Bernedita Rosinha Pinto
Coconut Tree- What's In A Coconut Tree? - Poem by Bernedita Rosinha Pinto
I have traveled from Poles North to South
I have seen trees big and small, all along;
I have seen mountains, huge and wide,
clad with greenery of grass and shrubs,
and amidst every tree that stood tall
against the blowing dust and wind
seldom would I see a Coconut tree
until in my Goa, I would arrive.
Down the coast, the calmness of the sea,
was stirred by reflections of trees
as the waters sometimes looked so green,
sometimes blue, and red by dusk
when the sunset sank in the sea
to usher the night.
Mornings brought the fishermen
rushing to the shores with their catch
hastily, they emptied the fish into the baskets
from the canoes and from the little boats they oared.
In the fields, farmers were re-planting the paddy seeds
that had sprouted into grass-stalks in the July rains.
As monsoons ended, I saw them thrashing the harvest
and loading many gunny bags of raw paddy
on the bullock-carts with bliss
as they felt assured that they had provision of rice
to eat through the whole year
without any scarcity or deprivation.
And while I drove by the village road,
I saw people quarreling over a coconut tree
they vowed to one another
that they would never allow anyone to cut it
for it was sacred to them,
their source of sustenance;
every filament, every granule of it was so usable
as the palm leaves helped them thatch their roofs,
while the kernel oil helped them make their food;
and out of every other bit or fibre they could make
buttons, bags, ropes, brooms and baskets to use or sell.
I convincingly told them that in many countries of the world
I never saw a Coconut tree either in the desert or in the West,
yet the people in those countries thrived
without a Coconut or the Coconut tree,
my goan brother replied- 'those nations are rich enough
but in our country, it is our Coconut tree
which helps us overcome our poverty
and maintain our economic stability'.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
RICE, FISH AND COCONUT CURRY - BECOMES THE STAPLE FOOD OF OUR GOAN COMMUNITY. COCONUT IS THUS THE MOST ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT NECESSARY TO SUPPORT AND PROMOTE OUR DIET AND NUTRITION. Hence it is important to conserve Coconut trees.
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