Will it be fire
What is coming for us next?
It doesn’t look like fire here,
the earth is lush and green
and as for rain, we get our fair share
but there’s no big river too near
the sea levels can rise
but we live high:
I think it will be landslide.
How selfish to even think that way
‘How will it affect me?’
Not me, but my family
I want to protect my children.
Second-guessing nature isn’t easy
but there are so many loose and porous rocks here
cracks begin to appear
on the mountain highway
and yesterday on the motorway
a rock, or rather
a boulder, bigger than half a car
had dislodged, held in place by some wire mesh
‘Seconds from disaster’ I would say
and pretty soon, we could be
seconds from disaster every day
and here we were, driving and polluting anyway.
Meanwhile, in the penthouse bar
of a six-star skyscraper
oil barons meet
the people tasked with safeguarding our future
have they come to discuss how to clear up this mess?
‘No,’ they say
‘we’ve come to plan where to place
our next pipeline.’
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Written for earthweal
This week at earthweal, Brendan has kindly interviewed me about the forthcoming release of The Anthropocene Hymnal. In the interview, I suggest we need to write ‘poetry which does not compromise’ in response to the Anthropocene challenges ahead. Brendan has made this the subject of this week’s challenge.
In the poem above, I have examined my own selfishness, as well as that of those at the top of the carbon food-chain. I believe attitudes need to change at all levels of society, but it’s certainly not going to come from the top down, so we have to somehow start pushing for action from the bottom up.
We have witnessed devastation in nearby Germany, while Merkel pushes to finish off her 11-billion dollar gas pipeline. And yet she says she needs to do more on climate change. And this is just one example. This kind of hypocrisy and double standard occurs all over the world, and at all levels of society (I should shun the car, I know, but I still use it. I blame the lack of public transport in my area, but am I pushing for better public transport? I certainly should be.)