Friday, June 10, 2005

Song of the Redwood

190 BCE Rome was a little village on the Tiber, and I was a young.

5 CE Christ was a little lad somewhere, but I was a giant.

400 CE Kalidasa wrote poetry and plays, while I sang with the clouds.

1220 CE Genghis’ shadow darkens Europe, while mine heals those below.

1600 CE Birds tell me strange white men walk where red feet ran.

1789 CE Who is this George Washington? My eyes grow weak.

1864 CE Now the black man is free, but where are my red friends?

1906 CE The earth trembles, and I see fair Francisco in flames!

1933 CE Men! Cruel men! No, not the axe!

Something I wrote, when I saw the trunk of the giant redwood tree in the Redwood national park, CA.

The tree was 2,200 years old when some men, perhaps 22 years old, had cut it down in1933. A slice of the tree trunk has been preserved for posterity, for us to see, with dated inscriptions on it.


Michael Higgins said...

Hi Sunil
And the real pity about that is that redwood is lousy wood for making furniture any other use that such a large tree might be intended for.

Luckily, the loggers came to their senses before they chopped them all down. They sure are impressive, aren't they?

Sunil said...

here in the Pacific Northwest, there are superb old growth forests, with 300 year old Douglas firs that are a hundred feet tall, but look small next to the redwood.

The only thing that ever came as close to impressing me was this massive Banyan tree near Bangalore (called dodda aaladha mara, or the big banyan tree). It covers some 4 acres.....and I thought it was many trees. But it's all just one evergrowing tree....and it's a few hundred years old as well! I'm glad someone thought it was sacred so there's a small shrine somewhere beneath it, and so no one dares to chop it down.

Amrit said...

Heart-rechingly sad. Such a big majesty falls in a matter of a few minutes.


Soultan of Swing said...

what about the famed banyan in the theosophical society property at besant nagar - never seen it, but it keeps getting a mention in all the tourist guides...

Sunil said...

yes Amrit......and when something is this old....seen the passage of eras!

Bala...I actually haven't seen the famed banyan at the theosophical society. Have been planning to do so for years though :-). Next visit to India......

There's also the old banyan in Calcutta (botanical gardens) and a few others. The peepul tree in Bodh Gaya is a few hundred years old (and said to be descended from the one under which the Buddha got ultimate gyan).

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