Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Wisdom Teeth of the Planet

["If the current rate of deforestation continues,
80 to 90 % of the planet's rainforest will be gone
by 2020". Source: Rainforest Action Network]

I took the back way
into town today.
I love the winding road,
lined with forests,
no traffic,
passing by horses
and llamas
and the occasional cow.

Sometimes a mama deer
slips out between the trees
with her babies,
and they tentatively
poke alongside the road,
munching sweetgrass.

This morning,
I watched
a yearling bear
lolloping alongside
the roadway.
He looked askance at me,
trying to determine
exactly what
kind of animal
this noisy metal
blue thing was.

Then I rounded
a corner,
and there were
flag people
and trucks
and heavy lifters.

They were
clearing trees
from a substantial
stretch of land
along the roadway
and all the way back,
eliminating trails
horses, riders,
dogs and people
have enjoyed for
fifty years.

Trees were down,
their roots
sticking up,
clumps of earth.
It looked as if
they came out
their hold
had tried to
hold on.

It looked
as if
the yellow machines
were pulling
the wisdom teeth
of the planet,
along with
all its wisdom.

The status quo
is relentless.
Knock 'em down
rip 'em out
while we
still can!

I had to pull over
to breathe
just breathe
before I could
go on.

Do they think
will still
be here
when all the
are gone?


  1. Sherry this is breathtaking in more ways than one. This is such a devestating problem we face in this world. Thank you for sharing this tragic, yet beautiful poem.

  2. Absolutely incredible write. You get your HOLEE COW!!! right back at you. I love the image of pulling out wisdom teeth and its painful to even consider. Your images of the wildlife are so simple, but so real, triggering memories of the same, and embracing them again. I was there, right alongside of you when we pulled over just to breathe. Fantastic poem, fantastic writing, and please, no matter the 'advanced' age, keep on doing what you are doing,

    PS I had a visitor last night. A huge hawk, maybe a gyrefalcon perched on the patio rail right above my parking spot. She told me her name was Grace.

  3. I love the metaphor you are so right! It saddens me; this happened in my back yard recently and It made me ill. Where is the grace of knowing, it has gone to far?! It is tragically sad!
    Your thoughts about breathing reflect the way I feel~ xXx

  4. Oh thanks, kids, so glad you like it. I love the falcon who came a-visiting, how wonderful. Grace is the perfect, the lolloping bear was my moment of grace. Lovely young healthy lad, I so hope he gets to remain alive. Always questionable once they are so close to humans in "our" territory. Argh.

  5. It does feel like so much wisdom has been sacrificed in our world along with the trees, Sherry. The forests you're losing there are going into the new condos that pop up weekly in my suburban neighbourhood. It is unbearably sad and frustrating!

    Beautifully written poem...I too, hope your young bear gets to live a long life...:)

  6. Thank you, Sherry. That was a beautiful poem. So thoughtful and topical regarding the danger our planet finds itself in.

  7. Thanks, kind readers. My bright moment of the day was the young bear gallumphing along, so healthy and happy..........may he stay away from cars and hunters - and garbage, which would get him into trouble!

  8. sherry, this was so sad... i want to cry for the animals who lost their sanctuary... and for those trees who lost their lives there. i could feel my anger as i reached the conclusion of your poem.

  9. I know, Bing. I was angry at the end too. It is all so unsustainable. Could be done so differently.

  10. Enjoy reading your observations, speculations, and wise poetic lines. Cheers on a Nice One Shot!

  11. Wonderfully written, and terribly sad. Thank you for sharing this.

  12. sherry - this started with such a nature idyll and turned into such a destruction - my heart started to bleed when i read about the wisdom teeth - wonderful lines!

  13. oh very nice...i like the bring back to affects all of us..the pulling of the wisdom teeth along with thewisdom...i feel for that bear...nice One SHot

  14. Extracting wisdom sounds most UN-wise to me! Nice One Shot, Sherry!

  15. Thanks, kind readers........may all beings everywhere plant more trees!!!!!!!!

  16. Heartbreaking words. I had the same feeling when I last drove through Oregon and saw them clear cutting. Trees can be a regenerating resource if they are harvested in the old fashioned way; but taking them all at once means we're just being stupid and greedy.
    It hurts but maybe your words can make a difference. I pray!

  17. painful these images....our breath..our life....nature is our not know why we treat her so badly....thank you for writing...bkm

  18. Hi Sherry,
    what a beautiful read! I loved how you transitioned from the happiness to the devastation as you literally turned the corner..

    I'm glad I found your poem on One Shot


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