On Killing A Tree

It takes much time to kill a tree,

Not a simple jab of the knife

Will do it. It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out of it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
Years of sunlight, air, water,
And out of its leperous hide
Sprouting leaves.

So hack and chop
But this alone wont do it.
Not so much pain will do it.
The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
Miniature boughs
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.

No,
The root is to be pulled out -
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out - snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,
And the strength of the tree exposed,
The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth.

Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,
Browning, hardening,
Twisting, withering,
And then it is done.


(From POEMS, published by Nissim Ezekiel, Bombay 1966)

by Gieve Patel

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Comments (16)

Beautifully written this poem I would like to read this poem again and again
Nice and sweet poem
The rhyme scheme is amazing! ! ! ! Quite deserving of being poem of the day👏👏💯
so nice poem i read it keep it up, , superb superb superb
it has a great inner meaning what touched my feelings. Thanks anyway for sharing with us...
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