The Earth does not look sick #poetry

The Earth does not look sick
on days like these
it looks perfectly healthy:
replete with rich resources,
indefatigable bounty;
yet I fear it is not so.

When the land burns,
we look out to sea
and say ‘it isn’t so.’
when the sea starves and swells
we look to higher ground,
oblivious to warnings

until we are brought face to face
one fateful morning:
stranded on a patch of beach,
behind the burning land, beyond
the sea, salvation
out of reach.

© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for Earthweal

I was strolling along the beach the other day, thinking how beautiful and perfect the Earth looked. This is, of course, an illusion. We are facing joint crises of biodiversity loss and climate chaos. We have wrought extinction upon thousands of species of animals, and we are starting to the witness first wave of human victims: whether it be those trapped by wildfires, swept away by flash flooding or killed by hurricane winds, the toll on or own species is likely to be severe, unless we start reversing the worst of our actions, and treating the situation as the emergency it most certainly is.

22 thoughts on “The Earth does not look sick #poetry

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  1. It’s easy to live in our own little bubble. Acknowledging perfect days and landscapes only highlights the urgency of saving what is left, and trying to reverse the destructive spiral. Well said. (K)

  2. That is what kills me…..the beauty all around which lulls us into thinking things are okay, combined with the knowledge of all that is going on globally……………your poem expresses this wonderfully.

  3. Your poem speaks volumes, Ingrid. The Earth’s sickness is more apparent in the poorest parts of the world, where the rest of the planet sends its waste, places where so-called civilised nations do not go on holiday. It is a sad situation. That fateful morning isn’t far off. We’ve seen increasing numbers of stranded or dead whales on our beaches recently and (this makes me fume) people have been removing bits of them and taking them home when they should be asking themselves why are the whales dying and what can they do to prevent it happening.

  4. I think it’s the discomfit of doubleness — our poetic vatic mind sees the great grand Earth in all her glory, and our scientific brain discerns the invisible warp in it, sees the damage without having to visualize it. Entertaining both in a poem is so so difficult, but I think we take must your lead and praise with difficulty.

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