Sunday, February 21, 2010

In the Garden in Ottawa

Across the planes and ranges far
Where frozen north meets land of sun
Lies the gleaming city of Ottawa
And its Great Hall known to everyone

From whence countless paths and walkways spread
Like ripples, or the lace of cobweb
That run and slither where they're led
Twixt arbor tall and flower bed

And sleep between the shaded trees
Where benches twined with sweet woodbine
Or fountain drowning so quietly
In the green hedges that slow down time
In the Garden of Ottawa

Where many a lover met by moonlight
On sweetly scented paths of thyme
Pledged love under the vault of night
Whose incensed breeze still echo their rhymes

And there in the coolness of the shade
Beneath the trees vast as cathedral column
Lies the icy cool copper plate
That tell a dirge so soft and solemn

There where all birdsong dies away
In eerie quiet hollow silence
And the world grows, in the shade, so grey
Lacking joy or pain, passion or violence
In the Garden in Ottawa

And here in the coldest, quiet apathy
Where even breaths are still too loud
Lie two copper plates buried for eternity
Neath loam and leaves decayed, and unfound

Put down in an age long since passed
When people dared once more to trust
Laid down for peace that was to last
Before ashes to ashes, rust to rust

Each lie firmly at the foot of a tree
Two sugar maples with leaves painted red
Hidden twixt roots for none to see
None but worms, the feastmaster of the dead
In the Garden in Ottawa

The first put down by a young man
With old eyes and a large heart
Who strove and did unite a land
Tore down the walls that kept men apart

Who cast his vision even to the skies
And strove to reach and touch the moon
Who spoke with honest and true eyes
The last of the great ones, who shared their doom
In the Garden in Ottawa

The other plate neath the other maple
On the other side of that grey snaking road
Placed there by another as equally able
And who likewise also worked and strove

Elegant and grand as in the eras of old
She wept for the poor and those downtrod
Then she spoke the truth so fierce and bold
And left many great men in silence, awed

But her weeping still was not at its end
She wept for her husband on that day
When they drove around that fateful bend
And a gunshot took him, forever, away
In the Garden in Ottawa

One plate laid down by husband strong
The other set by wife who wept
And each planted a maple which grew so long
Even after both in shadehood slept

Day followed day, season followed season
The two trees grew, though far apart
Separated by the path for no reason
But few things are stronger than that born of the heart

For many years passed since both trees were sown
And the once soft soil had now hardened
And both trees had to giant stature grown
And were among the greatest pillars in the Garden
In the Garden in Ottawa

But what few saw and less could see
And only moon and stars had watched
Was that hidden high in the canopy green
The two trees had grown and finally touched

Though the path between is still ever sure
The space allot them simply let them grow tall
And in time their love still did endure
To stand higher and again united, after all

There is a garden tucked away
Where frozen north meets lands of sun
And where one can see, everyday
That in the end, love has won
In the Garden in Ottawa


This is based on real life. In Canada's capitol, Ottawa, there is the home of the Governor-General, which is known for its beautiful grounds. Whenever a foreign dignitary comes to visit, they are received there, and usually plant a sugar maple on the grounds. There is a corner, where on one side of the path, John F. Kennedy's sugar maple is planted, and on the other side of the path, his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy planted hers. As the years went by, the two trees grew larger and larger until finally, their branches now touch, right over the path.

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