ON KILLING A TREE By Gieve Patel

It takes much time to kill a tree,
Not a simple jab of the knife
Will do it.

It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out if it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
Years of sunlight, air, water,
And out of its leprous hide
Sprouting leaves.
So hack and chop

But this alone won’t do it.
Not so much pain will do it.
The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
Miniature boughs
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.

No,
The root is to be pulled out
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out-snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,
And the strength of the tree exposed,
The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth.

Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,

Browning, hardening,
Twisting, withering,
And then it is done.

 

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4 Comments

  1. luis said,

    November 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Im student of psychology and this poem resonates deeply…..

  2. anu sunny said,

    November 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    NICE POEM ; NICE LINES

  3. risingsun said,

    January 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    this poem is nice

  4. banu said,

    February 19, 2012 at 7:35 am

    simply superb and the best poem ever


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