Monday, October 30, 2006

New Season

Note added, 2013 October:   Please see also New Season -- revised  
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New Season

The air has cooled, and still the ardent sun
Retains his strength, though leaves turn red and fall.
Now comes November, yet, here by the coast,
It is as if we waited for fair May.

The maples now are mottled, green and red,
And lighter, warmer shades can now be seen
Mixed in with greens on coastal slope and hills,
But though, beyond those hills, and east to sea,

For full three thousand miles, the trees stand bare,
Save for the evergreens, here maples, oaks,
And their deciduous kin still wear the clothes
Of early fall, that lasts here into spring.

What paradise was this, by nature wrought,
Until we came and drove our freeways through!
Now shopping malls deface this sun-washed coast,
And rushing cars disturb those sleeping hills.

And yet the conifers rise up to hilltop ridge,
And little birds perch on the cables strung
Between the poles that are as straight and tall
As when they grew in forests dark and deep...

All this shall pass, like storm that lays about,
And then is gone. So newborn grass will spring
From asphalt cracks, and rust will eat at bridge,
And trees will conquer houses, as they’ve done

Since Olmec, Maya, Inca, Aztec built
Their monuments and left, as Khmer had done
In forests far across the globe, reclaimed
By plants, and all the life that they sustain.

But wait, perhaps this time it will turn out
Quite different, as we have stressed this whole,
Of earth, sea, air, beyond her breaking point,
So she may not recover, and so life

Will never be the same upon this globe.
Or if we do not curb our weapons dread,
That we now hoard, life may be banished yet
From this blue planet, till it starts again,

From seed arrived from distant orb that's sent
Ejecta forth to find a home and spread.
All this goes through one's mind, on tranquil day
When all seems changeless, still, amidst the flow.

Perhaps we need this little respite from
The changing seasons of this globe, and man,
So we can note the changes that portend
Of seasons yet to come, whose depth and length

Exceed, by far, those of the yearly round.

Babui Jana (Arjun Janah)
2006 October 29th, Sun.
Berkeley, California

Note added, 2013 October:   Please see also New Season -- revised  
( )