Our Trees are Coming Down

A poem for today

They’re cutting down our ash today:
pitted against each living tree, high-rise man in the canopy.

They’re cutting down our ash today:
safety harness, chainsaw power, high-vis vest wrests living tower.

for tits and wagtails a generous host,
Sparrowhawks use for hunting post;
for blackbird and song-thrush a larder dark,
woodpecker and nuthatch scavenge the bark;

butterflies, moths, flying bugs,
larvae, spiders, snails, and slugs,
ivy creeping, tendrils light,
binding branches, biting tight;

chainsaw dangles in the void, safe place, hide space, all but gone;
trunk and branches strewn on grass, food stock, nest block, now there’s none;
leaf litter, sawdust, sole remains; scurrying insects left alone;

insidious die-back came unasked, welcome host turned unwelcome guest,
empty space, lifeless void, unanswered questions all that’s left.

On a positive note

Our earth is moving on, changing, evolving … and not always for the better. Nothing is ever certain, for good or for bad, any more. We have to make the best of what we have; be ready to make changes; be ready to accept that choices will need to be made.

In order to protect the wider spaces around us our four trees had to be removed. The wildlife will find other homes; we have other trees, other habitats, other food sources where we live. The flowering shrubs and plants beneath, deprived of light and struggling to grow, can be cut back to encourage regeneration. Our views of the mountain across the valley have been opened up; we have more light streaming in our windows; our well-being will benefit – is benefitting already. In addition, the trees were hard by the drystone wall and in high winds the structure was compromised, to the point of collapse, by the movement of the roots.

The authority has offered us replacement trees, disease-free saplings of our choosing. We have other ash trees so plan to ask for a genus we do not have and that will provide habitat and food for other wildlife.

Please like, share, and comment if you have enjoyed my words and my photographs.
Thank you for reading.

Stay well. Stay safe. Appreciate all that you have. Nature is wonderful.