Last Testimony

Rainbow feather-bearers,
winged busy trilling wonders
rest on stout Sequoia shoulders

arcing out in providential shelter
with canopy of ancient splendor
slain when commerce cuts asunder

felled history’s immanence
felled unwritten covenants
felled ringed testaments

fell sight of heaven
fell curse east of Eden.

Fallen Giant Sequoia Redwood tree Loggers with felled Redwood circa 1905
A fallen giant Redwood tree with 14 loggers around a large Redwood tree
Humboldt County, Lumber industry, circa 1905
Photographer: Jesse A. Meiser (1870-1939) Monterey County Historical Society

For Sherry's "Tongues of Falling Trees" earthweal prompt
and De's dVerse Quadrille (44 words, "wing")

15 thoughts on “Last Testimony

  1. Mastery of nature is the death of us … the “fell curse east of Eden.” A fallen Sequoia looks like a barbed whale tethered to the side of a ship. A victory for deadly candescence. I love the Hopkinesque lilt of the first stanza. You find such joy there.


  2. Sherry Marr

    It’s as if the settlers saw this land full of resources as a supermarket. They couldnt cut trees down fast enough and, in BC, it hasnt stopped, in fact is speeding up. Greed. Your poem is wonderful and the photo the sign of what was to come.


  3. I would like to give them the benefit of “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” But they know what they are doing and they don’t care. Very depressing to think how many living creatures were wiped out by humans. We used to have a giant dune here where the passenger pigeons lived. The sand miners took the dune away and the passenger pigeons are now extinct.


  4. What a conceit to begin with, the idea of conquering nature. She can be insulted and abused, but she’ll have the last laugh every time, and do the occasional smackdown to remind us of our place. Oscar Wilde said that Americans are a people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. The image that you’ve included with your poem certainly illustrates that. Not that Americans have the market cornered by any means. It’s all around the world. Anyway, I’ve visited the redwoods in California and they have to be seen to be believed. Just amazing.



  5. The juxtaposition of the light bright of that first stanza with the heavy sadness of the last lends this poem its power. And that image is awful – I found a few similar pics of giant felled yellow woods from the forest here. Brutal.


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