Ode to a Dead Tree

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think that I shall never see
A sight as lovely as a tree:
A tree cut down for pulp and boards,
Cut down for profit and rewards.

Whenever forests disappear
To fill a bookstore front to rear,
The angels sing a glorious song,
Especially if the books are long.

When trees grow high above the earth
I love to estimate their worth.
I praise the chainsaw and the axe,
Converting trees to paperbacks.

I love to contemplate bare hills,
Solutions to society’s ills.
For every tree dragged out by hooks
May soon become a shelf of books.

When men cry "Timber!" I rejoice,
A perfect use for human voice.
The sound of buzz saws is symphonic
As long as books remain dendronic.

I think of trees throughout the ages
Especially as I’m turning pages:
Majestic trees in ageless mists
Transformed into best-sellers’ lists.

Down my spine I get the shivers:
Giant forests into slivers!
Forests growing through long winters;
Spring will see them all in splinters.

The thought of trees cut down for wood,
Serving man as nature should,
Literate mankind now confesses:
"Cut the trees and start the presses!"

21, 2000

Gary North is the author of Crossed Fingers: How the Liberals
Captured the Presbyterian Church, which is available free of charge
as a downloaded text at www.freebooks.com.

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