The fruit you eat it grows on me
as does the flower that perfumes your room;
apple mango, orchid and lilac
it is on me that they take full bloom.
On a blazing day when the sun beats down
Around me you feel cooler and better;
I give you shade from the sun and the rain
Beneath me you can always take shelter.
I soak up the polluted air around you
As also the air that you breathe out;
The oxygen you inhale I produce for you
Something you cannot survive without.
When you are unwell I bring you medicine
Made from my leaves, my bark and stem;
To cure you of every discomfort and illness
It will surprise you when you count them.
We are the only ones who can produce food
We make it from just sunlight and air
The entire food chain starts with us
Without us nothing would have been there.
During the monsoon when it rains and pours
And it begins to flood all around;
I absorb the water in my deep long roots
And keep you safe and sound.
The rubber tyres in your cycle and car
The paper on which you write and draw;
Jute for your bag, cotton for your clothes
I give you all this and so much more.
The dye from my stem is used to colour
the lovely red and yellow dress you wear;
my bark it secretes several varieties of gum
that you use to cook, for craft and for repair.
The chair you sit on and the desk you use
Once was a living and breathing part of me;
Your door and windows, cupboard and shelves
All made from hacking me mercilessly.
The cuckoo will sing and the myna will chirp
Resting on my many outstretched bowers;
Have you noticed how delightful I look
Bursting with jacaranda and gulmohur flowers?
The squirrel it nests by the shade of my leaves
The woodpecker on my trunk thick and long;
The elephant and the giraffe feed on me and grow
to become so mightily large and strong.
It is true that I have lived for many long years
And lived happily co-existing with you;
But suddenly I’m finding this journey tough
And I thought perhaps you could help me through.
You see, they chop me off for building houses
Factories and offices, bridges and railway;
They clear the forests for cities and industries
For airports and pipelines, roads and highway.
While it is important for you to have
All the facilities that you require and need;
The reason I am mostly killed today
Stems from unending desire and greed.
With a sigh I write this note to you today
On behalf of all my friends and me;
In return for all the gifts we bring
All we ask is that you care for the Tree.
Know how much we matter to you
I ask you not to ignore our pain;
Know that if we are no more
Not much else will remain.
In all your actions and your thought
I cannot but agree;
You will not slip, you will not err
If you remember this note from a Tree.