Progressive Bitterness

Grant Park

Joyce Kilmer. 1886–1918

Trees

I THINK that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

And only bloody stupid governments and people can chop them down….found out recently that the Mairie (mayor’s office) in Chamonix paid a ‘tree doctor’ under the table to declare some perfectly healthy trees in the center of town as ‘diseased and dying’ – gorgeous old tall beautiful giant pines….just so they could legally chop them down. Guess what is in their place ? Asphalt, a trottoir (sidewalk) and best of all — port-o-potty (which you have to pay .40 Euros to use by the way). On top of this all, somehow the existing parking lot managed to LOSE several spaces, despite the clearing of all the trees due to the redesign of the space.

The Chamoniards are so very fond of complaining that the English are ruining their ‘patrimoine‘ (heritage) by buying up all the property in town and yet, I see them do a much better job themselves on a daily basis. at least the English do restore the old properties rather than knock them down and put up cement block flats (though they are real bastardly bores when they come in from London and run around demanding that people speak to them in anglais and then act all indignant when they get the cold shoulder).

Another new project proposed by the town hall ? Destroy the only nature park left in Chamonix center (oh, they say they are keeping the trees but the plans call for only about 85 of the 375 some trees to stay), knock down a beautiful old hotel in order to replace it with a modern angular cheap monstrosity for the new cultural center……(rather than rebuild the old one that burnt down several years back). Yes, that’s progress for you. And I am sure money for Michel Charlet, the friendly alpine mayor. On top of that – construction is rapidly proceeding to turn the Tunnel du Mont Blanc into a major trucking thoroughfare. Mont Noire.

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