Tag Archives: Ecology

Unwrapped Gift

Unwrapped Gift

You thought life had an itinerary all mapped out and planned?
You thought it was a deck of cards, all dealt out and fanned?
You’d play this card, then that one and win the game with ease?
Fate saw your plan and chuckled and brought you to your knees.

So much for jubilation, for celebration and
your misapprehension you’d been dealt a winning hand.
Humanity is just a part of Nature’s total plan.
Evolution didn’t end when she invented man.

In one hand she holds her sketch pad, in the other an eraser.
One she uses to create herself, the other to efface her.
One creation a success, another a mistake,
Our triumph’s not the only choice that she has to make.

It’s time for the whole human race to eat its humble pie
and align itself with nature, or make the choice to die.
Nature’s not here to conquer. It’s here to show the way.
The truth of that’s the gift that we must learn this Christmas Day.

Prompt words today are humanity, itinerary, celebrate and jubilation.

Red-Tailed Hawk

Red-Tailed Hawk

Through the air high up above the graceful soarer weaves,
his shadow cast against the wall and stones and grass and leaves.
Without a modicum of sound, he drifts and circles ’round.
If those below detect him, it will not be by sound.

He seems to simply levitate, on wings lacking in motion,
betraying not one sign of his means of locomotion.
Below small dirt volcanoes betray presence of prey.
Small denizens of tunnels emerge from them each day.

Opting for the light after so many hours below,
darting back to safety when a human comes to mow,
they steal the seed corn, sheer the roots, consume the tender shoots.
As often as the mounds are  pressed flat by heavy boots,

the next day there’s another to take each burrow’s place.
Always another obstacle for opponents to face.
What act is fair for man to take in thinning nature’s riches?
What will I do to rid my lot of undersurface ditches?

The neighbors mount a protest, asking for an end
to creatures that usurp their space, and still I do not bend.
But here there is a creature who merely by its will
has the means to swiftly dip and fall upon its kill.

When the Red-Tailed Hawk dips low, watching from above,
I shudder as the claws surround the vole’s form like a glove.
Wings flapping for the lift-off, caught in sun’s early ray,
the bird with prey in claw now lifts and opts to fly away.

Their shadow soars onto my lawn over the wall between,
the prey it’s holding as it lifts too tiny to be seen.
Nature will deal with nature. It needs no intervening.
It is a way that our world has to deal with its own gleaning.

Image from Unsplash. Prompt words today are weaves, modicum, opt, blame and levitate.

Voting Our Destruction

Voting Our Destruction

Some birds will still sing and flora abide
no matter what human might reside
in the colorless house with the POTUS inside.
But not so for those that have already died.
In the past year, seven more
have ceased to run or swim or roar.

The outcome of our land and sea,
each animal , insect and tree
depends on policies they make.
Will Earth survive or will we bake
on the spit of reckless choices,
protests made by unheard voices?

Will we find, at end of day
we’ve voted our kids’ lives away?
These are the species lost to us
in last year’s sparring, useless fuss:

                      • Sumatran Rhino. …
                      • Chinese paddlefish. …
                      • Yangtze giant softshell turtle. …
                      • Indian Cheetah. …
                      • Spix Macaw. …
                      • Catarina Pupfish. …
                      • Indochinese tiger

What new denizens will perish
from this Earth we say we cherish?
Yet we vote its life away
And we’re the ones who’ll have to pay.

 

Today the loss of species is estimated to be between 1,000 and 10,000 times than that of the natural extinction rate. WWF reports that between 0.01% and 0.1% of all species go extinct every year. Considering the fact that there are around two million species on the planet, it means between 200 and 2,000 extinctions occur every year. And note, we are talking about species of which humans are one.

As per the 2018 report of World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), there’s a 60% decline in the population of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians in just 40 years. As per the IUCN Red List, more than 30,000 species are threatened with extinction, which means 27% of the nearly 1,12,000 species accessed so far are under grave danger.

