The following poem was sent to me by former London poet laureate Penn Kemp as she reflected on the development proposals to go to council tonight, proposals which,if accepted, would result in the death of thousands of trees in favour of low wage jobs shifted from elsewhere in the city. Penn says an early version of part of this poem was written for Meadowlily.
Trees, please! Ding!
What is your Gateway, London? Razing
ten thousand trees or raising morale?
Penequity Realty Corporation is clear
that the wood lot would be clear cut.
so they can establish a Complex instead
of an old Environmentally Sensitive Area.
I'm developing a complex. Aren't you?
Which do you love? The choice is yours.
Deep pockets or deep wood. Development
vs. organic diversity. Tarmac vs. trillium..
The seasonal round:Nature� long cycle or
inevitable recompense in lost resource.
And the consequence? Invasive species
multiply in a virus of corporation logos.
Native phlox and poppies from an old farm.
Willows sun-sparkle green on warbler song.
Beech on the hill slope shelter Spring Beauty.
Hemlocks mingle over fern in lacy ravines.
A boy wades into the river, fixing his lure to
wait, just as still as nearby Great Blue Heron.
What cost beauty? What value do we place
on walks through harmonious complexity?
In the woods, you can breathe deeply and be
inspired. Here we know we belong, participating
in the co-creative process of simply living,
sensing continuous wholeness. Drawing
on the energy of nature, we emerge renewed
in a relationship of respect, understanding
what a wood is worth. Stand your ground!