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Kentucky Color: I heard a tree

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By Billy Joe Fudge

I think we all can learn lessons from the requests made in "I Heard A Tree" (poem with accompanying photo). Lessons from this Old Tree's life, lessons from his awareness of his mortality, lessons from his desire not to be just remembered, but to know that his life and death have amounted to something. He wants what we all want in our living and in our dying, to leave more than a blank spot or an eternal emptiness.

We want in our last thoughts on this earth to know that we have supported our fellow man and not extorted him. We want to know that we have "cooled the air and created a breeze".

We want in our last thoughts on this earth to know that we are leaving this world the raw material to "build something nice".

My friends, we only become majestic when we take what others have left us and "build something nice". We only become majestic when we us what others have left us wisely.

The following poetic dissertation is what this old Red Oak standing on a hillside might have said before old age brought an end to his life.

This story was posted on 2016-11-20 06:44:59
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Kentucky Color - I heard a tree

2016-11-20 - South Central Kentucky - Photo by Billy Joe Fudge.
I Heard A Tree
Poetry by Billy Joe Fudge
I heard a tree who was standing in the woods.
He called to me and said, "If only you would
Help me, I'd be of some use, I do believe.
I know I'm majestic, but I'm old, can't you see?"

"When I was a sapling, my mother's young son,
I'd stretch my limbs and reach for the sun.
I wanted my crown high and filled with leaves
To cool the air and create a breeze."

"I wanted my roots down deep in the soil
So the storm couldn't move me from my daily toil
Of cleaning the air and puttin' on seed
For the deer and squirrel to have plenty of feed."

"In times of drought, I'd stand here in pain
Waiting for a shower-for it to begin to rain.
Then I'd grab every drop and hold it in the ground.
I didn't want the storm to wash away the town."

"Now I know that trees aren't supposed to talk, But it's easier for me than to get up and walk." ----Then there was silence for a short while, He just stood there with this beautiful smile. I thought I'd been dreaming and would soon awake-
If this tree was talking, it'd be more'n I could take.
No, I'm not crazy, I know that I'm not,
For lately I've been dreaming-been dreaming a lot.

But then that old tree started to talk again.
He said a lot of things about helping men.
I can't remember it all for he said so much.
He even said something about wantin' to be a crutch.

"Sonny," he said "I've worked hard, I've done all I can.
My children need room to grow, that's part of the plan.
When I go and fall upon the ground,
I don't want to lay and utter no sound."

"Take me from these woods-let me be of some use.
Use my body for something and turn my spirit loose.
Take me, use me wisely, build something nice.
Let me stand tall in death as I did in life."

I heard a tree who was standing in the woods.
He called to me and said, "If only you would
Help me, I'd be of some use, I do believe.
I know I'm majestic, but I'm old can't you see?"
By: Billy Joe Fudge

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