Tree Poems from Somalia


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These poems were written by people who work with the Horn Relief Bander Beylašs Solar Cooker Project. Such poems are indeed precious and powerful as they describe the importance of trees for a better environment for war-torn Somalia. The poems call for reduction in charcoal burning and charcoal production and for the protection of Somaliašs fragile environment.


We welcome your comments and your poems, in English and Somali. Please send poems to We will try to post some of them on the Sun Fire Cooking website,



I looked and I looked,

all I see is you being destroyed,

cut, burnt by people.

I cannot imagine life without you.

You shelter me, feed meŠ

I thank you for that.

Trees, our trees,

Oh my people, save our trees

and use solar cookers instead.

Let our trees grow and be free

from charcoal makers and buyers

so that we can live a secure life.


by Shukria Dini





Tree in the Wind


A tree stands firm in the wind

Its roots grip the Somali soil

and holds together the source of pastoral life.


by Jim Lindsay, Bosaso, Somalia, 13 November 2005





Shade in the hot, hot sunŠ
Shelter for me and for birdsŠ.
Protection for soilŠ.
Space for lifeŠ..
Trees for all.


by Pamela Collett,
inspired by the world first, Somalia leads the way,
Horn Relief and Sun Fire Cooking's Bender Bayla Solar Villages Project
13 November 2005,  Bosaso, Somalia



I give you shade

I provide fodder for your animals

I hold the soil so grass can grow

When I die I will give you fuel

Oh, charcoal cutter, why do you kill me so young.


Jim Lindsay


Civil War

The trees are cut down

The land is devastated

The people are in mourning.

The youth are in despair

Where is our future?

Where are our trees?


Pamela Collett, 15 November 2005, Bosaso Somalia



Blue Sky Above

Why so much killing?
Why so much violence?
When the sky is so blue.
O, Somalis, look up.

by Pamela Collett
November 22 2005, on the road to Bender Bayla from Bosaso


Whitecaps on a turquoise sea
Rolling waves rushing to silver sand
Golden cliffs climbing high
Squeezed between is Bender Bayla
Living by the sea
Dying by the sea.


by Jim Lindsay, in Bender Bayla, Somalia, 24 November 2005

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