Category Archives: Ecology

Dim Prospects


Dim Prospects
(A Hyperbolic Modest Proposal)

We’re blotting the sun out and dimming the stars
with furnaces, factories, wildfires, cars.
With overproduction causing glut after glut,
it seems our improvements are anything but.
Man’s once-shiny future is now looking dim,
and he’s pulling the whole planet under with him.
Fires and hurricanes, tsunamis and quakes,
rampaging hillsides and drying-up lakes
are messages sent that the earth’s fighting back—
giving us warnings of things out of whack.

When fat cats in limos and thousand buck suits
have usurped all the seeds and kept all the fruits,
and all of their products are made by machines,
three dimensional copiers making our jeans,
our autos, appliances, organs and cars,
our TVs and glasses, our bikes and guitars,
we’ll all need welfare—mere motionless blobs
once they have “teched” away all of our jobs.
And since welfare is something that they’ve soundly booed,
what will the masses do for their food?

Where will we sleep once all of the money
all of the milk and all of the honey
is in the pockets of those gazillionaires
cushioned away in their billion-buck lairs?
Keeping a few of us here on the scene
to garden and cook for them, to serve and clean,
they’ll let unwashed masses starve in their cots
and buy from each other their trillion dollar yachts
And perhaps they’ll be happy with what they’ve created:
machines making products ’til their needs are sated.

Now that they’ve purchased our ship of state
and made it their own, it seems that the fate
of unlucky millions who’ve gone overboard
for lack of the medicine they can’t afford
is nothing to them, for not one of them cares
how any common citizen  fares.
Lest we riot against them out of our need
for money for food they’ve usurped in their greed,
issue guns to the populace. Let us dispense
of  these unneeded masses. To them, it makes sense!

The prompt word today is dim.




Many folks are fearing the center will not hold.
Our unity is broken, our future has been sold.
But the ways of nature are complex and manifold.
And when the final stories of mankind have been told,
of how we “bested nature” by trying to break its mold,
when all our quests have ended, both for glory and for gold;
 we won’t be its ending, but just another fold
whose exploits lay beneath the earth, written in the mold—
of how we “tamed” an environment that was too brash and bold,
wrapping it in hydrocarbons, conquering the cold.

The prompt word today was “center.”


What Have We Done To Our Earth?

(Click to enlarge photos, and for some reason it doesn’t show the commentary unless you click on them, either.)

Back and Forth

Back and Forth

If I should find a time machine, I might or might not buy it.
And even once I bought it, I might or might not try it.
To think about the future always makes me sweat,
for I am trepidatious about how bad it might get.
I foresee live-in bubbles for one or two or three
who merely turn on YouTube for whomever else they see.
Pollution would be too advanced to venture far outside—
the world turned way too violent for most folks to abide.

If I visited the future, chances are I’d see
the death of friends and loved ones—perhaps the death of me!
See our country crumble due to earthquakes or to slaughter.
See Monsanto poison food crops after ruining our water.
Our seasons turned to drought, tornado, hurricane and flood—
by turn made dry or spinning or blown away or mud.
I know there are alternatives, but I can’t help but doubt
that current politicians will let it all work out.

But if I went into the past, perhaps I’d also rue it.
I might just be happier if I chose to eschew it
I might see as a toddler that I was just a brat—
a little squirming dervish—graceless, spoiled and fat.
I might hear that my singing voice was just a bit off-key
and see the looks the others gave as they were hearing me.
If I encountered me, we might just end up in a fight
like ones I had with sisters—and discover they were right!

Yet, this probably won’t happen and perhaps it might be fun
to have another look at what I’ve seen and what I’ve done.
And though to relive some things would leave me feeling queasier,
I know that it would certainly make memoir-writing easier.
What fun to relive Christmases from year to year to year,
To see my mom and dad again, what’s more, to get to hear
all the stories of my dad and this time to record them—
to spend time with my sisters and to show how I adored them.

What fun to watch me with my friends— Rita, Lynn and Billy—
to see when we were children if we were just as silly
as little kids I see today who just seem to be reeling
with energy and foolishness and excesses of feeling.
I’d drive on roads with fewer cars to spots no longer there.
Go roller skating in Draper gym. Fall on my derriére!
I’d have a Coke in Mack’s Café and then I’d shop at Gambles.
Buy love comics at Mowell’s Drug and then expand my rambles

down to the playground monkey bars, where I would do a flip.
Then to the Frosty Freeze where I would have another sip
of orange slush and then I’d have to buy a barbecue.
(I fear that in my tiny town, that’s all there was to do!)
I’d skip ahead, then, many years, to 1971,
and fly off to Australia for adventures in the sun.
Then Singapore and Bali, Ceylon and Africa.
See everything as it once was, when it was new and raw.

Regrets? Of course. I’m human, and so I’ve had a few,
but over precognition, I prefer déjà vu.

The Prompt: One-Way Street—Congrats! You’re the owner of a new time machine. The catch? It comes in two models, each traveling one way only: the past OR the future. Which do you choose, and why?

It’s a Gas

                        It’s a Gas

I know that I saw it on You Tube
(and I’m sure that it wasn’t a dream)
—a machine that shreds old soda bottles
and melts them to make gasoline.

The machine they were using to make it
was compact—and could possibly be
installed in each house or wherever
you think you might like it to be.

Grocery stores, motels or roadside—
(wherever these bottles collect)
instead of machines set for vending,
would have a machine to inject

with all of the plastic you brought there
and for it you’d get, I deduce,
credit for all of the petrol
the bottles you brought in produce.

Every gas station would honor
these chits that you’d get every day.
You’d make a big saving on gas bills
with bottles you once threw away.

You could save up your old plastic bottles
and toss them right into your trunk
right next to the tools and blankets and flares
and all of the usual junk.

And when you next went for refreshments,
for soda or candy or chips,
you could also deposit your bottles,
’cause your car also needs a few sips.

Daily Prompt: Vending Wishes—Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us!

The process I describe here is not fictional. Google “pyrolysis” if you want more information.