I am spending a good deal of time these days working with a group of community activists trying to get our town’s ineffective tree ordiance revised, so that our canopy, the old oaks and other splendid natives have a chance to survive the developers’ hacking. This is one of my earlier poems about tree killing, from my collection A Few Blessings and Lamentations (2003):
The dying tree is marked off
pink ribbon tied to its lowest limb
in the wrong part of this leftover forest—
too close to the cedar singled roof.
Monday morning when least expected
one axe swing and it cracks open,
falls cleanly and will be chopped up or
The neighbor who has clear cut his estate
complains that he is bothered by the sound of chain saws,
He liked the view, especially in the summer
when the woods were thickly green.
Almost like the mountains,
almost like no one else lived here,
and the forest owned the land.