The Tree
Terminal she lay. Deathly still.
Tom Harbottle | 3 April 2017

“By the sweat of your brow

you will eat your food

until you return to the ground,

since from it you were taken;

for dust you are

and to dust you will return.” -Genesis 3:19



They felled the last tree yesterday.

I felt her heave a great sigh

As they lowered her down to her grave.

Terminal she lay. Deathly still.

Black trucks crept from where she once stood.


They felled the last tree yesterday.

I felt the ring of the axe,

The devilish war-cry of the saw,

Biting, biting away beneath a spiteful sun of a mad crimson.


Stumps. A testament to man

Entrenched in the barren soil.

Who was there to pray for them?

Only the quiet dayglow, resting upon the subtle fragments,

Of what might have been.


One must wonder:

“How many must it take for us to learn?”

If only we could learn.


So don't tell me that they have no use

For we are of them, and they are of us

All made from the same soft stardust.

From earth to earth.

Ashes to ashes.

Dust to dust!


By Tom Harbottle.


Original Image by Carl Tillett

James Routledge 2016