Who’s In Charge Here, Anyway?

This fourteen-verse poem is a modest and, too simple, understated complaint about the collective indifference our species has for our natural world. Sure, the media and literature is filled with homage to that world, but statistically speaking, our culture, our civilization, is paring away at it, to make room and as insurance against any inconvenience that may endanger our lives or our individual and corporate fortunes. Many more verses are needed to express properly the complaint.

In following posts, I will be taking 2-3 verses at a time to share my thoughts and viewpoints being expressed in that part of the poem.

Express your thoughts and reactions to this poem in a comment below.

Earth being dropped in the trash | Maling's Missives on the environment being affected by pollution

How dare that tree to grow that way.
How date the wind to make it sway.
It might bend and then might crack,
And then might fall and break my back.

What makes that squirrel think he’s free
To take my nuts away from me.
And those birds there in my garden,
Peck my fruit and beg no pardon.

How fortunate that the river’s there,
Disposal now requires no care.
Just run a pipe down from the sewer;
The more the people, the fish the fewer.

And so what if they’re fish in there,
All they do is swim and stare.
And do they share our concern’s import?
They’re not really the caring sort.

Take this stream down by the city.
Fill it in and make it pretty.
When its waters rush on down,
I might by chance fall in and drown.

See that pleasant grassy hill.
Slice it up and make some fill.
Spread the fill on a marshy spot,
And build a box-store parking lot.

What? A wild life sanctuary?
Dear fellow, we need a cemetery,
Or a larger city garbage dump,
Or, better, a sewage disposal sump.

That redwood grew a thousand odd
Just to give me and my friends a job.
So bring in the saws and bring in the axes,
Those bloody trees don’t pay any taxes.

Send a road right through that park.
We’ll show them how man makes his mark.
An animal preserve you say is there?
Just keep in mind: we-do-not-share!

Drill right there, a likely spot
For natural gas which is now quite hot.
Of forest preserves, we have enough;
Pro environs folk, we’ll call their bluff.

Endangered species? My logs are needed.
So strip the lands bare, all acres are deeded.
Our species is dominant; we do as we wish.
Bring on the loggers, this is just their dish.

Arctic wildlife, there’s none to be seen.
A white expanse, windswept and clean.
Just the site for a drill rig hole.
Six more months of oil’s our goal.

An ancient treasure from light from our sun
Feeding ancient forests; an amazing life’s run.
Two hundred million years in the making
And now, here for us, just for the taking.

Don’t rob us all of our God-given right
To irrevocably harvest all wild things in site.
It’s an ownership issue; it’s now My World!
My real estate flag floats high and unfurled.


Related Articles / Presentations:

TED Talk:
Pavan Sukhdev: Put a value on nature!

The Kink in the Human Brain: Why Are Humans OK with Destroying the Planet?

Top 10 Ways Man Is Destroying the Environment


John2005John Maling is an Editor and Indexer. He’s the author of the multi-award winning book, Have Your Ever Held a Mountain? His website is EditingByJohn.com and email EditingByJohn@aol.com.

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