What Do Trees Do? Something to think about

Since we’re on the subject of trees, and comments about them, here’s something I wrote about 15 years ago when I was living in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I was renting an upstairs room in a boarding house. Looking outside my window onto the backyard I saw the tops of large evergreen trees. I remembered reading about the special qualities of trees, and with the destruction of forests, decided to tell their story in the form of a childlike rhyme. Something to think about……

What Do Trees Do?

What do trees do?
I wonder? Do you?

We purify water. We purify air.
We take all the stress out of the atmosphere.
We store up the knowledge of all of the ages.
We acknowledge the gifts of all of the sages.
They kept cool and rested under our arms.
We were their shelter from all of life’s harms.

We hold up your children as they swing on our boughs.
When it rains, we keep animals dry, especially cows.
We give you our wood to build for your homes.
We make room for squirrels, birds, elves, and gnomes.
We give you sweet fruits and nuts to eat
And rock your babies gently to sleep.
We communicate with stars and bring down their light
And make sure you’re sleeping safely all through the night.

So the next time you’re planning to cut us all down,
Just think; all the good things we do, won’t be around.

And eventually neither will you.
I added this ‘cuz it’s true!

—Ken Chawkin

Also see: Willow Tree – a tanka – from a tree’s perspective

And: Friendship – another tree tanka

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8 Responses to “What Do Trees Do? Something to think about”

  1. pati philbrook Says:

    nice work and nice heart, Kenny-

    Like

  2. carol olicker Says:

    here is another favorite of mine..this is by Rilke, translated by Byron Katie’s husband..translations are very different, this one is my favorite by a mile

    I find you Lord in all things
    in all my fellow creatures, pulsing with your life
    As a tiny seed you sleep in what is small
    And in the Vast you vastly yield yourself

    The wondrous game that Power plays with Things
    is to move in such submission through the world
    groping in roots and growing thick in trunks
    and in treetops, like a rising from the dead

    Like

  3. Tazim Elkington Says:

    Hey Ken,
    How are you doing? That’s a very cool piece on trees…My best Taz

    Like

  4. Ken Chawkin Says:

    Hi Taz,
    Glad you like it. I’m fine.
    Thanks,
    Ken

    Like

  5. Being in Nature « The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] see What Do Trees Do? Something to think about, Willow Tree – a tanka – from a tree’s perspective, and Friendship – another tree tanka. […]

    Like

  6. trees—a poem about the nature of trees « The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] see What Do Trees Do? Something to think about, Willow Tree – a tanka – from a tree’s perspective, and Friendship – another tree tanka. […]

    Like

  7. Vancouver Park Poems by Ken Chawkin « The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] we’re on a favorite topic, trees, see What Do Trees Do? Something to think about, also written when I was living in North Vancouver; and these two more recent poems from Fairfield, […]

    Like

  8. Love after Love, by Derek Walcott, resonates deeply when you first acknowledge yourself | The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] remember when it happened to me, living alone in a room I was renting in a house in North Vancouver. I finally let go of all the distracting reasons to search for happiness outside myself, in wanting […]

    Like

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