On the Edge of a Dead World

I am lost in sweet oblivion,
then the chainsaws begin
lashing through a stubborn dream
and I wonder,
what is dying now?


And such an exquisite day
on the edge of destruction
where another tree lies
shipwrecked, still majestic
and unsung.


Old summers still gripping
the toppled pillars that
once held in place
a scattered universe,


a blur of yesterdays take
me down and I strain to see
it all just once again.


Here comic raccoons lived in
hidden splendor so far above me,
so superior because
they were so free,


and blue jays held court here
like cartoon nobles in a kingdom


floating between God and what
is almost-real:
so much lavish simplicity
above my miniature life.


And I remember all the emerald
drunk on yellow, gorged with August,
sailing across the corners of
this sad space,
tossed from end to end:
A shrinking sky. A sea of jewels.


Now the rat-like possums with
extraterrestrial eyes search
for their branches
under a strange, foaming sky
too large for this world
and leering, drooping
where only green should be.


And if there are tree ghosts
they reach for their phantom
sculptures above these stumps
and swear
they can still feel nests
and lunatic squirrels and wind
against those precious lines of age.


I want to sink back into my
dream where gentle giants still
serve up shade under
boulders of sky,


but the chainsaws chew and laugh
with a guttural battle cry
and our past and our future dies


one tree at a time.


Patricia Joan Jones

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Starward's picture

This poem should be read at

This poem should be read at the United Nations, and to all freshman envionmental or biological majors when they enter college.  And with a quiz to follow.  Your poem reminds me of how little, admittedly, I know of these issues, and how important they are.


Cascade's picture

This grabbed my heart deeply

This grabbed my heart deeply for I too love trees and all the creatures that call them home.  You are a fantastic writer. I loved every poem I read.

patriciajj's picture

My talented friend, your

My talented friend, your feedback meant so much to me. Many thanks.

patriciajj's picture

Thank you for taking the time

Thank you for taking the time to read and leave such wonderful comments.

Incompl's picture

dreamlike , amazing poetry

dreamlike , amazing poetry and heart wrenching imagery of a world we are killing 

Let your teeth show

patriciajj's picture

Very encouraging comment.

Very encouraging comment. Thank you so much.

allets's picture

Save A Tree Please

"...drunk on yellow, gorged with August..." fine naturalist images that make the heart long to see no more trees falling. Well said - slc 



patriciajj's picture

Thank you for appreciating

Thank you for appreciating this.

allets's picture


Harvestred for wood, cleared and burned for the land to expand, deforested to kill the planet's ability to filter toxins and breath for Gaia - the earth breathes and trees are alveoli. Also, like the rainforest - home to millions of species that will become endangered on the altar of greed. - slc



patriciajj's picture

Thank you for that brilliant

Thank you for that brilliant and very moving reply. I'm touched and honored.