Poetry – 8 Billion

8 Billion

8 billion brains

Threaten many trillion lives.

We decide what is worthy

And what is not.

8 million minds

Want to feed 8 million mouths

And they don’t care

About the damage done.

Opher – 8.12.2019

Overpopulation is the cause of the present climate and environmental problems. It is responsible for massive deforestation – as land is cleared for agriculture. It is responsible for over-hunting, over-fishing and the destruction of many habitats.

The use of pesticides is decimating insect populations.

The massive pollution creating by our vehicles, industries and domestic use is poisoning the planet.

We need to get 8 billion down to a manageable 4 billion. Problems solved!!

Poetry – Do Elephants Dream?

Do Elephants Dream?

Do elephants dream

Of their slaughter?

Do they cherish life?

Do elephants wish

For a better life

For their children?

Opher 29.11.2018

Too many humans see animals as expendable ‘things’ to be shot, cleared away, driven out and treated with no care.

They are not ‘things’. They are creatures just like us who relish life, who care for their children, who are conscious.

Poetry – The Human Tide

The Human Tide

The human tide is springing high.

The love of babies a reason why.

The love of sex a pleasure for to die.

The family a disaster.

Opher 13.4.2018

I love babies – we all do. That’s the trouble. There’s too many of them.

We humans need things to live – room, food and water. In order to meet our needs we are chopping down the natural world and killing the wildlife. We use pesticides to protect our crops and maximize food production but it is killing off our bees and insects causing problems with pollination and starving to death the birds and animals that feed off them.

Our numbers are such that our impact is immense. Not only is it killing everything else off but it is altering the climate of the planet. I love babies but it is time we reduced our numbers and became more responsible.

Poetry – There’s Enough

There’s Enough

There’s enough

For me and you

To share

If we are fair.

There’s no need

To grab too much –

To snare

More than our share

For if we truly care

And help our fellow men

And nature too

They’ll be more than enough

For me and you.

11.2.2017

There’s Enough

I yearn for fairness and equality, an end to arrogance and selfishness.

I crave a better world where a tiny minority are not exploiting everyone to cream off more than they can ever be worth.

I want a world built on sanity where nature is protected, where everything is not up for grabs and run for profit.

I want a happy world.

There’s enough for us all and nature if we only learn to do it better.

There’s nowhere near enough if we continue to destroy it all with impunity. We will destroy ourselves.

Poetry – Too Many

Too many

People everywhere

Crammed in like matchsticks –

Boxes into boxes

Filling every corner

Driving out the life

Swatting the flies

With a pot plant on the mantle.

People everywhere

In cars careering into the future

On mopeds with dreams of cars

Frantically propelled

In pursuit of progress.

Providing food upon the table.

People everywhere

Marching purposefully along pavements

Staring ahead

With minds nicely contained

And dreams restricted

People everywhere

Sitting in front of screens

In offices with air-conditioning

And protocols

So that they do not have to think

People everywhere

In boxes within boxes

Watching boxes

Being boxed

And avoiding thinking about the box

They will all end up in.

10.2.2017

Too Many

What a shame.

There are too many of us destroying everything, reducing the beauty to rubble, creating wasteland out of wilderness, producing rubbish and consuming the world.

Too much filth, grime and litter. Too much smoke and gas. Too many kids.

We travel in boxes and live in boxes shut away from the natural world and are fed the views we are to assume. We are controlled, organised, restricted and contained.

There is a homage to Malvina Reynolds in here too. I do adore Malvina.

I wrote this before I travelled through Asia again and witnessed the tsunami of humanity that is engulfing the planet. It is far more destructive than any wave of any magnitude.

It leaves me full of dread on many levels.

Poetry – Just Deserts

Just Deserts

Travelling through deserts

Filled with lifelessness –

Devoid of anything,

Even pity.

All that moves

Is the enemy

To be eradicated

With alacrity

Big or small

Feather or fin

There’s no room at the inn.

Hedge and pond

Bush and tree

Ripped out

In monocultural crime

Megafauna,

Microfauna,

Weed and seed,

All past their prime.

Opher 12.9.2016

Just Deserts

I was travelling back from London on the train, belting past field after field of stubble. The harvest was in.

The only things moving were the odd crows and pigeons.

This was England. Where once used to stretch unbroken, dense forest, rustling to the sounds of insects, trilling to bird call, and providing food for deer, wild boar, bear and wolf, there is now a monocultural desert.

We have systematically cleared the forest to farm the land. The indigenous animals were cleared with it. We left tiny oasis of wasteland, woods, hedges and ponds in which the remnants of the rich fauna hung on – rabbits, hare, hedgehogs, newts, lizards, slow-worm, grass snake, dormouse and linnet.

Now they are being cleared. The modern farm equipment has no use for hedge or pond – the bigger the field the better.

Anything that dares to intrude into the desert we create is eliminated with pesticide, herbicide and machine. We don’t need them. They get their just desserts.

