Come November and trees of our own wild cherry,
The many in Kasauli and in similar climes elsewhere,
Burst into blossoms, a beautiful pink, bright and merry
Against deep blue skies, on branches, brown and bare!
From flowering to fruit, the wild cherry is a veritable feast,
To watch and wonder, at Spring in Autumn’s backdrop;
For hornets and bees; many birds and some beast;
Little kids, whole families or maidens’ fancy photo-op!
Ingenious but hungry humans long learnt to make do,
Not just admire beauty, but profit from Nature’s gifts too;
We have eaten its fruit, and its stones beads strung
Into necklaces; and made walking sticks of its branches too!
On field bunds and roadsides, from here to far off Myanmar,
Whoever planted these hill trees or just let them grow?
Would smile to see their trees, and linger, in Heaven afar,
Blooming each year, unfailingly, their winter glory to bestow!
But like much else, for the rest of the year, we pay no heed,
The PAJA* is simply forgotten, not seen as it silently stands,
Or thoughtlessly removed to make way for our greed to breed,
Its future, guaranteed or precarious, is still in our hands!
(* local name in Himachal Pradesh)
Photos by Nodnat