Green and Red

 

Sugar Creek, Shades State Park, Indiana

Sugar Creek, Shades State Park, Indiana

Near Capitol Reef National Park

Near Capitol Reef National Park

I live in a green land
Many rainy days feed sheltering forests
Wind spreads the seeds
A stream carries rain to waiting ponds

Damp soil covered with plants
Geologic time hidden underneath

Mice scurry between the bushes
Seeking refuge from the cold
White-tailed deer leap through the woods
Fearless because their predators are gone

Towering white oak trees
Grow quickly
Providing nutrients to animals and man
Through the centuries

The oak’s value is now seen as lumber
To be made into furniture and floors

The forest is alive, beautiful, valuable
It must not be wasted

I went to a red land
Bright sun feeds small shrubs
Wind spreads the seeds
A stream quenches lush cottonwoods

Rocky canyon walls show their stripes
Eons of time preserved in stone

Lizards scurry between the boulders
Seeking respite from the sun
Bighorn sheep drink deeply and scale
Sheer cliffs, away from human eyes

Twisted bristlecone pine trees
Grow slowly
Recording weather and history
In their rings, over millenia

The bristlecone’s value is now known
A tool to measure the passage of time

The desert is alive, beautiful, valuable
It must not be wasted

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