Your Buildings Be Damned

            When I awoke this morning I left bed with heavy eyelids and a grumpy attitude. Athena had decided that last night that if she was unable to sleep, then nobody would get any sleep as she woke me up twice to go to the potty, once by getting stuck in the bathroom, and finally to bark at the things that go bump in the night. Needless to say, rising from bed was a true struggle today.

20161216_094548_hdr
Athena’s “I’m sorry I kept you up all night” pose

           But, there were some silver linings. It is a Friday morning and that means brewing the special coffee that celebrates the end of a long and tiring work week. However, as I was preparing the coffee cup a loud screeching noise was heard echoing from outside. The screeching noise consisted to attack my ears through my fist cup of coffee and breakfast. Before leaving for work I decided to step onto the back porch of our apartment and see how heavy of a coat the day would require as I stepped onto the porch Athena and I discovered the source of the screeching.

            This morning, when Athena and I stepped out on the porch, we discovered the source of the screeching noise was coming from a saw operated by a tractor. This was a true horror to witness! Our apartment is a terrace level room with a back porch that overlooks this beautiful wooded lot. In the summer, the trees provide plenty of shade keeping our home extremely cool and they provide the other perk of preventing us from seeing cars and people in the middle of Raleigh. The trees are a true blessing. As you can imagine, I proceed to enter a melodramatic rage at the machine destroying our beloved trees. This is what Athena and I yelled.

*  * *

“What is this?

What are you doing out here?

Do you not know,

That these trees are mine?

They are not yours,

They do not belong to you,

You cannot chop them down!

*  * *

Why must you chop down

            My trees?

Why must you remove the woods

            From the city?

Are we not aware,

That the beauty of Raleigh

Grows from the dirt.

Tall trunks standing erect

Leafy canopies casting

much needed shade

From the sun’s fiery touch.

How can we be,

             A City of Oaks

If there are no more Oaks?

*  * *

Perhaps, I thought,

This saw was meant to bolster

The woods behind my home.

Removing only those trees

That are dead

            Or sick.

But such a job, requires only a person

            And his saw.

Yet, here I see

A yellow tractor,

A yellow devil

amidst my trees.

Whose engine roars

Drowning out,

 morning birds’ song!

Whose exhaust

Blackens out,

 the early dawn!

*  * *

This yellow beast,

Can mean only one thing.

My Trees are doomed!

No more,

Shall I hear the birds’

No more,

            Will squirrels taunt my dog

No more,

Will the forest’s peace

            Surround.

How can I know, such a thing?

Because it has happened

            Before.

Last summer, there was a grove

of pines, standing on a corner

They graced both Tryon

             And Walnut

With a releasing green space

Amidst the hurried traffic.

But, green things do not last!

They are forcibly removed,

(as these pine trees were)

In place of warehouses,

            And stores.

            Apartment buildings too!

We say, it is

For progress,

The trees must go.

For city’s growth,

            The trees must go.

For man’s wish,

            The trees must go.

We say, it is

For another building,

            The trees must go.

To this, I say

Let the trees remain

            The Oaks stand.

And your buildings be damned!

 

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