Monday, August 16, 2010


NASA photo: Save The Earth

August 16, 2010
(warning: depressing)

Thousands of forest fires,
burning across Russia,
after an unprecedented heat wave,
are responding to a freakish cold front,
bringing rain.
300 fires still burn all over BC.
It is 36 degrees Celsius
most of the day.
Anchor desks report
each summer is hotter
than the one before,
(as if we don’t
already know.)

In Pakistan, the worst floods
in the country’s
recorded history
have washed away
160,000 square kilometres,
leaving two million homeless.
(My mind stops.
Two million???
Ten indicators show
seven of the earth’s 10 systems
are warming while three,
glaciers, snow melt and ice,
are declining.

Oceans are under threat.
Marine algae (phytoplankton),
the basis of the food chain in the ocean,
and producing half of the earth’s oxygen,
have declined 40 percent since 1950
in the northern hemisphere.

The world’s scientists say
they have undeniable proof
that global warming exists.
(Well, DUH!)
91% of Canadians,
some of the world’s
most privileged people,
have detectable levels
of A(BPA),
an industrial chemical
used to make plastics.
Scientists say that by 2050
will need to develop
artificial food
to feed the world’s
More Research and Studies
and Talking
are needed
(because that releases one
from the obligation of
Doing Anything.)

The Taliban have stoned
a young couple to death
for the crime of
falling in love.

Israel and Palestine have
each forgotten
that across both sides
of a man-made
and disputed border,
a line in the sand,
live human beings
with beating hearts
who long to live in peace.
In Africa,
everyone is dying
as the world collectively
turns its head aside.
Governments continue to be slow to act.
Afraid of the global money interests,
they do not legislate
the urgent and tough
that are needed
at every level of life
on this planet.
The multinationals continue
to rape and pillage,
Profit coming before
basic decent human values
and even the survival
of our species.
I think of my grandchildren’s children
and the world they will be living in,
as I wait for more ice to melt,
for the water level to rise
all along the western seaboard,
wiping away
life as we know it.

I feel like the frog
in the pot of water
that is slowly heating up.
My brain goes numb.
A message arises
in front of my mind’s eye:
does not compute
does not compute
System overloaded:
Insufficient memory
to store this information.

The entire planet
needs to reboot.
Stay tuned: more flash floods
and soul-daunting news
to follow.


  1. "Does not compute.."! These words sum up completely my bewilderment at the world we've created. How did we let it get to the state it's in, when warning bells have been resounding for decades? As a child in the Fifties, dazzled by the beauty of the Great Lakes and Niagra Falls, it seemed the earth would always be the magical place I knew it to be. How many children have starved to death since many species eradicated..and how many promises have governments failed to live up to?

    Yes, it is a harsh poem, Sherry, but a truthful and necessary one. It's long past time to discard superficial labels and barriers, and band together as the family of man in search of solutions. Religious and politcal discord cost us dearly, in terms of lives, resources and sustainability. It is the earth that's losing and is a sad legacy to leave to the generations who will inherit it.

    Keep writing, keep protesting, keep thinking - we have to believe that each us, separately and together can make a difference. It's all we have to offer....

  2. Oh thank you for writing, and for caring. After starting off my day in such gloom, I feel rather flummoxed. All I have done for the earth today is write this poem and feed a hungry squirrel in front of the market. But I suppose that's more than the multinationals have done :(

  3. Doesn't it all begin with greed, Sherry. A desire for more wealth, an insatiable greed on the part of some fellow human beings that has seen the ecology being ripped apart mercilessly.

    You wouldn't be surprised to know that two brothers who are neck deep in illegal mining continue to be ministers in one of the State Governments in India.

    And didn't the Buddha say that desire is the source of all grief, all the sorrows that continue to haunt mankind despite the merriment, song and dance

  4. oh no, i woke up already depressed and then read your poem :S is true though, isn't it? first glanced at the word 'homeless' then instantly thought - 'oh no, can't car share with andrea, could be like caleb's and my's home if we wind up homeless.' but, i guess my most pressing problem is that i have woken up day nine no smoking - with no gum, patch or smokes and don't know which to buy!? argh, sorry for my selfish morning rant. thankful that you can use your gift to bring awareness to others. love you xx

  5. So true - greed at the root of everything. Writing this poem actually brought me down yesterday. But today dawned brand new and I feel hope again - because I simply have to. Time to write something happier!!!!!


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