Wednesday, 14 March 2012


there was once a ring of oak trees in a local park
in its centre stood a grandmother oak
350 years worth of resilience
against the elements
against disease
against time itself
this is what it looked like to take a walk there

the ring of oaks nurtured a rich ecosystem
of plants, animals and fungi
generations of fledglings were raised in the trees' boughs
tiny beetles made their home in the bark
children escaped the narrow confines of the local housing estate
to make hideaways and dens in this arboreal refuge
walkers took respite from the hot summer sun under the shady boughs
or sheltered there when the spring rains or autumn winds blew in
and now the trees are gone
sacrificed at the altar of human civilisation
sacrificed for a new housing development called 'parkgate'
except that this park has lost its heart
its ring of oaks has been levelled
to make way for tarmac and paved drives
to enable vehicular access
to bring piped services
cable and satellite tv
hardcore and concrete foundations
the trees murdered
so that human civilisation can encroach that little bit further
with its death wish
leaf by leaf
twig by twig
branch by branch
trunk by sturdy trunk
another little piece of nature dies
it wasn't asked
it wasn't consulted
and it will not forgive us

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