Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Steven R. Kutcher


(179 old Oaks and 72 Sycamore trees in the Arcadia woodland were bulldozed Jan 13, 2011 to make room for dirt that could have been put elsewhere.)

Who speaks for the trees...

Garlands of galls delicately strung on Coast Live Oaks
Wrens and Doves sing their soothing songs above tail-wagging deer
Hummingbirds flit among the Sugar Bush and Penstemon
Whoooo speaks for the trees?
Owls that sing to waltzing bears in moonlight dreams

Who speaks for the trees...

Not the neighbor who said,
“If it becomes a choice between trucks carrying dirt and trees
Then the trees have got to go”
Not the elderly man who said, “No one sees the trees”
Not the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who read death notices of voters
While people had only sixty seconds to speak passionately to save the woodland
The Board said, It's a public safety issue and the trees must be removed
The next day they cut trees down into the pernicious night

Who speaks for the trees...

The people that speak for children who can't speak
Woodland walkers who lingered among the butterflies
Those that climbed those trees to defend them from the bulldozers might
The natural beauty of this woodland took hundreds of years to be born
Perished in a day under death machines

Who speaks for the trees...

Farewell, the sky is falling and the land lies barren
The Board of Supervisors makes promises daily
The leaves will not drift from the ancient trees this Fall
You must tell the children
You must speak for the trees


  1. Steven, what a passionately beautiful plea and memorial for the trees that have been removed for man's vain ignorance. You've said it so well.

  2. Steven, your poem is amazing! The last line, "You must tell the children/You must speak for the trees/
    says it all. I taught writing to small children grades
    K-3, through ideas about the environment. You poem spoke to me.