Gavin Collins

Trees Have Fallen

On Sunday, an earthquake.
On Monday, it made headlines.
On Tuesday, the news had moved.

The dust was still settling on 500 lost lives, buried in thunder,
but now also under other headlines.
Other stories an editor prioritised over the world ending.

Prioritised because they thought you’d not
click on a headshot of a desperate mother
if that mother wept in a foreign place.
If that lost face was not like your face.

The death toll rose as more broken souls were found,
and still their howls of pain
were too far away to make the front page.

On Wednesday, three days after a tectonic plate
sealed the fate of hundreds, the front page was Brexit.
Or Boris. Or house prices.

There was silence about the hell on earth
that would define a generation if it happened in London.
But it didn’t.
It happened over there.

So those that hold the pens
write other stories instead.
They think we don’t care.

It’s a week afterwards. One week.
And today, the worlds that were swept away
last Sunday didn’t even make the “world news” section.

Trees have fallen.
And no one’s listening.
But I know they fell.

I know they broke.
I know they screamed.
The deafness of my neighbours
doesn’t lessen the grief.

Gavin Collins was born in Edinburgh and now lives in London, with a bit of Gateshead in between. He turned to poetry after three failed novels, and doesn’t regret it. He has performed spoken word poetry at events in London and New York, and is now experimenting more with poetry for the page.