Sonnet for what might have been #earthweal

What might have been a heaven
is rapidly becoming burning hell
hotfooted by flood and famine
as those who could have stopped it knew so well

and those who tried to warn us labelled crackpots:
remember Swampy? How he rebelled 
singlehandedly while we laughed
and bopped to the sounds of Britpop?

Could we have cared less? Do we care less still?
I watch people await ‘return to normal’
let’s go back to our old ways, leave the planet ill
not fear the repercussions of our actions, mortal

we who have wept with the natural world
now see the flag of flaming death unfurled.

© 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Written for earthweal

This week, Sherry laments that we have systematically ignored the warnings of activists, and asks us to write the poetry of the world that might have been.

Anthropocene Hymnal
Now available from Amazon! I will be donating my royalties to WWF.

43 thoughts on “Sonnet for what might have been #earthweal

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  1. But I don’t think that’s particularly true.
    The people motivated to stand for office (and colour) are very different creatures to the Swampy’s of this world, that’s all. Our system puts a far greater value on one than the other.

      1. indeed. That is acutely obvious in terms of, say, a sportsman versus a nurse. Which one does capitaliswm value more? But which one is actually more use to society?

      2. The sad thing is that voters in general are happier to be seduced by pointless Saturday night tv, rather than thinking about how the world around them could be improved.

  2. Governments are still arguing about how much they might spend out of their “budgets” to help reverse climate change … and again profits and economy come before the well being of the planet, that they are actually living on … have they no foresight, have they no compassion for the future of their “own grand children”
    “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” … Buddha
    “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.” – Nelson Mandela.

  3. My guess is that the world was more “heavenly” ca 3 milion years BC, or whenever homo sapiens found advantage in spear and fire. Then we got busy casting everyone out of Eden. My gut is that once we realized how difficult and prolonged our transition from capitalist oil-and-internet existence was going to be in order to save the world and our future, we opted to buy ice cream instead. Come out of quarantine to go back to the behaviors which put us there in the first place. Good job – Brendan

  4. The cry by the players in our economy is that we cannot have a viable economy without the current fossil fuel model. The same argument was used in the past against those who campaigned against slavery! Our economy would not survive without that barbaric practice. We seemed to have managed without it for the last three hundred or so years.

  5. Sorry what I am I saying three hundred years its more like a hundred and fifty years since the American Civil war ended slavery in the U S. hard to believe I passed O level maths , but it was a lifetime ago. also i am aware of the problem of modern slavery but I think it is fair to say it is no longer an officially sanctioned institution. Apologies to all !

  6. A sad reality and still nothing is being done by most of the governments. Whenever I read any piece on climate change, I always remember Gabriela’s words- “destiny of this earth, you are my destiny too”
    Yes, it is everyone’s destiny….

  7. I wonder if we will ever truly see what is going on around us? There is so much finger pointing and how far back do we need to go to alter our current plight. Cash is a driving force and people need it to survive but, they fail to realize they need fresh water, air and a planet for ultimate survival for seven generations out.

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