I did not know,
this old apple tree,
existed until today,
tucked away down Belle Vue Road,
with Swifts Hill in sight.
The old apple has,
a cheerful blue banner,
hung from its branches:
Save The Apple Tree.
and I can see,
the hastily put together,
platform wedged,
in its crown.
People are gathered,
on the badgers sett around its roots,
attentive and asserting:
The old apple tree stays,
your chainsaws can retire early.
On the slope beneath,
the apple its fruits,
lay about,
as though,
a treasure box has been upturned,
its bounty strewn carelessly.
I look around,
the land is already torn up,
machines have come,
trees and thickets gone;
for more houses?
its beyond ridiculous:
We have enough houses!
Where are the houses going for Nature?
She’s been evicted a million times over,
concreted out of the picture,
we don’t seem to able to grasp,
If we don’t save the apple tree,
If we let them cheat us of the Earth,
what do we promise,
to our children?
Housing estates that never end?
Do we really want,
them blessed with,
all those things sold to us,
to switch us off,
to the real world being trashed,
for this consumerist Disneyland?
What do we promise our children?
The apple tree stands,
gazing to Swifts Hill and green woods,
their peace unsullied yet,
she waits for us to decide,
I bend down,
to take an apple:
this is what I vote for.
Robin Collins 2013

Photograph courtesy of Nick James