drums,
Makes it all seem okay somehow
As row on endless row,
Over the cliff they go.
Blind are they to the leaves of the tulip trees, still green,
Waving their warning; warning with their waving,
Bending, sighing, singing, in the breeze:
“Remember such as these,
When there are no more trees.
Remember such as these,
After the fire and the freeze.”