Tuesdays with Garth... We're Goin' Green!

It’s Doc Mehl’s weekly feature:  TUESDAYS WITH GARTH!  Since the time I first gave Garth Brooks permission to perform my poems on stage… we have come to share ideas about this good life and about this good earth.  Maybe that’s why Garth wanted to add this poem to his show.  These photos show Garth and me each reciting “Beetle-Kill” on stage.  Garth, we’re goin’ green together, good buddy.  Who knows, maybe soon we’ll both be vegetarian!  (And maybe not…)
Copyright 10-2013          Al “Doc” Mehl
There’s a scourge upon the mountain,
Draped across the forest still,
Up the cliffs and down the valley,
And it’s known as beetle-kill.
It’s the work of pine bark beetles
And their over-population,
As they speed throughout the lodgepole
In a forest desecration.
And they devastate the elder trees
Whose bark has lost its fitness,
And they seem to spare the youngsters,
As if left behind to witness.
With a forest turned to fuel,
’Tis only time ’til fire will strike,
And the fire will show no mercy,
Taking young and old alike.
But the fire will kill the shade as well;
The sun will reach the floor,
And the seeds of grass and flower
Will recall what sunshine’s for.
And the rain will kiss the blossom,
And caress the tender reed,
And the aspen roots, they’ll propagate,
And pine cones, drop their seed.
And the charred remains of timber
Will begin to break and bend,
And the few that still remain
Will soon be toppled in the wind.
Then the charcoaled ash will new decay
To fertilize the ground,
And from ancient soldiers fallen,
Soon find new growth all around.
Comes the beetle, then the wildfire,
Then the flowers and the grass,
Then the willows and the aspen,
’Til the pines return at last,
First the fir, and then the spruce,
And then the lodgepole, starting thin,
But soon robust, then overcrowded,
And the circle starts again.
See, it’s not the beetle’s fault
That all the trees have now gone bare,
That the hillside’s turned to grey
Instead of green that once stood there.
No, it’s all a grand design,
It’s just a cycle, like a hoop;
And that beetle’s come to know
He’s simply there to close the loop. 
So give thanks for beetle-kill;
I know that does not sound appealing,
When the loss of forest’s beauty
Is a mournful kind of feeling.
But that beetle-kill, that forest fire,
They’re part of this good earth;
View them not as devastation…
But as part of life’s rebirth.
(Find Doc Mehl at www.Facebook.com/DocMehl , and also at www.docmehl.com .)

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