Bryan D. Cook Ottawa, December 2012
Context for "The Ashes of March"
This poem is about the devastation to the ash trees of Ottawa caused by the accidental introduction of the Emerald Ash Borer...a beetle native to Asia which lays its grubs through pin holes it bores, to feed below the bark of ash trees. The only remedy is to stem the tide by cutting down the infected trees. The result has been the devastation of whole neighbourhoods where they were originally planted for their shade. The lesson learned too late is that monoculture bites back, although it gives the woodpeckers quite a feast albeit temporary!