SustainabilityCreative

If a Tree Could Talk

Before 

They said the end may come one day 

That the birds will perish 

The mountains will crumble 

And forests will burn.

They say that one day, I will also burn

I just didn’t know that it would be today.

 

I am a tree. 

 

I am more ancient than your oldest kings and emperors.

I have seen more than your wisest philosophers.

I have lived through countless plagues, droughts and wildfires 

But this fire will be the death of me, 

This passion of you, of humanity.  

It is the fire that grows within you, to dominate and to rule

It is the passion of growth, technology, of being bigger and better and stronger and more. 

And as the mountains do crumble, 

The forests do burn, 

And the fish in the ancient mighty ocean 

Suffocate on tiny wicked pieces of plastic swimming around

I also suffocate

From the dirt in the air. 

And I cry to see

My children die, 

My friends the animals run out of their home

And I can do nothing

Because I am a tree. 

Destined to sit here for what’s left of eternity. 

But if I could rise, 

Oh if I could rise…

Perhaps you’d have a mutiny on your hands

As the mountains, the rivers, the beaches and the sky

We would cry tears among tears

And wash the earth so our mother may live…

We are the result of your triumph, 

Our dying days.  

No more will we bear fruits that feed your children

No more will we sing with the joys of the wind 

We are destined to sit here and to watch

Motionless,

Still,

As the world rages around us 

As acid rain piles upon us

And it does not matter how ancient and wise we are.

 

They said the end would come one day.

It is here. 

 

 

After 

 

It was very sudden

That day started off no differently than the one before

Filled with people talking

Travelling

Eating

It was loud

Very loud

 

But the next day, everything changed

There was no one

No one in parks

No one in malls

No one in schools

It was quiet

Very quiet

 

I thought: ‘Something’s wrong’

There’s no way the world could be this quiet

There were less cars

Less planes

Less people

It was strange

 

The first few days were no different

However things started to change

It was getting easier to breathe

Easier to see the sky

Easier to hear the birds chirping

It was refreshing

 

Now, we’re thriving

With less people using us for wood

We’re able to grow

Able to store more carbon

Able to make more oxygen

It is amazing

 

We don’t know what has happened

But we will enjoy this

While it lasts.


Why We Wrote This Poem

We decided to write this poem because we wanted to shed some light on the ongoing global warming crisis. The world’s resources are finite, yet forests, oceans, and other natural entities are being destroyed at a frightening rate. With the worldwide crisis that is going on (COVID-19), people noted that nature was returning and even recovering in certain areas of the world. Thus, while COVID-19 is frightening and devastating for many people around the world, it was certainly interesting to note that with COVID-19 came some respite for our natural world. We decided to write from the perspective of a tree because we wanted to give a voice to something that isn’t able to talk, and imagine what a tree would want to tell us humans about the natural world — pre and post COVID-19.