Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Token Grove, 2050



At Token Grove,
the tour busses are pulled over
so the tourists can admire
the last of the ancient cedars.

The trees stand behind protective fences,
neatly, in rows, branches clasped to their chests,
their ferns and fronds and
old man's beard neatly combed,
posing prettily for the photographers.

A grandfather, his hand on
his grandson's shoulder,
says, reverently,
"Look, Johnny, these are trees!
When I was a boy, there were a lot of them."

"How many was 'a lot'?" asks young Johnny.
"More than this?"

"Yes, many more. They grew all over this island.
Not behind fences, whole hillsides and acres of them."

Young Johnny: "What's an 'acre'?"

"Well, er, land that has.....land......on it,
earth and grass and trees and growing things.
Land without concrete, without tall buildings,
without expressways, paved lots,
shopping monstrosities, er, malls.......
In those days, I could ride my bike
through the countryside
and see trees everywhere.
And we didn't have to wear these
oxygen tanks then,
because the trees gave us air."

"Wow," says Johnny, impressed.
"No oxygen tanks?
Grandpa, what happened?
And why do they call this Token Grove?"

"Big companies wanted to make big money
and they cut all the trees
and shipped them away,
as fast as they could.
Till the hillsides were bare
and began to slide down
the mountain slopes every rainy season."

"And that's why the mountains are little hills now?"

"Yup. And we call it Token Grove because
these are the only ones that were protected,
and the only ones left on this whole Island.
They are rotting now, and soon will fall to the ground
with the winter wind."

"Grandpa, I wish it was like when you were a boy, for me."

"Me, too, Johnny. Me, too."


for Grace's fantastic prompt at dVerse: how weird will the future be? My guess is - very weird.

29 comments:

  1. oh what a sad future you can created....but one that seems inevitable in our greed...and need to take the land under our dominion...what a sad day it will be when we have to explain that to our grandchildren...

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  2. I hope we wake up before the world becomes the nightmare your words describe, Sherry!

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  3. I got the inkling that you will go for this message Sherry - all the trees gone, us wearing oxygen, what a sad picture ~ I don't want a world like this ~ and I really like your approach, having a conversation with your grandchild ~ I pray that someday this will not be ~ Thanks for your fantastic response ~

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  4. Such a horrible future, barren of all trees except those token few behind the glass. Hopefully, we will protect those things and regard them as the sacred trust they are - Now, go out and hug a tree! smiles

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  5. Let's awaken! This is too sad. I still hope it is purely imagined fiction. And I hope I'm not too naive. Sad, but good story Sherry.

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  6. terrible future... I truly hope things don't turn out this way... only a few trees, oxygen masks... every cloud must be grey in those conditions - even on the sunniest day.

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  7. Sadly, your vision would fit neatly in mine--a token grovew of trees would go well with my three hidden gardens. But Oxygen tanks! Imagine what that would look like! Wow.

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  8. You have drawn us a picture of a very sad future, Sherry.

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  9. So sad to picture this, hopefully mankind will wise up and realize how precious our earth really is. Wonderfully written, Sherry.

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  10. that would be so tough... only a few trees left and no air to breathe... what a sad future that would be..ugh...

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  11. a heartbreaking glimpse of a potential future. I sincerely hope that the future is different than this.

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  12. How heartbreaking that this could actually happen.

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  13. Indeed a bleak future - what sadness if it came to that.. When oxygen is scarce... We seem to have been thinking around the same bleak lines Sherry

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  14. This is a very very omnious situation. No trees and oxygen masks paint a very grim future - is this what we are toiling hard for right now?
    ~Prajakta

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  15. Token Grove - wow, very sinister indeed! Bleak but rather plausible future you paint there.

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  16. "shopping monstrosities, er, malls....." nothing is truer than this..... "the trees gave us air." this is like a deep sigh from the page of a fairy tale though we know that it was reality...so heartbreaking Sherry....

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  17. The reality of this probable outcome is lost on those that are making money out of trees and their products now. Our grandparents generation in the 1960's were given the warning with Vance Packard;s book "The Waste Makers" in 1960 and Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" in 1962. We are such a foolish people!

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  18. An impossible future. We simply cannot exist without trees. Thank goodness they are living things and can be replenished, unlike most of the resources we squander.

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  19. True, the trees are crucial...their extinction would bring about ours...right on, Sherry.

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  20. Ah.. trees.. trees. trees.. that beautify oxygen and CO2 IN perfect human breathing balance..

    Ah.. humans.. humans.. humans.. who forget about how important breathing is..

    And cut them all down..

    Hmm.. trees.. trees.. trees.. you are so intellectually smart and leaving free!..

    What happened to humans..

    and the tree of life....

    with razors sharp enough to trim beards...

    and remove trees that are too large for those eyes and balded beards to see...:)

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  21. We need the trees so that we may breathe freely. Written with your pen of wisdom. One can hope that future generations will know the beauty of the wild forests. Sigh makes my heart heavy.

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  22. Oh if we could just preserve our nature.....no such future...it is so scary.......trees are part of our existence....at our home in kerala I could gaze out at trees ...full of trees...it is so green there......here in mumbai I miss the greenery.....

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  24. oh, i remember reading a story almost 30 years ago in a children's magazine with the title 'Grandpa, What is a Tree?' - so similar to your imagined future.. and i remember the chill it sent through me .. your words evoked the same feeling. and here is hoping for a greener future.

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  25. The dialogue in this piece is so effective..."what's an acre?" Oh how sad...but you have touched on all the possibilities here, the rate we are going on protecting our resources.

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  26. Wow...sad and powerful, and yet gives me hope as we can STILL raise them to keep mountains high, trees strong and know what grows on an acre. Well done!

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!