Wednesday, 22 April 2009


“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money.” - Cree Indian Proverb

It is Earth Day today, a day devoted to environmental issues and a day when we highlight the plight that our planet is in and we take part in activities where we show each other that we can all do something to save the Earth. Senator Gaylord Nelson of the USA, Founder of Earth Day, had the idea for Earth Day in the early 1960s and his idea evolved over a period of seven years starting in 1962.

He recalls:
“For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment was simply a non-issue in the politics of the country. Finally, in November 1962, an idea occurred to me that was, I thought, a virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to this issue by going on a national conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal with Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his five-day, eleven-state conservation tour in September 1963. For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.”

We are running out of time and the signs of the destruction of our environment are manifested all around us. It is up to everyone of us to do something to make a difference! Here is my poem, a little gloomy, but nevertheless unfortunately true… We must remember the words of Chief Seattle (1855):
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

Earth Day, 2009

The Earth shakes, shudders, sick
Covered in dark pall of smoke
Lost in hopeless contemplation
Of an uncertain future.

The moon looks on
And mirrors her sister’s fate
As stars impassively
Witness the decadence.

The Earth dejected, weeps
Black tears; coughs up polluted phlegm
Regurgitates poisoned food
And dies an ever-quickening death.

The oceans froth and spew up
Choking fish, dead algae,
Mercury-tainted jellyfish,
Suicidal whales by the score.

The Earth despairs, breeding
Sterile offspring, mutated monsters,
Dead plants, addled eggs,
Species driven to extinction.

The air is charred, ice melts,
Cyclones, bushfires, earthquakes
Vie with Tsunamis and errant climate
As to which will seal our fate.

The Earth remembers, wistful,
Past springs, all green and flowery;
Summers golden with ripening grain,
Autumns replete with bountiful harvest.
The Earth recalls, regretful,
A million birdsongs, playful fish,
Pure rain and limpid waters,
With winters when snow was still white.

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