Tuesday, March 28, 2017


image from bingimages.com


“The clearest way into the secrets of the universe
is through a forest wilderness.”--John Muir.

I have been standing right in this
very spot for over 5,000 years.
I can see Bishop, Ca. from here, 
above tree line atop the high
foothills of the Sierras.

I am more dead than alive these 
days, but you know, it is quite the
honor to actually be the bristle cone
pine that is the oldest living thing
on the planet. I am all alone now.

About 200 years ago, they nick-named
me Methuselah. I had a little brother,
Prometheus, who was 4,800 years old
when some miscreant geologist chopped
him down.

Most humans are ignorant of my supreme
sentience, & my complete awareness of
the events surrounding me. I remember
Atlantis & Lemuria before recorded history.
I am a living memory bank that could rival
even the cyber-intelligences of the present.

Let me just illustrate as I glance back at some
near-historical events that occurred on this day,
March 28th, over the last 2,000 years:

In AD37, Caligula accepted the title of Principate
from the Senate. fanning his madness.
In 1854, the Crimean War was declared.
In 1868, writer Maxim Gorky was born.
In 1902, actress Flora Robson was born.
In 1921, actor Dirk Bogarde was born.
In 1924, child actor Freddie Bartholomew was born
soon to pretend he watched Spencer Tracy drown.
In 1939, Franco conquered Madrid during the 
Spanish Civil War before Hemingway wrote about it.
In 1941, writer Virginia Woolf drown herself.
In 1951, the First IndoChina War began.
In 1953, athlete Jim Thorpe died, right after
Burt Lancaster played him in a movie.
In 1959, Dwight D. Eisenhower passed away.

If you had another century to listen to me,
I could share so much more. We are living in
a unique era now, & I look forward to being

a chronicle for several more centuries. 

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


Anonymous said...

Great minds ;)

Frank Hubeny said...

I think I heard the story before about that geologist who took down Prometheus. He was probably just plain ignorant, but hearing the story again doesn't make me feel very positive toward him.

Jilly said...

Beautiful the connection to the depth of the natural world. Thanks for sharing!

Kim Russell said...

I believe in the wisdom of trees.

Grace said...

Love the quote and your stories of the history of men through the ages Glenn ~ Will be interesting to hear what they are thinking of our time now ~

indybev said...

Just think how many wars he's seen (and why do you suppose he's determined to be a he?). This is a most evocative poem!

Mark Walters said...

Sure hope you're right Glenn. It's hard to say now a days, if it's not a geologist, it could be some prankster kid, or who knows...

Toni Spencer said...

I love the bristle pine. Such a wonderfully wise perspective you have painted here. and I always love quotes from John Muir.

Mish said...

Even to touch such a tree would be a honour, as it holds so much history we can't even imagine, though your list reveals many examples. There is so much beauty in their aging.

De said...

I simply love the ancient wisdom of trees. This is great, Glenn.

brudberg said...

It's staggering how old a tree can be, and those old bristkecones are really impressive- I read somewhere that they have found trees that's even older now, but still all those years show how short human history really is.

Sumana Roy said...

May this tree see many more centuries to come and be spared from the hands of those miscreant humans...ugh...love his wonderful, wise voice...

Kathy Reed said...

Ah, I am an admirer of John Muir and can't help but think of his love of nature here in the Pacific Northwest. Your tribute to the tree is strong and noteworthy for the history of just one day alone. Like the universe, beyond our comprehension.

Roslyn Ross said...

What a fabulous tree and what a clever weaving of history.

lillianthehomepoet.wordpress.com said...

Love the image and love the memory of this old tree. Great take on the prompt. What's that saying? "OH if these walls could talk." You've shifted it to trees😊