Poem of the Week, week 30: Cathrine Grøndahl "Can Trees File Suit?"

Enjoy a weekly poem by authors from Norway, throughout the year.

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Can trees file suit? Trees can’t file anywhere
Nature encloses them in laws, which others are the keepers of
It’s like talking to a wall
If the walls had ears. Lay your ear against the wall and listen:
The cry in the forest, the rain for days on end, the tree that keeps falling
One day a door may open in the law, and in goes a whole forest
and raises hill after hill of cases. Listen:
We indict all nation states. We stand in the tragedy of the commons
and you don’t notice. The poisons take effect everywhere
The nations dole them out in quotas to the whole world. They always land
here, and you don’t detect it. We’re losing our breath in the Amazon,
leaf by leaf, overdosing in the Black Forest, and in Pasvik we’re dying
of the nickel we’re drinking from the Kola Peninsula
We are the cry in the forest, the rain for days on end, the tree that keeps
falling. Lie down under a tree. Look:

Cathrine Grøndahl

Translated by Roger Greenwald, for forfatternesklimaaksjon.no (Norwegian Writers’ Climate Campaign)

See the poem in Norwegian

Poem of the Week

Learn more about the series and see all poems here