When Life Teemed
Long timber frames and sail
Bravely crossing oceans
In the throat of gale and swell
To bludgeon, slash and cruelly stash
The feather, claw and shell.
Crowned the breeding ground
Strewn with corpses in stacks
By the ton around the downed.
With live fresh meat to roast;
Turned turtles done in the baking sun
Tortured without thought or sound.
The oceans and the forests
Stripped of all wood,
Flesh, feather, and scale,
From moor and dell
Without a dream or care.
Infinite seas of scene and green
Splashed crimson meat to sell.
Now it has come to this –
Plastic and concrete –
All amiss in an abyss;
As profit, breed and greed
Conspire for that last kiss.
When Life Teemed
Long ago, when there was a fraction of our present numbers, man sailed the ocean in big wooden sailing boats. The world was infinite, the seas raged and there was danger everywhere. The brave men saw death at every corner.
When they spied land they replenished their stocks of fresh water and meat. For simplicity they raided the breeding grounds and took on board tons of carcasses. They captured the huge leatherback turtles and turned them upside down on deck so they had fresh meat, oblivious to the hot sun and suffering these gentle creatures suffered. They clubbed the baby seals and birds for sport and fun and left the colonies wrecked. For the supply was endless. It mattered little.
They senselessly sailed up rivers, travelled across the great American plains and trekked through jungles and savannahs blasting at everything that lived, collecting trophies and destroying great herds and flocks to leave the carcasses littered the ground to rot.
They used live animals as ballast in their ships, heaped in barrels, because it was easier than collecting rocks or digging sand. The animals died in agony and rotted in the holds to be discarded into the sea when port was reached.
Life was cheap. People were heartless. The bounty was never-ending.
Except the planet is not infinite, the stocks are not endless and within a short while the teeming wildlife has been reduced to a fraction of what once was. There is probably less than 1% of what there was a hundred years ago. Billions have died.
This is part of a long poem I have written about this cruelty and mindlessness we are bringing to bear as we blithely destroy the lifeboat we are living in. We are busy sowing the seeds of our own demise.
Our cruelty and stupidity never cease to amaze me. Human beings gain pleasure out of killing and torturing. We like to see things suffer. We never have a thought for the future. We cannot see that we are busy devouring our own bodies.
We are betraying all we hold dear, including ourselves – that last kiss of betrayal is the signal of the end.