01: Rhapsody For Ourkind

By Whittinghame Water, from lint-soft bank,
Watching rain… could there have been just nothing?
Far better not to think a thing so deep,
Save focus for that stardust what we are,
Leave complex answers to posterity,
But… if our planet cannot be preserv’d,
Then future minds to solve a Universe
Remain unborn, or if born surely starve;
Inside deadly marshes are we wander’d,
This existential crisis of an age,
These flailings of a fake democracy,
Burn ballot-rights and freedoms into ash;
At dagger-points of profit-driven greed
Votes sustain manipulative systems
& corporate institutions hell-bent
On step-by-step destroying precious Earth,
But there is hope – each fresh generation
Of conscientious, ecological
Citizens, holding singular aegis
Of putting Planet First, above all things,
Descry how votes for establish’d parties
Are signatures on the World’s death-warrant;
But… if enough of us believe in Change
Then Change must come, no roof shall stay these dreams,
When the next, new, novel evolution
Has never been been more vital for Ourkind.

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02: Courting Apocalypse

There lies woven carpet on cold-stone floor
In Ecuador, once famous with colour,
Today only its threadbare fade display’d,
To the mantle trampl’d by manky feet,
Such objects are Our Planet’s grave warning,
Observe Calypso’s temple on Gozo
Eroded more in seventy summers
Than four thousand previous; sea-rims rise,
Threatening Venice & the ancient Fens,
Gorgeous Cape Flora by ogres depos’d,
The poor Great Barrier Reef falls asleep –
Meanwhile industry keeps turning, turning;
Deforestation, fossil fuels burning,
Greenhouse gasses – methane, nitrous oxide –
Churning their toxic cauldrons in the skies
Over oceans thermally expanding;
Prodigious floods, intensifying droughts,
Devastating wildfires, withering storms,
Are like a malign tumor’s first sharp slap –
High-level international discourse
Agrees to only lower emissions
But World! These must be halted for to save
Ourselves from damage unprecedented,
Permanent, irrevocable changes,
Let us reject the regret of hindsight,
The stakes have never been as high as this,
World! If we lose this one we lose it all!

03: Puzzles

I saw two frogs a-mating on the track,
Frozen like ice, & then I heard the revs
Of moving car, I stood as still as stone
& watch’d them splatter’d upwards by the wheels
Goo-flesh upflashing, fry-pans spitting oil,
In those sad deaths I found a metaphor
For how this planet’s mechanizing surge
Rumbles blindly along destructive roads,
& by the kerbside hopes of Human youth
Upended as if brawlers roll’d a cart
Upon itself, & scatter’d dreams like fruit
Across the cobbles, bruis’d & value-stripp’d;
Whose are the hands which bend the axle’s truth?
Whose is the sand that scratch’d the diverse eye?
Whose are the boots which crush the fruits to pulp?
These answers are brave truths to understand,
Tho’ some ken scatter’d portions well enough,
To place each piece together from the pile,
& make the puzzle whole is how I’ll go
& how I’ll sing my song, no tender lay
Of love is this, but heed my Druid Call;
The mistletoe is paling on the oak,
The Ozone layer failing to protect
All that our happy ancestors enjoy’d –
But if our caring hearts bind in one fold,
There’s nothing on this Earth we cannot do,
To save this Earth from ruin’s rough demand!

04: Desiderata of Happiness

We are all Children of the Universe!
Have rights, like trees & stars, to be here too!
Go placidly amid the noise and haste
As far as you can without surrender,
Remaining on good terms with all persons
Hold quietly & clearly to your truth,
Engaging with others, even the dull
& ignorant – they too have their story!
Avoiding persons loud & aggressive,
These are naught but the spirit’s vexations,
Enjoying plans as much as achievements,
Keeping possession of your own career,
However humble it may be, for this
Builds refuge from the changing blaze of time,
Be cautious in business, this complex world
Tricksters houses, but highest virtues too!
Be true to you, prevent affections feign’d,
Take kindly to the counsel of your years,
Surrender, gracefully, the fruits of youth,
Cherish & develop strength of spirit
To shield you from misfortune’s sudden strike,
Be not distress’d by dark imaginings –
Fatigue & loneliness breed many fears –
Whatever aspirations & labours
You brave in all the tumult of these lives
Of dreams by sham drudgeries dismantled –
Keep cheerful as for happiness you strive!

05: Neocolonihilism

Empires’ demises praised! Do not be fool’d,
Tho’ colonies bled out all frustration,
Tears glaring truimphant at lower’d flags,
Descendents find fresh fetters rub the nape,
Foreign aid invested as feudal loans,
Festering in a lice-nest interest,
Itching all the day, scratching barely helpd,
Red rawly bleeding eye-popping figures
Secreted by stealth in secret accounts,
Rich nations do not maturate the poor,
It is the poor who establish the rich,
Enabling children in the Western malls
To choosing choicest chain-chomps in t-shirts,
Go gaggles of gargoyles, downtown Mumbai,
Drooling hunger within well-lit windows,
Consumerism’s clear demarcation;
Tho’ millions of years minerals make,
Handfuls of Millennia consume them,
A future most definitely finite,
We drill & dig & frack; lacking respect,
Restraint, refusing roads of redemption,
For less than a quarter of all people
Devour & quaff four fifths of Earth’s life force,
While children in underdeveloped straits
Live sixteen times less nourished by the pride
That is our western avarice, meanwhile
A baby dies of hunger as I write.

06: Poverty In Extremis

Meaningleft people, menial labours,
Denied that unique dignity thro’ work,
The gross futility of modern slaves,
Colocating with garbage, pollution,
Influxing slums exacerbating strains,
Unseen by those who permeate the cause,
Unheard by those who flick thro’ Now TV,
Condemning millions of under-fives
To draw their last earth-breaths with woeful eyes,
Before they’d known just what it was to live,
They’ll never feel that they were supercool!
Or take the dogs out walking in the woods,
To fall in love & dwell in common trust,
To help their child with their child thro’ the days
No, none of this for those who squirm thro’ filth,
Midst non-existence of sanitation
Water looks dirty, shelters ramshackle,
No teachers, no doctors, no Mardi Gras,
No vitamins, for parents’ debt too great,
Forcing good souls on criminality,
In flood the drugs, cycles of addiction
Sent spiralling thro’ every cirque of Hell,
Until a last megacity sickness,
Neither father nor mother can afford
To swap wages for hospital visits
& so they pray to God, ‘save our baby!’
Who dies that night in soft, malnourish’d arms.

07: Paths to Prosperity

In the clutch of international trade,
In the cycle of lowering wages,
Under investors increasing profits,
Heaping misery upon the masses,
Who slaver over morsels in the drains,
More tribulations claw the Global South,
Despite the tiniest carbon footprints,
The worst of alter’d climate they’ll endure,
Some Twenty-First century apartheid,
Entirely wrong, greed-wrought, so let us act,
Enforcing rapid shifts from fossil fuels,
To energies renewable, & free,
Friends, let us, step-by-step, muster this goal,
When all the halycons of Shangri-La
Infuse Nirvana with euphoria,
Bulldozing conspiracized lethargies,
Subsidizing urgent abdications
Of those who’d rather let us burn petrol
Than prosper sunshine-power’d fumeless cars;
First legislate to keep the coal below,
Leave oil & gas bub-bubbling undisturb’d,
Apart from what’s essential to exist;
Deglobalising manufacturing
Gives work to all & thus reduces freight,
Slashing emissions til them next to naught,
Then Earth resets, preserving velvet verve
& beauty of this unique sphere of ours.

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