Reid Avenue

 

Photograph curtsey of "Stand Up for Trees" page on Facebook.

The trees are falling,

falling down along the avenue

 

flanked by the law, the arts

and the house of the intellectuals.

 

Helpless we watch the machines hum as a piece

of history is cut down to the ground.

 

Fallen sentinels of the past struck

down by the follies of the present that no

 

one dares oppose while

beauty is destroyed and the earth torn

 

apart. Green gives way to concrete.

Planted by an ancient they spread themselves far

 

and wide. Up above, the branches swelled

to cover the skies. A canopy

 

of green for the people to walk

through. Hugging the earth below them

 

stretching their roots to take hold of their home.

“Old roots,” the men sniffed in disdain, “old

 

roots decay and bring danger to

all,” they claimed. The machines marched in,

 

the people protested, banners in hand to no avail.

The birds added their songs of alarm

 

beseeching, beseeching for the trees to stay,

homeland in the skies tumbling to dust.

 

Their high-rises groaned in anguish as the machines cut

them down. Tears in the skies stopped,

 

stunned at the affront. Darkness

descended a

 

wasteland they will raise. Twinned with the desert

what more can you hope?

 

© 2012 Shirani Rajapakse

 

Photograph courtesy Stand Up for Colombo’s Trees on Facebook. For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/groups/116812511815589/?fref=ts