“…I speak for the trees for the Trees have no tongues….”
-The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Yet they sough and sigh as they sway,
receiving sunlight, open-palmed,
or creak and moan in winter blasts.
Dawn to dusk, biophonic chorales
held within and between upheld arms—
trills, pecks, caws, thrums, hoots.
Within each trunk, clicks, pops and crackles
as tiny embolisms of air break
tension, tensile rivers coursing
in ultrasonic song up
to bough, branch, twig,
while below the forest floor,
lacing roots entwine
in a woodwide web of questing
dendrites enmeshed in fungi
to commune with kin,
nurse saplings, nourish the ailing,
or plot and warn as they record
each marauding. The forest
suspends its breath with every felled
giant. Roar of uprooted centuries,
wrenching of earthlimb from earthflesh.
Who will hear?
As the world smoulders,
let each poem be
a fallen tree’s tongue.
by Fiona Tinwei Lam