The World Before

Starting with the destruction of a tree Lucy Wiggins’ poem laments the loss of the natural environment and asks us to imagine a world before.

Today I saw a video of a tree getting cut down, 

It screamed and trashed as the ground destroyed its crown, 

Its rings of age exposed to the air, 

And the axe of a man who did not care, 


This tree was old and had lived through the stages of man, 

This tree was stable and yet had suffered at the plan, 

The plan of man to take over the earth, 

To strip her of all she was worth, 


Did those years of watching flash before the tree? 

All those years of being too rooted to flee, 

Did the mother ever feel sad as she slowly died?

Slowly ripped apart by men too blinded by pride, 


Did they both long for the years before? 

When the forest was thriving from cloud to floor? 

Where creatures were vicious but free? 

When the word ‘endangered’ wasn’t plastered on every tv? 


The time before man and steel? 

Before man forced the mother to kneel? 

Before the trees siblings weren’t hacked down

To make way for another little town, 


Where the naturalness of the world was connected, 

I wonder if man’s mistakes could be corrected, 

Could we return the land to its rightful goddess? 

Is it possible to undo such a mess? 


I think of paintings and art from over the years, 

They were beautiful but I had my fears, 

That Monets lily pond was now a car park, 

And van Goghs irises killed to make something dark, 


I wondered if I would have known 

About that time if I hadn’t been shown, 

By the artists and poets of our world, 

I had never seen the stars twirl, 

The sky made too foggy by man, 

I wondered if we have the strength to stop what they began, 


But the mother is strong and she bides her time, 

She knows that man is past their prime, 

And when her old friend boils us all, 

She will rise once more and send out her call, 


Nature will rise with her and regrow, 

She will heal their burns and pain with snow, 

Sent fresh to the goddess by the sky, 

Who loved their mother and hated to see her cry, 


In time the fog would clear, 

And the buildings would fall out of fear, 

The mother goddess at her peak, 

No longer small and weak,


I would be long gone and would not see the earth glow, 

But I will not cry as I know the rivers will flow, 

And the grass will grow, 

The flowers following in tow, 


My only hope for the mother now, 

As I sit and pray to her, body sunk into a bow, 

Is that the next creature that appears

Does not redo the damage that she fixed over years, 


The years after man comfort me, 

Although a sight I will not see, 

I feel the mother stirring and the spirit brewing, 

Waiting until the world is ready for renewing, 


Nature is strong and will outlive me, 

That is the only thought that sets me free.