Thursday, June 12, 2008


My friend Bonnie, a filmmaker and nature lover from the Big Island, Hawaii recently emailed me the news that they cut the banyan tree near the botanical garden in Captain Cook. It's a magnificent big shady tree where our mutual friend Shanna and I were frolicking around and under it when I visited them two summers ago. Bonnie suggested I write a poem about its demise. Here is what Bonnie wrote:

“I was wondering if you would like to write a poem in memory of the Banyan tree in Captain Cook that was cut down a few weeks ago along with the huge stately Norfolk pine that grew in the middle of it. The pair reminded me of an odd couple in love. Interspecies relationships, especially in the animal [and plant] world have always fascinated me. Arron and I want to erect a memorial plaque in the place where the two trees grew.” In response, I wrote this poem.

(Captain Cook, Hawaii)

only the stump is left
of the once mighty banyan tree
whose canopy shielded
the fragile ecosystem below

the gentle giant is felled
in progress name

under its shade, lovers frolicked,
quarreled, made-up, and bade adieu
the guardian of nature’s garden
enjoyed by young and old

the gentle giant is felled
in progress name

only its spirit remains
for man wields destructive tools
long before Captain Cook roamed
this woods which now bears his name

the gentle giant is felled
in progress name, they explained

Victor P. Gendrano © 11 June 2008

1 comment:

shanna said...

I wanted to take another picture but it was sooo sad only sawdust remains..and they are putting in a parking lot for the gardens we walked..pave paradise put up a parking lot cut all the tree put em in a tree museum charge all the people a dollar and a half just to see em..