Whose fault is it?

P1020182-001 signed
A young gum tree in my street


Whose fault is it?

Everything alive is born
Lives for a while
Then dies –
So it is with trees

It’s not the old tree’s fault
A young life is lying half dead
Under its old gnarled branch

It’s not the girl’s fault
She happened to be there
In the school yard
When the old gum tree
Huge – fifty years old
Lost its old brittle branch

It’s not the teacher’s fault
How could she have known
The old gum tree would shed
Its old spent limb
Just after the bell rang for lunch?

The old tree sighs
While the parents’ and children’s cries
Reach as high as the stars
‘It’s not my fault’
The old tree sighs

Whose fault is it then?

‘It’s a freak accident’
Some say

Nay, it’s more than that
The accusing finger points
At those who worship trees
As some worship sacred cows

Humans, come to your senses!
The old gum tree boughs
Are as innocent as the sacred cows
Why don’t you change the laws?
Get on to it quick smart

Then, chop chop!
Chop down the old killer trees
Before another young heart
Is cut in the bud


A Girl, 8, is dead and another child and teacher seriously injured after the bough of a gum tree crashed onto them minutes after the bell rang for lunch at a western Sydney school.
The Daily Telegraph – February 21, 2014


This poem was written in response to the prompt by Anita Stewart, editor of Sunday writing Essential on Gather.
The Challenge: Write a story, essay or poem around a theme.

The theme for this poem is: Tragedy as a result of the imbalance between protecting nature and human lives.


Some good has come out of this tragedy. Here is what I heard on the radio this morning and then read in The Daily Telegraph:

Death of Bridget Wright, 8, prompts forced inspections of trees on school grounds across the state.
The Daily Telegraph – February 27, 2014


Common sense has prevailed! Three cheers for that!

©2014 irina dimitric

About irinadim

Kookaburra sweet, you neither chirp nor tweet. Your laughter is much like mine, my cackle is much like thine. We are two sister souls, one clad in feathers, the other in clothes. ~ Irina ~ I’m a budding blogger. Poetry and photography are my newest passions, living in perfect harmony inspiring each other. I like both free verse and form poetry and am quite proud to let you know that I am the creator of a new form named ‘tercetonine’. Blog Name: Irina's Poetry Corner Blog URL: http://irinadim.com
This entry was posted in Art, Australia, Dark Poetry, Kintsugi, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Visual Arts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Whose fault is it?

  1. Aquileana says:

    Hello dear Irina.

    Your poem here is really touching .
    “Whose fault is it then?/ The old tree sighs”..

    It might sound hard to understand or to explain, but it is “our” fault in a general sense, as we are all part of Nature, we are natural creatures, we share the main inner “soul” which is part of the holistic version: Planet Earth, our common background.

    I really hope we take much more care of our surroundings.

    Thanks for sharing, happy weekend ahead, best wishes;
    Aquileana 🙂

    • irinadim says:

      Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful comment, Aquileana. Such accidents are rare occasions but even one death is too many if we as rational beings can implement measures to prevent it. Thank God, such measures have now come into force.

      Happy weekend to you! Cheers 🙂 Irina

  2. Lucia says:

    Touching poem Irina
    Have a nice weekend !

  3. How tragic. 😦 A good lesson on mankind’s silliness. Thanks for sharing this poem Irina — a really powerful one!

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