The Tree Of Life

Solidly alone.

A living, breathing, organism.
Centuries old. Rooted in history.
Mute witness to the cyclicality of civilization.
And the linearity of time

Solitary. Proud. Strong.
Incompatible with today.
A hark back to the times that were.
Before the city lost out to progress and modernity.

A wooden behemoth with soaring trunk. Amidst towers of concrete.
Its girth, real estate, and an impediment to development.
Branches spreading. Like the arterial alleyways all around it.
Foliage, green. Set off against concrete grays and reflective glass.
A cooling canopy of shade-giving arms. Battling the heat radiating off pavements.
Taproot embedded in the very soul of the soil.
That lies beneath superficial layers of cold concrete and asphyxiating asphalt.
Underground sewage, cabling and piping arguing with its lateral offshoots.
Toxins of urbania denying them nourishment. Gnawing at its vitals.
Vandals hacking away at its branches.
A chainsaw, an axe, a scythe.
Much like what’s happening to society today.
Use. Abuse. Take for granted. Then throw away.

Throngs of thousands scurrying about.
Unappreciative. Unnoticing of its majesty.
Until they run out of oxygen to breathe.

Standing, seeing, silently suffering, surviving. Barely just.
Gnarled and knobbly. Aging but upright.
Obliging, never asking.
Chipped bark, crying tears of sap.
Not yet a log but knowing the imminence its fate.
And that of this city, which has lost its moral timber.


32 thoughts on “The Tree Of Life

  1. More powerful words, my friend. This is a strong, focused and so well gelled together poem. You are indeed a master of words…I see your poetry evolving and maturing! Very well done. I feel like finding that Tree of hope and breath and giving it a big hug! And people would think I was crazy! ha ha! Keep those poet’s cogs turning…they are whirling just beautifully. Have a lovely day! The sun is shining here… Gardening time. Take care… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many thanks, Krys! I like your phrase “Tree of Hope” for that’s what it indeed is, and I will join you in hugging it! In fact, there is a movement called “chipko” (literally meaning ‘stick’) here in some parts of rural India, where the villagers latch on to tree trunks, refusing them to be cut down for industrialisation or what have you. Just a small nugget of interesting info. You guys have a fabulous day ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you my friend, as always and I was fascinated to hear about the tree hugging movement to try and protect precious trees from destruction. If I was there I’d be joining them…I take my hat off to them…good for them. Someone has to speak or act out against such indiscriminate mass devastation. Good wishes for a sunny Sunday πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kunal,
    What a beautiful poem. I taught a story about a tree, The Giving Tree. Are you familiar with it? It was a parable. It’s been a pleasure meeting you today. Thanks again for visiting my site and coming to my party.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am not sure about exactly what you mean
    but it sounds like our story to me.

    We growing older in deteriorating environment about to become logs

    In a way reality is scary ….


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh how beautiful this! how your words seem to roll out so nimbly, effortlessly. Such a great metaphor between nature and society. Very apt for me as we’ve been driving through mountains and valleys , long stretches of countryside and now finally at the blue oceans. Fortunately, there is still a lot of natural beauty but there is also a lot of development encroachment as well. To the point of your poem, I am reminded of William Wordsworth’s “The world is too much with us” poem. Thank you for your artistry. Chevvy

    Liked by 1 person

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