Extinction

formosan clouded leopard

our children need to know what we have done

they need to learn about our deadly greed

and know in their blood and bones that

living alongside wildlife is the only way

into the future that

studying the ecology of slugs may save the planet

and that facing hatred, greed and delusion is the big deal

*

we’re all in the shit if we don’t tell ’em now

*

if all invertebrates

disappeared

homo sapiens

would

become

extinct

if homo sapiens

became

extinct

all

life

would

fucking

flourish

*

our children need to know what we have done

Darwin’s Frogs no longer leap in the shrinking wetlands of Chile

the Formosan Clouded Leopard no longer hunts in the mountains of Taiwan

the Sri Lankan Spiny Eel no longer swims in the rivers of Sri Lanka

the Eskimo Curlew no longer calls over the snowy grasslands of Greenland

the Santa Cruz Pupfish is extinct kaput

the Western Black Rhinoceros no longer trundles across African plains

the Angel Shark no longer swims in the Black Sea

the Crescent Nail-Tailed Wallaby no longer lopes across the Australian Outback

the Giant Golden-Crowned Flying Fox no longer gorges on figs in the forest of Panay

Pallas’s Cormorant no longer goes fishing in the polluted rivers or toxic lakes of Russia

the Labrador Duck is extinct       dead as a Dodo

the Javan Lapwing no longer flaps its wings in Indonesian skies

the Tahiti Sandpiper no longer plaintively pipes on the river banks of Tahiti

even our house sparrows are in the shit

*

there’s no time for complacency

the bottom’s fallen out of the ground

forget your satanic gun culture

don’t deny that you deny climate change

take your foul mouth some place else

(such as the asteroid belt) where you can do less harm

if you’ve never seen the devil look in a mirror

don’t pretend you can’t see         our children

need to know what we’ve done      what we’re doing

*

don’t give them the legacy of our single vision

smell the earth, wake up, hear the cries

now         this is what we are doing

 

*

Note: It is frightening but true: Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass extinction of plants and animals — the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day . It could be a scary future indeed, with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century.

Centre For Biological Diversity

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5 comments on “Extinction

  1. A reasonable point made with unconvincing language.( Ideas more easily dismissed if they are written with thoughtless swear words.)

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  2. Tom Cummings says:

    A fiery, passionate proclamation, Erik – with which I wholeheartedly agree. And yet, and yet – I also agree a bit with the comment above. I use the qualifier “a bit” because I do not agree with the description of your language as “unconvincing”. Sadly, no matter how skillfully you employed language in this post, the hard-core climate deniers would remain unconvinced. That’s not the fault of your language, that’s the result of their ideology. Elizabeth Kolbert won a Pulitzer Prize in 2015 for her magnificent book, The Sixth Extinction, and not even her well-documented and well-written treatise could pry open the closed minds of the deniers. But I would argue that you ought not to make it easy for them to disparage your arguments by coloring them with profanity. I suspect your purpose was to shock them awake, but I fear the unintended outcome is to shut them down even more. This is a dilemma that all of us aligned on the side of reason and science are faced with in this age of unreason and delusion. I struggle with this conundrum constantly, and have yet to glimpse a way out. But if there is a way out, I think it will involve keeping our arguments firmly rooted in the calm, non-profane language of reason. We may yet be heard someday – and hopefully before the sixth extinction is fully and irreversibly upon us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • erikleo says:

      Thanks for your feedback Tom. Like you I feel frustrated and a lot of anger comes up (a result of meditation?) when considering these issues. I was trying to take a leaf out of Peter Reading’s poems which are often describes as ‘ squalid, violent and apocalyptic’ and he often uses profanities/swearing which non-poets often find surprising. We know hatred is one of the ‘three poisons’ and it is unsettling when we realise it is bubbling under the surface in ourselves!
      If you want to check him out there is an example in one of his with the title -273.15 (the degrees of absolute zero)
      I may alter some of the lines in mine and see what happens.

      Liked by 2 people

      • One of my favourite dismissive words with which I get rid of much angst is BOLLOCKS. I once taught a big group of staid and frayed executives how to say Bollocks to things which crushed them at work, if only in their mind. They reported how much better they felt for the lesson!

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  3. By the way, your catalogue of dreadful disappearances is very powerful.

    Like

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