Selected Poems

 

ODE TO THE WEEPING BEECH OF KRONLEINSTRASSE

Today was the last day of life
For the towering splendor
Outside my window--
That royal monarch of the street,
The eighty-plus years old
Weeping Beech,
Symbol of Kronleinstrasse,
A living sculpture of contorted limbs
Carved by nature,
Reaching to the sky,
Its long, slender, shimmering, leafy branches
Elegantly drooped towards the ground
Creating rustling sounds
Through rapidly changing wind currents--
Forever silenced.

The contract executioners
Cut through its glistening,
Silvery-gray, almost light-bluish bark
With surgical precision,
Rapidly dissecting its limbs
As its mangled, dismembered flesh
Came crashing to the street;
The operation lasting
Only a few hours,
Snuffing away life
For one of nature's greatest treasures.

Standing proudly, strong and mighty,
The street sentinel's pendulous limbs,
Sap flowing from its wounds
Gave up its life without a battle;
As leaves, branches, and limbs
Were severed from its trunk,
Tumbling to the ground
And quickly fed to a cold, voracious,
Heartless grinder
Excoriating its smooth,
Sensuous surface,
Devouring its internal fiber,
Spitting sawdust
To the wind.

Its graceful, leafy, slender branches
Rhythmically swaying,
Resembling choreographed dances
With provocative twists, spins,
Turns and somersaults,
Performers in a seductive ballet
Casting shadows
And moving silhouettes--
Gone.

A bluish-gray evening twilight,
Escorted by flying insects,
Softy weeps to mourn
Its fallen hero,
Accompanied by
the multitudinous cadence of
Old Turicum church bells.

No longer will its presence
Grace the street, purify the environment,
Or be warmed by the sun, nor hydrated by rain
To sustain and maintain life,
Going through a rebirth
During its cycle of renewing
Roots, limbs, branches and leaves,
While expanding the girth of its trunk
Revealing its age.

No longer will it provide
A haven to breath clean, pure, air,
While helping to protect and cool man
From harsh rays of the self-luminous orb
In our system of worlds which gives light and heat
To the dawn of a new day.

No longer will its long
Slender, willowy branches,
Which seemingly could serve
As swings to the stars,
Provide a platform
For nature's lyrical masterpieces:
Melodious songbirds,
Magic music to the ears,
Releasing a ciphony of secrets,
Harmonious coded notes
In dialects and accents
Only they can understand--
Comforting and warming
The human spirit.
That stage has disappeared,
And so have the voices
Creating life's mysterious moments,
Those singing minds of birds
Performing for our pleasure
While on journeys of intrigue.
Sadly, the orchestra of songbirds
Once perched high up in Nature's cathedral
No longer echoes from the nearby hills.

As I gaze out my window
Looking for that canopy of speckled light,
Casting huge, gently moving shadows;
Searching for that powerful, gigantic,
Multi-armed, stationary creature
Embellishing nature's surroundings,
I see only the grave marker--
A massive tree stump attached to its roots
Meandering underground;
Forever a grim reminder of the carnage inflicted
On one of nature's most beautiful,
Majestic, innocent, impressive symbols of
Strength and durability.

A true companion day and night
Of an indebted neighbor
With astonished approbation
For its seasonal parade of color,
Treasuring its presence,
Its stately symbol of beauty,
Power, longevity and timelessness
That spoke to the heart,
Now lives on in the palace of the mind
As special moments of emotional intelligence
And unforgettable memories;
Grateful to have witnessed and appreciated
The finest of nature's incredible creations,
Opening windows to its soul,
Which regrettably some without imagination
Saw only as a tree
Standing in the way.

Gerald Domingue

August 27-28, 2009
Zurich, Switzerland

(A tribute to the splendor of the "Weeping Beech" of Kronleinstrasse).
Born: approximately 1924 - Died (killed) August 27, 2009
A poem written as a catharsis for the carnage witnessed against one of nature's finest creations.

________________________________________________________________________

THE BIG DOG

Indeed a lofty task,
in a dream,
to be summoned
by my muse
to walk around the planet Earth.
In a whirl,
not wanting to disappoint,
the challenge was accepted.

It all began in the middle of the night,
walking, walking, walking,
around that beautiful, majestic,
magnificent blue globe,
absorbing its diversity and complexity,
three miles an hour, eight hours a day
for two years and eleven months,
arriving where it all began
to be greeted by my proud, impressed,
bedazzled muse-that guiding genius
who thought one should not rest
after such a feat;
proposing yet,
the greatest walking challenge-
to walk around the largest star of all:
The Big Dog-VY Canis Majoris-
supergiant of the universe.

Undaunted, and in a magic leap,
during deep sleep,
another cerebral voyage began,
about five thousand light-years from Earth
walking, walking, walking,
greeting Sirius in the constellation-
the brightest star,
and eyeing along the way
its shining companions:
The Virgins, The Weight and The Announcer;
a circumferential journey,
three miles an hour, eight hours a day;
finally arriving at my starting point,
six hundred fifty thousand years later
expecting to be jubilantly welcomed,
honored as a hero,
a heralded guest,
face to face,
with the red hypergiant;
alas,
only to find smoke in its eyes,
a dying megagiant,
exhausted of all fuel in its core;
leaving me to witness
a supernova explosion
being sucked into a black hole
and my narrowly escaping
via a grateful awakening
from dreamy abstraction,
in a cold sweat
and with a pounding heart
to welcome the first warm rays
of morning sunlight
reflecting prismatic colors
piercing through my window panes
creating rapidly moving,
bouncing, brilliant, golden light-
shooting stars
dancing on the ceiling.

Gerald Domingue, January, 2009