(dedicated to Emma)
Last night I dreamt the world was brown.
Lost in space. Occupied only
By cockroaches and scorpions.
Gone from every city and town;
Gone from every ocean and sea;
And gone to hell all citizens.
So when our fragile planet dies,
It won't be like the dinosaurs:
A death shadow from god knows where
Blotting out all heavens and skies
Clogging and desolating pores
To suffocate life far and near.
The clever ignoramus might
Betray to treason his own kind -
The once called Homo sapiens,
At least he thinks himself so bright.
What's it capable of this mind
That would so invite its own ends?
Granma said “Too clever by half!”,
Aimed at myself over some girl.
But how wrong! Not clever enough.
If only I could see the path
That led away from a pure world.
But alas for me far too tough.
One small man assesses the fright
And scratches his beard in turmoil.
The woman at his side groans and
Fears his anthropogenic plight.
What drives this brain to over-boil
Reduces her to wringing hands.
But it’s unfair that this should be
For it’s her children, and then theirs
Who will die of this human cess
Pit, who have no choice to be free.
It was ours that had too few cares,
Blazoning on madly careless.
The blank complacency of men
Will tolerate with mockery
A death cloud that's pre-eminent;
And, aye, even more, his children
Confirms in me pomposity
And mocks the word 'intelligent'.
Of all the living things worldwide
How strange it should be just our own -
The one species which perhaps should
Not - but which will bring ecocide.
Yes, human kind have for sure grown
Far too clever for their own good.
The cleverness which drives our lives,
Do not mistake it for wisdom.
Do not mistake intelligence.
In the businessman who survives.
And, yes, thrives within his kingdom,
By making money with no sense.
Did we think it would be all right?
Did we think it would not transpire?
Did we think techies could sort it?
Did we think it was out of sight?
Did we think it was not so dire?
Did we think it would not persist?
Yes, our leaders thought all those things.
Their lives were good, their wages fat.
They won’t be here to see the war.
To piss on their graves will not bring
Back all the wonderful life that
Garlanded this planet before.
Spinning in perpetuity,
Never to be replicated;
Unless we’re watched by jesters in
Some galactic laboratory
Pushing us until we are dead
Just to see which life-form would win.
This was what woke me fearfully:
A little planet still spinning -
Indescribably small and lost -
And over all, pathetically,
The golden sun still was blazing
All cellular green life to toast.
© R.M. Meyer
Devon, December 2018