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The Magnificent Copper Beech
by Dr. Lawrence Nannery
2013-11-15 10:36:01
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High, very high over the river,
Alone in a small clearing,
In a place from where you can see as far as
The eye will take you,
Stands that tree, noble in height, noble in its crown, richly swelling its delicious brownish‑reddish girth.

That was our place.
The dog and me — we'd find it every time —
And after awhile she knew:
Wait here, rest here.
Ten unhurried minutes would go by, twenty,
Dillydog wouldn't whine or fuss about:
Just the pink of her tongue laughing.

We'd wait, on a pretty day in May.
We'd listen to what the tree had to say,
Then we could go.
What did it say?
Generous things, things like:
"I am the exuberance of life in solid form come forth,
Breathing in your breath and sending breath back over you.
I am the standing, sheltering, nurturing and ennobling assurance
That all things, all shapes, all viscosities and valences
Have their value, and must be valued. ... "

Breathing out its whispers, there
Stands the beech, teaching us.
It shall stand, I know, long after
The dog and I are gone.
Looking at it, we partake in the stout fullness of things,
Saluting it, we are emboldened,
Touching it, we are comforted under our pale and naked sky.


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