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.

The old Shaman

placed his hands

on the trunk

of an ancient tree

.

fitting his fingers

between the ripples and creases

of the bark,

until he heard a whispering –

.

“Oh, spare me from

the greed of the axe

and the fickle see-saw

of humanity!”

.

But from the distant edge

of the forest

the old Shaman also heard

the growl of a chain-saw

.

and he smelled the exhaust

and the gasoline,

and he heard the shouts

of timbering men

.

and so he bowed his head

and wept,

as a drop of pitch

landed on his cheek.

.

.

(c) 2019  Betty Hayes Albright

.

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