Today's poetry selection, "Seattle," by the late Rod McKuen pays homage to my recent trip out west in a couple of respects. First, it is about the natural beauty that surrounds Seattle and vicinity, an area in which I was fortunate enough to spend one of those wonderful days. And second, I came across this particular poem in a collection by McKuen entitled Valentines which I found on the same trip while perusing the used book store in the Salem (Oregon) Public Library.
In this brief verse the poet talks about the difference between monuments to God, natural things such as tall trees, and monuments built to man - with cities being the example he uses for that.
Saint Ronald Reagan once famously said in defense of loggers who had surreptitiously cut down the tallest tree in America - "A tree's a tree. How many more do you need to look at?" If America has been reduced to two camps, one which sits and ponders the giant redwoods and the other which stares hypnotically at a Trump Tower, look for me among the trees.
by Rod McKuen
I'd like to be a lumberjack again
straddling high trees
instead of high-born women,
climbing heavenward among the branches
out of the well of meaningless words
I've fallen into from too much city living.
Trees are monuments to God,
cities monuments to man.
I need to meet my God again
among the ferns and trees.
There's too much me in my life now
and not enough of Him
And so I'd like to be a lumberjack again.