Since February, I have left behind,
The tropical shine to come to this place,
Where winter resting, brings much peace of mind,
Just to feel the Arctic wind on my face
In Cleveland Heights, and beyond Forest Hills,
I see seasons change with bounteous thrills.
Winter wonderland before my window,
Trees thick with dormant lines of fertile strand
On gray trunks like towers, fully aglow
In frozen wear in virgin snow they stand
Delicately balancing flowing air
They bow; these evergreens and pines with flair.
The thawing earth brings dandelions out,
With spinning wheels of fluff above the ground,
Ring in the spring and buckeye blazing shout,
Amid the trees, where many leaves abound;
Cardinals and jays perch, in bright array
Among the blooms they chirp and feed each day.
The lazy days of summer bring much fuss,
To back yard barbecues warm and cheery;
Beneath a smiling sky of blue caress
The “beautiful river” and Lake Erie,
A picture perfect nature paints the scene
Fish dance while squirrels sneak fruits from the green.
With palmate leaves buckeye trees stand so grand,
Deciduously so in Ohio,
These fetid buckeyes stall throughout the land,
With mystic stories told with con brio.
Huskless nuts, look like, the eyes of a deer
Disagreeable in taste I did hear.
With quintuple petals fused at the base,
Their showy candle-like blooms light the way
For pollinating insects swift embrace
Late in April and throughout early May;
On the buckeye wood, light, soft, weak and white,
Make crafty things, so eyes pop with delight.
Legends haunt the buckeye tree so we’ve got,
One nutty nut in the pocket brings luck,
Killing rheumatism right on the spot;
Where free leaves caught in ground-baked nuts were stuck;
And soapy buckeye tears cured cholera
During the mid nineteenth century era!
Sing Iroquois for the buckeye tree,
In Ohio Indians planted me.
Hetuck! Hetuck! Hetuck! Oh! I love thee,
There Brutus, the buckeye mascot we see
The emblem of the University,
And Ohio since nineteen fifty three.
August 2006/Ohio, USA
The State of Ohio is full of trees when compared with my native land. Wow! I have to say we need to start planting more trees on the island not only on Arbor Day. Indigenous ones I would say. Hope it is not too late for surely Barbados could do with more trees. I'm absolutely amazed at the rich vegetation and fauna that abound in this yankee State. The buckeye tree took my fancy and having been told that it is the State tree of Ohio I saw this as an opportunity to write a landmark poem called, "Ode to the Buckeye Tree. Native Americans of Ohio called the nut from this tree "hetuck" or "buck eye" for indeed, it looks like an eye of a buck.