Silent Sentinels (No Way They’re Trunkless)

For dVerse, a response poem – a mere faint reflection(my attempt) of the mighty poem by one of the greats. Shelley..
My response poem is as a result also of our many trips to the majestic Redwoods (and in particular, the Avenue of the Giants)

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Silent Sentinels

On her way from times far-away
I met this nomadic nymph the other day
To her I had this to say
“Towering trees, so grand, so old,
Stand by the highway, upright bold;
Their sheer presence, their majesty
While fills one’s heart with awe, with beauty,
Show that mother nature with care did nurture
This treasure she gifted, that we view with rapture,
As I gazed on these silent giants
These onlookers of so many pasts,
In my mind, I recalled these words
‘To be like these, straight, true and fine
To make our world like theirs a shrine’”

– Vidya Tiru/LadyInRead


The last two lines in my poem – from Strauss’ poem ‘The Redwoods

17 thoughts on “Silent Sentinels (No Way They’re Trunkless)


    The trees, majestic, take no part,
    though they are cruel to some.
    They stand as pieces made of art
    beware of time to come.

    A vision made besides the trees
    is poor, majestic not.
    If vision is not this one sees.
    Then life is what is got.

  2. Bravo for choosing Shelley! (He’s a personal favorite of mine.) You maintained his voice in your marvelous response poem and I love your narrative style – it’s is gentle and beautiful!

  3. A beautiful poem of response and environmental sensitivity. It would be wonderful if we all took you poem to heart and made our world a shrine instead of at wreck!

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