In Leaves of Grass
          Whitman might tell you that a spreading beech is
                      mightier than a cathedral, and puts
              the Sistine Chapel to shame;
he might tell you that the greatness
                      of a beech makes his own poems as nothing,
            and that these vast trees dwarf all human endeavor;
                                 he might tell you that a beech is
like America itself, sprawling, huge, with
               the heavily-muscled arms of its pioneer stock,
                              hammering, digging, building their way
                   toward a dream, democratic.
         In Leaves of Grass, Whitman might tell you
                             all of these things, but he will not
                    tell you that, when under a beech, you must
                              use a flash.

June 1993

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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