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
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.
It was very sudden
That day started off no differently than the one before
Filled with people talking
It was 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
I thought: ‘Something’s wrong’
There’s no way the world could be this quiet
There were less cars
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.