We Try To Tame The Earth

Plough it, plant it, pile it up
This element we base life on
And shape to shelter what in fact
Was never ours to build upon

And yet we seek to stake our claim
Invent new names for landscaping
To show we’re clever and we’re staying
More important under heaven

Though making mud-pies said enough
We add our words – legitimise
Earth Mother sounds a lot less rough
Than bitch, doe, hen or dam. The prize

For overcoming nature’s raw
And unassuming cycled year
Producing rare fruits more and more
In ways our kids may learn to fear

Is profit for the prudent man
With arms outstretched to grab the loot
We pillage what were gifts from land
We’ve learned to grind beneath our boot

But Earth’s enduring, will remain
In spite of all we hope to do
Our efforts futile, all in vain
Compared with when the Earth was new

Mere upstarts, mayflies, we shall prove
And soon enough we will be gone
As forestry reclaims the roof
Civilisation built upon

The surface Adam barely trod
If we believe the word of Man
Whose hand was guided not by God
But greed for what he would attain

What lessons learned at Mother’s knee
Of how much plenty may procure
As Earth comes after currency
We set our hearts on more and more

Originally posted on Poem Pigeon 30th October 2013

Endangered Species

There’s a man in my office
Who’s saving the whales –
One tin can at a time.

It goes back to childhood’s
Conservative craze
When he knew snails were more than just slime.

A sensitive boy scout
And always prepared
He’d tell you what tigers remained.

Not overly social,
But gosh, how he cared
Desperate all must endure unchanged.

Through his hormonal years
While his peers were all pairing
Ensuring Man stayed off the list;

He was fasting for turtles
While classmates kept staring
Too busy by far to be kissed.

When he took his first paycheck
Back home to his mum
Her delight at his fortune fell flat

He announced his intention
To keep his old room
And to spend it protecting the bat.

He has hundreds of coupons
From cereal boxes
An album with stickers galore

Saves ham from his lunchbox
To feed to the foxes
And nags me to recycle more

But though he is frequently
Smug and annoying
We all do our best to keep calm;

For somehow we feel
Though the whole thing gets boring
The planet appreciates John.

When he went round the local
Recycling plant
It was feared he would not be the same

For the sight of machinery
Making its mark
Only spurred him to heighten his game.

The ice caps’ diffusion
In over-fished seas
Left him feeling for what seals were left

Such emotions, confusion
Brought him to his knees
‘Til unable to speak, eat or rest

He was forced to relax
Under medical orders
To stop writing to his MP

And was sent to recuperate
Far from our borders
With sun, sand and sea therapy

He moaned through the flight
With the stewardess fussing
He just couldn’t bear to give in

Such terrible guilt
Carbon footprint increasing
He wanted to scream at the sin

Now back at his desk
We are careful to tiptoe
Each time we recycle a can

For the breakdown he had
Caused his temper to flip though
Our John’s now a shell of a man.

I worry his type
Now seems harder to find
As I watch the poor guy stumble past.

It’s a shame the ecologist’s
Losing his mind
For I fear this one may be the last.