DIALOGUE OF A MAN AND A TREE – Vincent Godfrey Burns

October 18, 2013



The Man: Why do you grow so tall, way up there in the sky?

The Tree: I love the heights that are clean and free, where the lonely eagles fly, where the crane and the hawk can nest with me, and my friends, the geese, go by.

The Man: What do you use for food, tree to make you grow and grow?

The Tree: I live on a diet of Nature’s best from my roots deep down below; I never go hungry, I rest and rest and wait for the rain and the snow.

The Man: How do you grow so strong, Tree, sturdy and straight and true?

The Tree: I live in the light of the sunshine and yarn for the sky’s deep blue; the clean, sweet air is always mine, and the cold winds help me too.

The Man: How do you live so long, Tree, so much longer than man?

The Tree: I’ve geared my days with the Creator’s ways since ever the world began. There is no death when life keeps faith with nature’s wonderful plan.

Vincent Godfrey Burns, Poet Laureate of Maryland, 1965


“I don’t ever need to buy durians. All I have to do is stroll up in my bush jacket to any durian orchard and I am welcomed to eat as many as I like.

Every morning during the durian season, it’s not unusual for me to visit 3 to 4 orchards – usually I make it point to polish off, at least five or six durians with the owners. While we discuss the quality, grade and prospects of entering the fruit for the durian tasting competition. I happen to be one of judges – so they all suck up to me and give me loads of their choicest crops.

Since the orchard owners are eager to show off their prize fruit this time of the year, it’s not uncommon them to give me some which means I also have durian for lunch – and since there is always a couple around. I have durian for tea as well – I usually hit four or five before my afternoon nap.

For dinner durian – I polish off another five or ten. And to cap it all off during supper I have at least five more. Added to this, since my metabolic rate is unusually high – I munch on durians in between meals. It is not unusual for me to eat 40-50 durians a day.

Someone in my kampung once said, “I am the world’s greatest durian eater.” This person observed during the Durian season, it is not uncommon to see me with a durian super glued in one hand while I munch on them like I do Mentos.

I love durians.”

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