The Empty Forest

If a tree is felled in an empty forest,
condemned by a supreme act of violence and willpower, to lie
silently on the ground while the trunk decomposes, as a buffalo
awaits extinction at the same hands; to be more exact,
who is responsible for this irresistible influence, this spark
of a civilization that knows not of its own reach nor force?

Ever is great nature met with great force,
for adjacent the tree moves a great army through the forest,
made up of trillions of organisms big enough only to spark
the wildfire that spreads until only charred trunks lie
to conceal the strength of nature even in death, to exact
some cruel revenge on those who killed the buffalo.

O weary! be those who would buffalo the buffalo,
O cautious! O reverence! for that great, mighty force,
for none may surmise the magnitude of the exact
nature of the nature offended in the deforested forest.
Be it man’s nature to deceive, cheat, lie,
Australia burns, billowing black smoke from a spark.

Could New York ignore such an inconsequential spark,
that might return as an infernal blaze to avenge the buffalo
whose carcasses today can be found in the ground, that lie
in lieu of some impetus to move and breathe, some force
of life? Were they deprived thereof by the men in the forest,
whose intentions may never have been quite so exact,

yet whose actions could not possibly exact
a greater impact than supplying the tinder for the spark.
But did not man also emerge from that same forest,
wherein he felled the tree and killed the buffalo,
an equally natural and beautiful creature of the force
that binds limb to limb, that gives him the ability to lie

in wait of the sunrise over the charred remains, that lie
desolate in the wake of the fire yet never die in an exact,
scientific manner; for the army of organisms comprise such a force
to ensure that never did a creature die that didn’t produce a spark
which might one day give rise to a new creature, like the buffalo
emerged from the bison, and the bison again from the forest.

When men lie prone in the forest,
they cannot conceive of the force of the spark
that might exact the same fate as the buffalo.