Saturday, 25 January 2014

Weeping Ozone, Changing World OR A Question of Priorities


It is GOOD that (at last!) the world is starting to take climate change seriously, and accepting some responsibility for it. Even so, I can’t help thinking it is too little too late…especially as humankind is, on the whole, inclined to put its immediate needs first; immediate, but often (well) above and beyond the basics. Food, shelter and affordable housing are constantly put at risk by corporate greed funded by the wealthy intent upon getting wealthier and supported by the kind of back-door politics at which so many politicians excel.

There are, of course, a lot of good people out there if outnumbered by the bad. (The expression, 'the smile on the face of a tiger' springs to mind…)

It will be down to future generations to make the best (or worst, as the case may be) of the mess we have made and  continue to make of our planet with whatever resources available and, hopefully, a generous dose of sound common sense.

Whatever happened to priorities? It is bad enough that many people continue to bury their heads in the sand and pretend global warming is a fiction. How a significant number of those same people can continue to rage against gay relationships, for example, while playing down if not ignoring what has to be one of the greatest threats to the human race we will ever face is beyond my comprehension.

WEEPING OZONE, CHANGING WORLD or A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES

Terror in the sky, likely to bring
about the destruction of our planet;
rivers run dry, poisoned plants,
beasts of the wild starved of a will
to live, birds of the air unable 
to take wing, too weak to sing even;
fishes in the sea, last to survive
nature’s very own Armageddon,
no end of tears in the ozone

Fear enough to melt glaciers, 
seed mountains, valleys, urban oases 
of wishful thinking among
fortune hunters quick to seize the day, 
make a killing for profit (or kicks) 
in human as well as animal trade-offs,
heartsleeves of the best cloth, 
faux promises dead in the water, 
potential eulogy for humanity

Panic in forests stripped of trees
meant to protect us in streets where
androids forced to their knees 
by silicon gods compete to be first 
to clone eternity, any semblance
of morality but vainglorious sterility 
glossing over forsworn obligations 
to generations left rummaging nature 
for crumbs of survival

To the earth, a relentless rush of pain
its peoples shrug off as acid rain

Copyright R. N. Taber 2014; 2015 

[Note: An earlier version of this poem appears in 1st eds. of The Third Eye: poems by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2004 under the title 'Under Threat'; revised ed. in e-format in preparation]

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