Michaelmas, 20..? #poetry #Earthweal

‘Michaelmas daises, purple in the border’
so we once sang at school,
I gave it not
a second thought.

What flowers bloom now to adorn this
Autumn coronal?
What hands are joined to celebrate the bounty of
the Earth?

A connected world, with hands divided,
empty, united
only by greed, the need
to plunder every last resource

till we are left resourceless
empty-handed, still
hands once filled with
meaningless possessions

scramble for remaining scraps of food.
‘Human Resources’
that’s what we’d become
before the Fall:

We didn’t recognise the irony
of our own language,
business-minded, turning everything
into an inexhaustible resource

or so we thought;
not only empty hands but empty stomachs now
tell quite another tale:
We are no longer fearless whale-hunters, rather

fearful Jonahs
cowering in the belly of the whale.

Written for earthweal weekly challenge: An Anthropocene Michaelmas. Brendan wonders ‘what Michaelmas festival poems of the Anthropocene look like.’ He asks us to write one. I tried to imagine a Michaelmas some time this century when we have finally used up every last natural resource. I hope we never get there. As Brendan concludes:

‘Maybe the music can only sound ironic and dreadful; maybe not. It is up to us to find out.’

I found this video on YouTube. It’s a song I used to sing at school, when ‘Global Warming’ was already a concern but laughed off by politicians as a fringe issue. Now even ‘Global Warming’ has had a P.R. job and been reimagined as the less threatening (and more natural) sounding ‘Climate Change.’ Come on, everyone: let’s stop sugar coating everything. Time to wake up and provide a future for our children.

I’m also linking this post to dVerse — Poetics — The Vatic Voice. Tonight, dVerse is hosted by Lisa who asks for a poem in or about the Vatic Voice. In my case, this is a poem of prophesy. It was written in stream-of-consciousness style in which I gave vent to all the worries I have about the problems we are facing as a species.

33 thoughts on “Michaelmas, 20..? #poetry #Earthweal

Add yours

  1. Thank you for the audio reminder, Ingrid, which made my morning! I enjoyed the progression from ‘Michaelmas daises, purple in the border’ to ‘fearful Jonahs cowering in the belly of the whale’. You have exposed the paradox of modern civilisation in the lines:
    “A connected world, with hands divided,
    empty, united
    only by greed, the need
    to plunder every last resource”
    and
    “‘Human Resources’
    that’s what we’d become
    before the Fall”.

  2. What a terrific poem. I had never thought of the deeper meaning of the phase ‘human resources’ before. I love your insight.
    The image of humans now cowering in the belly of the whale is really potent. That’s exactly where we are!

  3. 40 years ago, when I studied the impending climate crisis, people thought I was crazy. The professor hasd to close classroom doors to tell us what he foresaw happening. And folks thought resources WERE endless. It has all caught up with this (sooner than I expected, later than the professor predicted), but it is accelerating. I love your poem, and those lovely daisies, who are fortunate to not know the state of things – they just keep blooming.

    1. Thank you, Sherry. It is interesting that your professor foresaw this 40 years ago. Of course people branded you and others like you ‘crazy’ because otherwise their means of making money would be threatened. But what money can be made on a barren earth? I wish we could provide the daisies fertile soil in which to continue blooming!

  4. This was certainly prophetic Ingrid. Recently we have been given a multitude of prompts each day to keep poets writing for a very long time. The third and fourth stanzas were very powerful and I love your reference to Human Resources. I also bought some Mickelmas Daisies just last week☺️ Such a pretty color

  5. We are no longer fearless whale-hunters, rather

    fearful Jonahs
    cowering in the belly of the whale.

    — Nailed it! Hard indeed to muster a semblance of festival in this age — my perceptions are surely stained by history — but the iridescence of those daisies shines through, echoing in a remembered song which may not be remembered anywhere, any more. Yet ’tis indeed still vatic, in mystery’s ear … Well done, Brendan

  6. We came together, hands around the globe to combat AIDS, but presently human nature, greed, in-bred stupidity, and a propensity for other directing, scuttles all the ships of ,Hope.

  7. Such a clever piece Ingrid – I laughed at the last image – Captain Ahabs become Jonah’s cowering in the whale. And I smiled at how we got from a border of purple flowers all this way – via late stage capitalism – ‘Human Resources’. So like where your consciousness took us.

    1. Thank you Gilena – for some reason I can’t comment on your site without using my Google account. What I wanted to say was ”To everything there is a season’ and for this reason we should surely live without regret. A beautiful reminder of this.’ I enjoyed your poem😊

  8. This was certainly prophetic Ingrid. Recently we have been given a multitude of prompts each day to keep poets writing for a very long time. The third and fourth stanzas were very powerful and I love your reference to Human Resources. I also bought some Michaelmas Daisies just last week☺️ Such a pretty color

  9. I tried so hard to leave a comment last night, using my iPad and I could not get it to work! Very frustrating 😕 Anyway Ingrid I was trying to let you know that I loved this poem! Current events have given us so much to write about and you have done so masterfully here. I loved the references to Human Resources – it makes the corporate term seem so shallow. I bought some Michaelmas Daisies just a few weeks ago. They are so lovely. 💕☺️

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: