“Kill the trees, kill ‘em all. Big ones, small ones, short and tall.” Does that sound familiar? An Instagram account posted a poem last night after news broke of the snowball of effects from recent tree felling.
A project focusing on infrastructure between Mrieħel, Rabat, Attard and Ħaż-Żebbuġ has stirred up controversy yet again as the development threatens to kill trees as old as 50 years.
“There’s no time for discrimination, let’s mow them down to build our nation.”
The poem highlights issues that plague Malta on a daily basis, but with the context of recent events, the matter is contrasted against something one would assume every reader has: common sense.
Perhaps in an attempt to unite through thought, the writer gives accounts of “poisoned roots” and “chopped off heads” – two methods of torture typically used in Medieval times for petty thieves and criminals.
Beheading is still used in parts of the world today for those caught on the wrong side of the law. That’s enough to make anyone wonder whether this phrasing was intentional, so as to amplify the culpability of the powers that be, who are approving (and in many cases applauding) the work being done.
Because if we don’t make a big scene about it, it’s not a good thing – especially when funding comes from accredited surpluses that we never hear the end of (or the government’s favourite, #EUFunds).
The tone of the piece takes a turn towards the final stanza where the chronicle laments, “Cars and tarmac, that’s more like it. Screw those losers who walk and bike it.” It’s a staunch attack against Malta’s dismissive attitudes towards those who make an active effort to avoid contributing to environmental destruction.
Referring to Malta’s tendency of tearing down anything green as an addiction really demonstrates the attitudes that have come to the fore on the island in the past few days. There’s no option for rational thought anymore; it’s been chemically eroded, and no matter what’s in front of Malta’s eyes, all she can see is that next fix.
The next line, “I love it to death,” carries a double entendre – whoever is behind the lumbering loves whatever is whispering in their ear ‘to death’ but in the end, that is where we all end up, much like the trees at the heart of it all. Should we really be the ones to decide when their time comes?
The poem in this article was authored by Luke Marshall from lmbweb.