In the past ten years, 33 plant species have become extinct. The species listed above in my poem all vanished in 2019. I was unable to find a list for 2020.

 

Prompt words today are flora, outcome, fated and reside.
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Read the Signs

Read the Signs

Days of wild adventure, pulsing with delights
are turning into zombie days that fade to zombie nights.
Nothing on our agendas. No traveling, no dates—
our calendars reduced to onerous empty slates.

It does no good to protest. God hears not when we ask.
We merely have to don that necessary mask.
Though every instinct urges camaraderie,
Mother Nature warns us that she will wait and see.

Will we clean up our messes? Put out every fire?
Calm her winds of warning before we all expire?
Ban plastic from her oceans, stop digging for black gold?
Cool the global warming and restore the cold?

If we will not listen, she’ll only turn deaf ears
to all our present pleadings, to all our future fears.
Oh foolish foolish children, just dealing with effects
instead of paying heed to what nature expects.

 

Prompt words today are instinct, nothing, protest, onerous and zombie.

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them

Click on photos to enlarge. All photos used with permission from Unsplash.

And A Little Child Shall Lead Them
(For Greta Thunberg)

When it comes to children, upper classes can be haughty.
Even normal kid stuff they consider to be naughty.
They send them off to private school to simplify their keep
and their favorite time when they are home is when they are asleep.

The words and thoughts of children are rarely heard at table,
for it might upset the apple cart if they were only able
to introduce hot topics like the way this world is headed.
But, alas, they’re fed and watered and then promptly bedded

without asking what they’re thinking and of course they don’t insist.
They’re patted and they’re smiled at and they’re talked at and they’re kissed,
but their parents don’t consider how they are dissembling
and it’s their children’s future that they are disassembling.

Trashing up the oceans, melting the North Pole,
ruining the air with oil and gas and coal—
it’s the parents who are unruly and should be sent to bed
to see if kids could run things better in their stead.

 

Prompt words today are cart, asleep, hot, word and naughty. Photos from unsplash.

King of Fools


King of Fools

It’s a virtual world we sink into for fun
now that our worldly contact is done.
Facebook is our friendship and Skype our salvation,
Zoom our replacement for kids’ education.
It’s our succor in sadness, replacement for sport,
when others malign us, our means of retort.
Our childrens’ frondescence confined to Twitter,
how can they resist being surly and bitter?

We’re culpable, all of us, I must confess.
How could we let things get in such a mess?
Money our God and diverted by pleasure,
we sacrificed a more vital treasure,
giving up liberty, we were distracted
by a buffoon who reenacted
presenting reality just as a show—
impressing with posturing, bluffing and dough.

And those for whom books were replaced with a screen?
They couldn’t tell the difference between
what entertained and what was for real
and that’s how he managed to posture and steal
liberty—both on a scale that was national
making decisions stupidly irrational,
and our own liberty, now that we’re trapped
within our boxes, trussed up and wrapped

with only the foolish wandering round
making decisions, unmasked and unsound,
the dupes of a Mother who’s finally decided 
that all of these humans whom she has abided
for thousands of years are on their way out,
aided by their foolishness, without a doubt,
and by their leader, that king of all fools
who will bring down the world with his asinine rules!!!

 

Prompt words for today are frondescence, culpable, virtual, succor and sink. All photos thanks to Unsplash, used with permission.

An Empirical Truth

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A Empirical Truth

I’m writing to our leadership–selfish, short-sighted fools
who are selling off our national parks and making other rules
about protected species, pollution and our health.
Saying it’s for our good while the rich expand their wealth.

If Nero fiddled as Rome burned, it’s also true today
that our most notable leader also likes to play.
As he’s shooting birdies on wild habitats turned tame,
his kids take off for Africa to shoot some wild game.

What we do to others turns back on us in time,
and Mother Nature will  find a way of dealing with your crime.
I suggest that you use caution when visiting a zoo
lest the animals you threaten end up hunting you.

 

Prompt words for today are explain, empirical, zoo, caution and leadership.