I know that I have no right to feel upset because before I was born, I imagine that someone cut down trees to build our house, but today I lament as I listen to a succession of falling trees.  I know that I have contributed to the pollution of the air and the contamination of water.  The air hangs with smoke from distant wildfires and the global temperature may again soar to a new record high.  I worry about the Swomee-Swans, the Brown Bar-ba-loots, and the Humming Fish.  Where will they go, now that the air is not clean and the grass is not green?

Buzzzzzz, CRACK, Swish, THUMP


The Man watches from the road in his sunhat with his hands on his hips.

He smiles a satisfied smile.

Buzzzzzz, CRACK, swish, THUMP.


I approach and ask him how many trees he is cutting down.

He grins and says, “Thirty-two and some are pretty big!”

I say, “How sad.  They must be very old.”

Buzzzzzz, CRACK, swish, THUMP.


We both stare into the decimated forest with hands on our hips.

As smoke from distant wildfires browns the air,

I wish for the Lorax to pop out of a stump.

Buzzzzzz, CRACK, swish, THUMP.


No Lorax.

Buzzzzzz, CRACK, swish, THUMP.


Please visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche to see her ruby-red, delicious poem: Ode to Molly's Strawberry Jam and Poetry Friday poems from many friends.


  • We feel so many ways that are illogical or unfair or whatever. And yet every one of those feelings is valid. A tree that's died across the street is being removed, and I'm sad about that. Even though it's needed. Seeing boulevards lost to emerald ash borers, etc. always makes me grieve.
    • Laura, thank you for empathy!  I understand exactly what you are saying about your tree across the street.
  • I'm reading your post & thinking of the wildfires going on, too, in addition to the Amazon forests being stripped. I love the mention of the Lorax, Tracey. And I read Laura's comment, just received a notice from my tree service that the ash borer has been identified in Denver. I have no ash trees but am sad again for them. Thanks for the shout for trees!
    • Go trees!  : )  I just finished watching the video referenced in Heidi Mordhorst's post this week about Dr. Sara Via, and it felt like a ray of hope.
  • It is a sadness to see trees cut down. Trees are my friends in so many ways. My heart hurt as I read your poem. Sending you a hug.
  • Tracey, it's nice to meet you!  Welcome to Poetry Friday.  I'm with you on all the feelings, of course.  Your 3rd stanza with both of you standing with "hands on your hips" is such a telling image of two contrasting feelings about the same event. I'm glad you found the webinar interesting!
    • Thank you, Heidi. I did very much appreciate the video. I hope that we're not too late by the time we reach the tipping point, but I am glad to have something to hope for. I am working on a Sustainablilty team in my town, but it is just such a small piece of the overwhelming picture. 
  • Ouch. My heart is hurting long distance for the trees, and for you having to watch their deaths, having to interact with the gleeful killer. It seems like every wild space left in our city (and especially at the suburban edges) is being cleared for "development." It's disheartening.
  • It's always difficult to do...I'm not sure what the reasons were for taking down the trees...We actually did a major thinning project on our property this year - with more to come. For over a hundred years, we stopped letting natural fire do its work. Now, the CA droughts have stressed pine and fir in our area and disease has set in. So some of them need to come down in order to protect the others. There's been so little work done in the major forests that there are too many trees crowding out a healthy undergrowth. -- Anyway, just to say, sometimes some trees do have to come down. We did it for wildfire defensible space and some for forest health. After reading Braiding Sweetgrass, I took the time to thank the trees before we began. And we chipped most of the wood back into the forest. Sheesh...do I sound guilt-ridden? 
    • You are right, Patricia! There are definitely reasons to take trees down that are helpful to the environment, and in our current climate situation, preventing more forest fires and air pollution is a critical goal. These trees are being removed to build a structure. I have no right to judge anyone. Watching these trees that I have known for years fall made me sad, and feeling sad made me feel hypocritical. On a more hopeful note, I did plant six trees in the last few years. They are still babies, but they are growing!
  • Wow, you got the buzz/crack/swish/thump so right. We've had some clearing going on down the road from us (a new home?) and it's jarring to see the brightness that now glares within an otherwise wooded area :(

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