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Apologia for the Person Who Carved His Initials into the Oldest Living Longleaf Pine in North America

In conversation with Letter to the Person Who Carved His Initials into the Oldest Living Longleaf Pine in North America. While I have never carved my initials in a tree, and while I too reflexively hate anyone who does not feel awe, I wonder if something else drove this person.



Apologia for the Person Who Carved His Initials 

into the Oldest Living Longleaf Pine in 

North America


Or to want more than these 80, 90 years

to want 200, or for the oldest tree, 5000,

to want to be made of matter that doesn’t fail 

so soon, rot so soon, to want some scrap 

of immortality. Your name on something 

that will outlast you. Your name on something 

that will tower. To be part of something divine.

That someone will see that you were once there, 

once breathing. To destroy out of grasping desire. 

And yes to do this you have failed a moral test, 

been found wanting, selfish, covetous, but mostly afraid. 

Afraid of the darkness rushing towards you, 

to be dust while this tree still stands.



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1 Comment


Walter Hieber
Walter Hieber
Jul 03

The tree poem hit hard. Beautiful, sad and true.

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