The Rock #poetry #earthweal

Will it be fire
or flood
or landslide?

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
hotel extraordinare
oil barons meet

business executives
lawmakers, politicians
the people tasked with safeguarding our future
have they come to discuss how to clear up this mess?

‘No,’ they say
defiantly,
‘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.)

35 thoughts on “The Rock #poetry #earthweal

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  1. All so true, Ingrid. There are definitely small changes I can and should make. The larger ones–well, it would be difficult to not have a car, and public transit is not great here either.

  2. Gah. You nailed it. I have been watching those devastating floods at the same time my part of the world is burning. Definitely no world leaders are saying anything that gives me any hope. Sigh. I am thrilled about your Hymnal, Ingrid. Well done.

    1. Thank you Sherry. If our ‘leaders’ aren’t going to do anything, we shall have to lead from the ground upwards…

  3. So painfully true. I am concerned for the future of our children and their children, however, I have worked with so many amazing young people, that I have confidence in them too.

  4. Our government is the same. And all of us. We don’t want to give up our cars, our air conditioning, our plane trips to exotic places, our overnight orders from Amazon, our overconsumption of everything. We are definitely not teaching our children well. (K)

    1. I am trying! But to make radical changes is difficult. I have given up meat and avoid flying if at all possible. And I try to raise awareness and get people talking. That’s also important.

  5. This was so well done Ingrid.
    Loved it.
    👏👏👏
    “How selfish to even think that way
    ‘How will it affect me?’
    Not me, but my family
    I want to protect my children.”

    While nicely said… but I have to push back a little because. this is what good mama bears like you do so I wouldn’t be throwing you under the bus with the big bus tycoons that continue to take from our world rather than add to it.

    ‘No,’ they say
    defiantly,
    ‘we’ve come to plan where to place
    our next pipeline.’

    I admire your efforts in poetry, your book and steps you’re taking to add to our world rather than take from it. 💖💖💖

  6. The times coming Ingrid, no doubt about it. Here in Hull we had the floods in 2007. Over a month and a halfs normal rainfall in a few hours. Incredible to witness. The speed of it all was amazing. We had flood defences, tidal barriers but when the water is coming from the sky none of it helped! And now Germany, Belgium. I can’t see many people wanting to change if I’m honest. Long as they have a big car and a big telly and a couple of holidays a year it’s I’m alright Jack, screw you. I’m hoping the next generation and beyond can do a better job than we have.

      1. Yeah probably. It will take something for the big companies and powers that be to change things. How do you stop China belching out so much crap into the atmosphere? Or the US with car pollution? I used to say I fear for my great grand children but that fear is here right now.

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