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Dedication To Cedar

A young man once named Cedar,

Tall and beautiful as a young tree,

Next generation, Earth warrior,

Feral and free.

At ancient Washpool from the police we hid.

The dozer pushed,

Tree, simply in the way,

Cedar scampered up that huge rainforest fig;

As the blade stabbed,

The tree trembled and swayed.

An old forest giant was set to fall,

Nature's ladder, strangler fig, gave Cedar hold.

High above the dozer's roar,

A plea, an invocation he called.

The driver looked up from his controls,

At a man waving frantically.

Stop! The demand Was desperate yet bold.

Motor cut, shaken,

Away the driver walked.

Against that massive dozer,

Successful was Cedar's play.

The rainforest that he struggled for

Stands alive and well today.

Yet his own beauty he could not see,

Nor the forest of his life

Which could set him free.

Estranged from society that made no sense,

He simply couldn't cope.

In despair one day he climbed another tree,

A rope around his throat.


Poem first published in Australia in 1996 by HarperCollinsPublishers 


Through Cedar I wish to acknowledge that many of us live on the edge of despair, but for those of us who dance along the boundaries of life and death, failure and success, struggle and hopelessness, there is a way. By sharing our fears and finding ways of liberating our anxieties, together we can access our dreams. All is possible. Seeds of the tree that Cedar saved are among many being planted today. North Washpool in northern New South Wales is one site in a series of rainforest regeneration locations in eastern Australia. Under the guidance of Emeritus Professor Len Webb, rainforest on that disputed site is being replanted and monitored as part of an innovative biological study. Both the Forestry Commission and environmentalists are cooperating on the project which, it is anticipated, will continue for generations. Thousands of students in the future will study the effects of Cedar's stand.


Go to Ian Cohen's profile to read more poems