Trees – a poem

As the trees around Arran are being harvested, Voice reader Elizabeth Ross sent in this poem. Thank you Elizabeth, for sharing your work… 


They stood in whispering silence, fifty years tall.
When they were born so were my children
Who grew with energy, running and shouting,
While the trees just stood, quiet, moved only by the wind.
Growing slowly, entwining branches in close embrace.
Few birds fluttered in the quiet shade.
Few plants grew ‘neath the dim canopy.
Few people walked the church-like aisles.
Until, my children grown with children of their own,
The trees were ready. Roads were built and machinery moved in.

I stand in the window seeing the slow motion, they stand, then they fall.
Fifty years over in 2 seconds. I feel sad.
But they are just a crop, a stretched out lifetime crop, fifty years, not one summer season.
Each stem cut individually, not swallowed up in swathes by a combine harvester.
But just a crop, leaving the hillside a wasteland of brash and stumps still rooted in the earth.

Now light is back on the hillside, animals move in, bluebells, fireweed and ragwort grow.
The insects will come and the birds find food.
An eyesore to us but nature will thrive.
And the timber will be paper, pellets,
Who knows where it goes.
A crop like any other.

By Elizabeth Ross

Featured image shows woods at Glenashdale, Whiting Bay, Arran. Credit: