On losing a friend

It was a Gulmohar tree. The one that bursts wild red with joy in May. Home to chirpy little mynahs, sly crows and cacophonous  pigeons. An easy access to inquisitive squirrels and wandering moths to the ledge outside my window. My many-time muse to inept water-colour paintings, it shielded my window from the outside world and embraced me in its shade on sunny summer afternoons as I slept dreamlessly.

Many a time I found myself staring at its green leaves, lost in a maze of thoughts. A green blanket forming tight curtain from other apartments facing mine, providing me solace when the world proved too oppressive.

And today, they cut it down.

I am shocked by the sunlight. I feel exposed and I close windows in a hurry. The last piece of the tree has been carried away.  I mourn for a lost friend.


On killing a tree

Gieve Patel

It takes much time to kill a tree,
Not a simple jab of the knife
Will do it.
It has grown
Slowly consuming the earth,
Rising out if it, feeding
Upon its crust, absorbing
Years of sunlight, air, water,
And out of its leprous hide
Sprouting leaves.
So hack and chop
But this alone won’t do it.
Not so much pain will do it.
The bleeding bark will heal
And from close to the ground
Will rise curled green twigs,
Miniature boughs
Which if unchecked will expand again
To former size.
The root is to be pulled out
Out of the anchoring earth;
It is to be roped, tied,
And pulled out-snapped out
Or pulled out entirely,
Out from the earth-cave,
And the strength of the tree exposed,
The source, white and wet,
The most sensitive, hidden
For years inside the earth.
Then the matter
Of scorching and choking
In sun and air,
Browning, hardening,
Twisting, withering,
And then it is done.


2 thoughts on “On losing a friend

  1. it’s time you faced the world, maybe.. 😀
    cutting down trees is sad. why did they do it?
    liked the post; very poetic style (dint read the poem at the end though)
    lovely imagery i should say.. “sly crows”.. “inquisitive squirrels”.. 🙂


    1. Thank u so much! i think they cut it down because the branches were falling down on their cars. instead of making a parking area or at least putting across an asbestos sheet, this was their easy way out 😦

      And facing the changing world every day, is quite a challenge for some of us 🙂


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