Performed by Steve Rizzo
Big Lonely Doug by Ekaterina Karassev
I walked down the path and touched Big Lonely Doug.
He poked me in my chest and whispered in my ear,
“Do you know why I am left here?
Do you know why people keep approaching,
Taking off their shoes, hugging me and crying?
Do they know what is coming?
Or maybe they know how hard to wake up
And to see a clearcut?
Or maybe they are aware that when we are killed
We release tons of carbon dioxide?
Or how much it hurts
Witnessing your friends fall
Or to see the broken limbs of your kids?
Maybe they know how it feels when you are used to haul your family out.
Or how much I wanted to be with my siblings on that truck?”
I had no answers for him, I just kept my hand on his trunk.
“Maybe they hear the birds’ cries of despair
About missing nests and squished eggs?
Maybe, after a day of an awful noise and cracking sound,
They know the smell of horror:
Who is coming down tomorrow?!
Maybe they know how eagles scream during damage surveying?
Maybe they are aware what bears feel when they come out of still standing forest?
Maybe they hear a complete silence on a battlefield,
Where there are no movements of leaves, no sobs and no birds’ chirps?
And, to cover the wound, nature makes a heavy fog to roll in.”
I finally opened my mouth,
“Doug, you are a survivor, strong and the oldest!
Douglas Fir, you are the second largest!
You are a storyteller and an oxygen generator,
A guardian of a new growth and remaining forest!”
I heard Doug’s heavy moan.
“It appears to me you don’t know.
Behind your back is Eden Grove,
Which is getting ready to be logged.
I don’t have a beating heart,
But, I can feel the heavy step
Of those who is marking the road for blasting,
Knowing exactly what is happening after.
In each of them I see a tiny light,
That is ready to burst open and shine really bright.
Same light I have seen in Dennis Cronin,
Who tied up on me a green ribbon.
I have a hope for them and for humanity as a whole.
I know one day you all will embrace a life of pure love,
Where nature and you will live in perfect harmony!”
I shed a tear, stepped away and headed to Eden Grove.