China-focused Satire, Social Commentary, Comics and More

A Constant Reminder

Totally Awesome Picture of the Week 35

Big storm made tree go boom.
Now, how will I fit it in my room?

From our third story window we watched our neighbors gather around the fallen behemoth as though it were a traffic accident or crime scene. Being from the Pacific northwest, we have seen our fair share of storm casualties; nonetheless we were as amazed by this death as the locals.

How, in the center of a city so brimming with life, does an elder citizen of such stature lose its life so easily?


The winds howled and screeched and rattled like wild teens
their tongues befouled with a first bacchanal delight.
And through this blowing tempest the old trees creaked
and moaned and freed weak branches
but to uproot? no thought was given
for even the ancient teetotalers
recognized the dizzying violence as ill effect.

So with note of the impersonal misdirected rage
the trees stood strong to face and teach
the monstrous youth a lesson of consequence.
And from the darkness of our powerless den
we heard the battle wage,
and just as the rain joined in
a loud crack and boom
pursued by screaming car alarm
alerted all to who had won.
As the storm abated
and dawn crept through the dampened air,
we found this old soul’s time had come
with no chance to inform the young.

And now loose is that violent youth
without an elder to teach it calm
and thus the world trembles
as this giant stretches, yawns.
And in the days ahead
heard will be its yell
a young unguided stampede
charging forward confidently
with expectations of high thrill.

And awaiting silently,
a world of speechless elders
Cowardly and ashamed
that through their many years
no knowledge bore fruit worthy
of directing a problem so un-aimed.

And the fallen hero,
the last one to be brave
lies rotting in reminder
as we turn our eyes away
not willing to be saved.

Three weeks later, leaving our apartment, the pile of moldy shriveling branches sits unmoved, covering a third of the courtyard, a thriving home for mosquitoes and growing everyday with trash from our neighbors. We moved away unconvinced it had not become a permanent installation – a constant reminder of a natural violence.

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