The Trees - Superior Court Judge John M. Wilson 1868-1962

Thank you Derek for this poem by your great grandfather.  This is so rich and stirring:


The Trees (circa 1919, Olympia)  

I live in a land of trees, 

And it is as much agony 

As joy 

To live there. 


For though the trees are mighty, 

Crowned with their evergreen chaplets of the centuries, 

Yet they are helpless 

Against indifference and carelessness. 


For men with rat-like natures 

Gnaw constantly at their strongholds, 

The forests;

Those forests, 

That should be flourishing 

For our children’s children 

Now lie prostrate 


Gnawed by the rat-teeth of saw and axe— 

Eaten alive 

By the insidiously creeping red rats of fire— 

A horde let loose 

By our generation’s carelessness and indifference. 


O trees— 

My soul shrinks back in agony and remorse 

Into your dim, pleading shadows.