Poem: Trees & The Environment


Trees are pretty weird, don’t you think?

(How’s this poem going so far? Off to a good start? I mean, I know it’s a bit of a vague introduction, and I haven’t rhymed yet, but it’s only the first line, so… just go with it. I promise I’ll explain the whole tree thing. Wait, let me start again.)

Trees are weird.

One of the most magical things I’ve ever seen was my nephew, at the age of two, discovering his hands for the first time. Gorgeous. I remember it so well. It happened when he was playing with this little toy blue steamroller he got at Christmas, and it rolled just out of reach. And he stretched his right arm out in front of himself, then stopped, and I saw his eyes go wide, and he just… stopped.

He drew his right hand closer to his face. He slowly turned it around. He wiggled his thumb. He wiggled each finger. He kept turning it over. And he made this really strange sound, like “wa wa wa”, which is the kind of sound that you’d find in a terrible daytime science fiction movie without a budget for sound designer. “Wa wa wa”. You know the one. Anyway, he started making this sound and making a fist and unclenching, and going “Wa wa wa”.

And I heard him, and said, “Figberry”, which was his name. His entire life is a joke now, by the way. Who knows what my sister was thinking when she named him. “Figberry” I said, again, “What is it Figberry?” as if I was talking to a dog.

But I wasn’t talking to a dog. I was talking to a child. But I treat Figberry like a dog because children at that age are total idiots and I have no respect for them. People keep telling me that children are the future, but I’d prefer to leave the future up to people who are a little bit older and a little more experienced.

Now, at that moment, “Wa wa wa”, he realised he had two of these magical freaky things on the ends of his arms that he could control. So he pulled his left arm up off the ground, but he forgot that his left arm was helping him sit upright and he fell over and hit his head and started crying, and I, obviously, started laughing saying “Figberry! Oh, Figberry you piece of shit!”

Now, I should point a couple of things:

The first thing is that I realise I promised to explain why trees are weird, but I got sidetracked. I will probably never mention trees again, so don’t hold your breath.

The second thing is that I didn’t actually laugh and call Figberry a piece of shit. In fact, Figberry isn’t even his real name. Come to think of it, I don’t even have a nephew. I do have a sister though, and she’s in love, so there’s definitely potential for a child. So I’m not a total liar.

Thirdly, and most importantly, poetry can be a lie. But even during the lie, it can mean something.

Fourthly, this particular poem does not mean anything. And I’m sorry about that. I think. Actually, I don’t care.

Fifthly, trees are weird. And I don’t think I have to justify that. We all know that trees are weird. They’re an actual living organism, that can’t talk, and they’re made of wood, and they have leaves on them, and we didn’t build them, and we turn them into paper, and we turn them into matches, and we use matches to start fires using bits of other trees.

Now if that isn’t poetry, then what is?

– Scott Sandwich


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