THE BORDER LIFE

The Skyscraper 

by Riverdave Owen

4/22/14 - Earth Day 2014


Two Blackgum trees discussed their views

In Durham's plaza where

A rumor of a skyscraper

Was drifting through the air.


One asked, What kind of careless plan

Has come up with this scheme

To shade us from our brother sun

Thus limiting his beam.


Were we not planted here to thrive 

Far from our forest home 

To give relief from city stress

And brighten up this zone?


Her sister tree agreed and said

It feels like arrogance

This human thrusting in the sky

With concrete, steel and glass.


Could Durham not prove different

Than Raleigh and the rest

Of adolescent urban towns

With towers so obsessed?


The former tree then sighed and said

We've seen it all before

These Babel building mortals want                                                       

A name for evermore.  


A shiny crystal skyscraper

Will certainly entice

The Nimrods of investment to

Rebuild their Paradise,


Of ever flowing asphalt streams

And fields of parking deck

Mighty men in business suits 

With bows of higher tech.


And then her sylvan sister said

One thing still troubles me

Our proud Tree City Flag unfurled

At Plaza CCB.


Will it not be eclipsed by their

Skyscraper cleverness

And fail to rally energy

For our green consciousness?


A gentle breeze blew through the leaves

Of those fair Blackgum trees

And carried forth their ponderings

To those with sympathies ...



Photos by Riverdave:  Blackgum trees planted by the City of Durham at the CCB Plaza to be shadowed by rumored skyscraper