Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads poetry blog has sent out the call to address ‘earth grief’ – some aspect of our planet’s struggle with pollution, over-population, climate change.

A Clashing Song


The orange and the cumquat trees must go.

Their trunks are slender compared to nearby gums;

only a few minutes to slice through with a chainsaw.

Spring fruit down the driveway into the gutter.

No one picks them up.

It takes longer to dig out the roots,

but the neighbours can’t have new growth

coming up through floorboards.

Not content with their two-storey house,

they are expanding the brick walls,

and the gardens must go.

Bigger rooms, larger windows,

with a high view to the Dandenong Ranges,

and a huge satellite dish stand

to replace the disused greenhouse.

An older house with comfortable 70’s angles

getting a facelift,

and looking plastic and new,

like money.

A raven caws at the man installing the satellite dish.

He doesn’t hear, for his ear buds are singing him

a clashing song.

Oranges roll down the road,

and are squashed by cars.

The air smells of citrus

and brick dust.


18 thoughts on “Poem

  1. I am smiling, as I love the name of your blog. And you have written this scene so I can see and feel it – I am in wonderment at the sheer behemoth SIZE of homes these days – how many rooms do we need? I would rather have a big yard full of trees personally. Sad, the oranges rolling down the street. Sigh. This small vignette encapsulates the Myth of More that North Americans take as gospel, that we always need more. What we need more of is connection with nature. Thank you for your wonderful poem. I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Continue happening different places different times. Do you remember the song, “Big Yellow TaxiCab” aka “Put up a parking lot?” Google the lyrics, a late 60’s song by Jon Mitchell.


  3. The trouble with humans is that they are so blind to the natural beauty of the Earth; everything must either produce wealth or show wealth while the real world is invisible to their eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Whew! Powerful poem! earbuds to $ facelift … and the image of oranges being squashed… You outdid yourself and I love this poem!


  5. Sounds like Florida. When my favorite aunt was alive and I used to visit there, everyone had orange and kumquat trees. Part of the Florida Experience was learning that you don’t slice or peel real citrus fruit–only the green, inferior ones shipped north are solid enough for that: you scoop them out of a bowl with a spoon. But now I’m told people are cutting down the trees to pack more people into instant slums. (You can call it a condominium and put in expensive materials, but anywhere in 25 years, in Florida after the next hurricane, it’ll be a slum.)

    I’m so glad I never wanted to have babies and am not contributing to this.


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