Paradise not Lost, but Gravely Diminished

It's a warm fall day, and I'm grievously
Shirking. I'm watching the breeze blow
The leaves in the trees, most of which
Remain green. Still a lovely place,
This yard's less tranquil than it used to be.
The tree farm just across the road has turned
Into suburban sprawl. The deer and turkeys,
Foxes, coyotes, all are gone. The quiet road
They used to cross now pulsates from relentless
Traffic. Next door, where there was a barn
And horse at first, and then some fruit trees
On a lawn, a grotesque house is going up.
The trees were cut. The air is rent by
Thumping Spanish-language music,
Nail guns, loudly growling trucks.
I tell you, somehow, I'm still more or less
At ease behind my hedges, though I must
Admit that, as I shirk, I mourn how
Things have changed.

Poetry by Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 53 times
Written on 2021-10-08 at 22:19

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I wonder sometimes if it's just getting old that makes me feel the way your poem portrays change, but then I realise the beauty had gone, only to be replaced by ugliness and I too mourn how things have changed. Well said.

MetaPoetics The PoetBay support member heart!
Even though change is inevitable, I think many don't realise the ugliness -- the grotesque side -- of what change might bring. You've expressed that sentiment well. I especially like the universal appeal of the poem.

Alan J Ripley The PoetBay support member heart!
Wasn't it John Milton who wrote paradise lost?
Then his wife died and he wrote paradise regained.
Liked your writing just the same.
The world we know shrinks every time a tree is cut it cries
For it knows it's forests are dieing.

Liam The PoetBay support member heart!
When our wilderness begins to fade
And there's no water left to drink
We will sit down "then" and contemplate
When it is far too late to think!

The damage may already be done beyond repair,
but it is never too late to at least try and save some of the natural world we have left.

Quite a meaningful and thought provoking text. Thank you so much for sharing.


jim The PoetBay support member heart!
It never goes the other way. No one ever comes in, takes down the too-large house, replants the trees, builds a barn, brings in livestock. What you describe is ubiquitous and sad and inevitable.