Wednesday, 22 April 2015


“We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.” - Wangari Maathai

This is the first time I am joining Poets United upon Mary’s invitation (thank you, Mary!). The theme this Wednesday is very aptly, Earth Day, which we have just marked off our calendar on April 22.

The destruction of the environment, increasing pollution, nuclear leaks, fallout, mutants and destruction of our planet are all issues that are now commonplace. This poem echoes what is illustrated: A nightmare where in the grey-blue skies and sea hang over the smoking cooling towers of the nuclear power plant and the metal derricks of rampant technological progress. The low-hanging deleterious smog makes of the winged elephant an evil portent of what is to come unless we change…

When Elephants will Fly

My genome hurts,
The water burns,
And air corrodes my tissues.

My body shrieks,
Each cell distraught,
As sea turns to acid, biting into bony beach.

My flesh creeps,
And cancers rage,
The wars within diminishing me.

My eyes extinguished,
My touch long-lost,
With oily residue polluting my pores.

Plutonium coats the sand, and cobalt paints the sky;
Iodine seas scintillate and thorium pebbles glow.
Each rasping breath begins a murderous clone of cells within me,
Rampant mutations that make me a freak in a sideshow.

My back sprouts wings,
My bones dissolve,
And thick skin turns to mush.

My life shortens,
My brain is porous
As radioactivity punctures me.

My world is ending,
My dreams defiled
The downfall of my species imminent.

My tribe extinct,
My peers unrecognisable
In monstrous transformations.

Uranium stars and curium moon that poisonously glow,
A rapidly burning palladium sun that turns all to ash.
Each step a torture, each touch an agony,
Liberation only in death, when elephants will fly.


  1. This is so powerful, and really hits home. What a strange species we are, that we can know the information and remain in denial about the outcome. Welcome to Poets United! I hope to enjoy reading much more of your work. Smiles.

  2. Welcome to Poet's United. This is an awful presentation of the path we may be destined to walk down if we don't change our ways, but written so beautifully. Thank you for joining in with your powerful words.

  3. so delighted to see you at PU Nick and with such a powerful poem...hope we don't have to see the day 'when an elephant will fly'...

  4. What a sad picture you wrote....we want to see elephants being heavy/happy and Earth just alive and blooming....
    these thoughts resonate with me ~ welcome to PU x

  5. WOW! At first I thought it was the earth herself speaking and then a human or humans--but when an elephant can not only fly but have such a depth of inner thought--oh! believe those amazing animals could have all of this inner monologue and more! Ok, so probably you didn't mean that, but from destruction you move to landscapes of color and deadly beauty and my mind wanted to see the elephant fly across the picture frame. This is quite a debut on our blog, Nick. I hope we get to read lots more of your work.

  6. Nicholas,

    It is wonderful to find you at Poets United.
    Your poem is so realistic with the dire situation for mankind and the world, if we continue upon this slippery path to destruction..Of course, all kinds of mutants may be closer than we realise..The stuff of nightmares!!

  7. Mankind was given the chance to make the world a better place but instead set out to destroy it. It might be better when we've gone.

  8. So sad and poignant... Very apt for Earth Day.

  9. Good to see you here Nic. Depressing reality you have portrayed . All we can do is keep on keeping on speaking out in any way we can. Elephants might be flying sooner than we think.

  10. Nick, so good to see you here at Poets United. Glad you made it over. Smiles. Unfortunately I was out of town this week, so did not respond to this prompt...but you will see me often here! This is a very powerful poem & speaks well to all of the changes brought about by man's harm of the earth! Again, welcome!

  11. What a poem for this prompt. So deep in the visuals.