Chained to Our Roots: 22-23 Jun 2013

The Love Our MacRitchie Forest (LOMF) movement was launched on 22nd June 2013 at Chained to Our Roots.

Chained to Our Roots was an eco-picnic event where Dr Vilma D’Rozario, eco-artist Teresa Teo Guttensohn and Andrew Tay – together with a group of nature-loving friends – were literally and symbolically chained to native trees for 24 hours during an eco-art performance.

The event began with a eco-poetry recital and an appeal speech by Teresa, followed by the sharing of a list of non-avian vertebrates species recorded from MacRitchie rainforest by Vilma. It concluded with the mass-signing of a petition to the authorities – show your support for our rainforest and sign the LOMF petition now!

Watch the videos below:

The poem Chained to Our Roots was recited at intervals by eco-artist Teresa Teo Guttensohn at a 24-hour eco-art performance event from 22-23 Jun 2013 at Speakers´ Corner in Hong Lim Park.
List of non-avian vertebrates recorded from MacRitchie forest read by Dr Vilma D’Rozario during “Chained to Our Roots”. These are the animals who will be impacted by the current proposed route of the cross island line, especially those who depend on the streams running into MacRitchie.

Chained to Our Roots: A Poem by Teresa Teo Guttensohn (22-23 June, 2013)

A tree grows.
A tree grows up from its roots.
If a tree is cut off from its roots, it falls.

Without a past, we are lost.
A country is nothing without roots.
Roots tied to our culture and nature,
Roots chained to our heritage.
Strong roots create strong confident people,
Lost roots make for lost unhappy people.

The wild rainforest is our natural legacy.
Would you scorn that inheritance?
Would you sever the roots?
Would you see MacRitchie fall?

Do not tear a hole in the heart of our heritage!
Do not fracture the foundations of our Central forest!
Do not tunnel her delicate bowels with the MRT.

Her virgin forest has been cut off by BKE.
Her fragile veins flow drops of anguish.
Bukit Timah forest is now in a delicate balance.
Please, let us learn from history…

Our forest.
Our forest grows.
Our forest grows from the earth.
If the earth is shaken, the forest trembles.

The forest is born from eternity.
The forest is our ancient legacy.
Animals made from mysteries,
Giant trees, sentinel of time.
Riches molded from deepest depths of evolution.

The rainforest is precious, priceless.
The rainforest is a natural garden that sustains itself.
The rainforest is a gallery of art, under the sun and moon.
The rainforest is an open science museum, studies yet unmade.
The rainforest is a living house of biodiversity.
The rainforest is refuge for our tired human souls,
Our work weary bodies.

The rainforest is sacred home.
Profound and tenacious,
Yet fragile in the face of Man and Cutting, digging, boring machines!
Please, please, be gentle to our forest,
For we are rooted to eternal earth.

See the misty rain of the jungle crying.
Hear the silent pleas of our forest animals:
Malayan Colugo, Pangolin, Slow Loris; Mousedeer, Porcupine, Treeshrews;
Birds, Mammals, Fishes; Freshwater Crabs; Reptiles; Amphibians; Cicadas, Butterflies; Banded Leaf Monkey.

Smell the wandering scent of leaves unmade and roots left behind.
Lift the whisper of Earth that is our Mother to our thirsty lips.
Feel the quivering of her last wildlife, our God given brethren.

Set wing to her flying marvels:
Flying Lemur, Flying Squirrel, Flying Fox, Flying Dragon, Flying Paradise Tree Snake. These are our true airborne wonders.

Trample not her feathers, pluck not her scales.
Sully not her body of clear flowing streams.
Let the lakes shine forever on her forehead:
MacRitchie, Seletar, Peirce.

Singaporeans, I implore you!
Save our primeval forest,
To protect our young nation's soul.

We chain ourselves to this tree,
For we love our Temasek island,
As fiercely as we are chained to our roots.

Note: This poem may be reproduced due acknowledgement to author for non-commercial and non-profit educational or school projects, articles, reports, personal blogs and social media such as Facebook. For all other purposes, please seek written permission from author.

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