Poetry – The Last Tree

The Last Tree

When the last tree fell

There was laughter.

As the chainsaw bit

There had been jeers;

As the trunk crashed

And branches splintered

There were cheers.

As the last bird

Was blown

From the sky

There was a whoop

Of joyful triumph.

As the last Chimp

Was hacked

There was a smacking

Of lips.

There were no tears.

The tears were saved for later.

But when they finally fell

There was a flood.

By then it was far too late.

Opher 15.5.2016

The Last Tree

We cannot resist. There is pleasure in destruction. There is a cruel streak in humans.

One of the favourite stalls at the fairground is the one where people smash crockery with wooden balls. The line up the plates and dishes and people pay to delight at the way they smash, crash and fall.

  • The kid with the airgun sitting in his backyard and picking birds off the line, feeling a leap of pleasure as each one falls.
  • The idiots with the chainsaws who ringed a giant redwood to put an end to its two and a half thousand year life.
  • It goes on relentless as children’s first reaction is to stamp on the bug.

Life is not sacred.

There is fun to be had at the expense of forest and creature.

Even at the animal park yesterday where they had two amazing Eagle Owl fledglings on the lawn a man with his two children joked that they should be shot and eaten.

Yet we are part of that web of life. When it is gone we will follow. We cannot live on concrete alone.

Poetry – Laughter as the ship goes down

Laughter as the ship goes down

Laughter

As the ship goes down;

Entertainment

To distract.

No need for thought

As everyday

We pay

Our income tax.

As forests burn;

Flesh fries;

Guns crash

And creatures die.

The chauffeur

Is greed.

The mantra

Is fun.

As long as we are Ok

For now

There is no need to fear.

Everything is alright

In Eden

Isn’t it?

There is nothing we can do;

Nothing we can say.

So let the avaricious fools

Get on with it

As we play the day away.

Opher – 9.5.2016

Laughter as the ship goes down

If you want to be popular you produce fun things for people to read and avoid anything with gravity. If you want to attract a following you avoid all subjects that can cause division or distress. No mention of death, politics, war, environmental destruction or social conditions. No hint of trouble in paradise.

You keep things uncontentious.

We can produce nice humour-filled pieces of fun.

We can report on entertaining films and books.

We can write about everyday life.

We can do safe fashion and style, or perhaps cookery and meals.

We can write about inconsequential trivia and pop culture.

Meanwhile, just over the hill, they are strip-mining the wilderness, pouring effluent into the river, skinning dogs alive, bombing hospitals, burning people in cages, indoctrinating children to hate, poaching elephants and rhinos, slaughtering chimps, producing more children than can be kept alive, playing in sewage, dying in droves and filling the torture chambers.

But I see that Doom has just been released on PlayStation.

Poetry – By the carpark

By the carpark

By the carpark

Where the wood one stood;

By the stream

Long since culverted in;

Where the new housing estate now stands

On what used to be a marsh,

A vole hides among the rubbish.

Near the runway

For the new airport;

By the side of the new field

Reclaimed from wasteland;

Alongside the new road

Bringing travellers to and fro;

On the roundabout

That used to be a copse,

A tiny mouse shivers

Under a newly planted shrub.

Opher 18.4.2016

By the carpark

I was sitting on the bus going back to pick up my car. It gave me a higher view over the hedgerows into the fields beyond. I could see all the new builds.

As we approached the town there was more and more. New estates were springing up. The trees, streams and ponds were disappearing along with the remaining patches of wasteland. Even the word wasteland betrays the attitude. If it is not being built on or used for agriculture it is wasted.

So where do the voles, mice, hedgehogs, newts, frogs and toads go? Is there space foe the lizards, slowworms and snakes? Are we sanitising the countryside of insects?

I looked out over the fields and all the birds I see are pigeons, crows, magpies and sea-gulls – the scavengers. They are having a fine old time.

But how far can we continue pushing nature into the periphery before it runs out of room?

Is it all going to be ploughed fields, manicured lawns and ornamental shrubs?

How many creatures are shivering in the wreckage of their homes?

Poetry – On The Run

On the Run

On the run

Through the trees

Down the rivers

To the sea.

On the run

Through the smoke

From the poachers

You and me. 

On the run

Without a clue

To all of this

Insanity.

All on the run

On the run

Run

Run

Run.

Opher 14.4.2016

On the Run

I had this image, from a photograph imprinted in my brain, of a poor lemur in Borneo looking utterly bewildered as it stumbled along a fallen tree that had probably, up until that day, been its home. All around it were bonfires of flame and smoke, massive bulldozers and chains, with men in yellow hardhats carrying chainsaws.

In the foreground was gouged red soil, jagged stumps and ripped trees. In the background was pristine jungle.

The image was frozen in time.

I wondered what happened to the petrified creature. Did it stumble back into the jungle? Did one of the brutalised workmen dispatch it?

It was just one more pathetic victim of the inexorable destruction of the forest. It was of no consequence. In the big scheme of things it was of no significance whatsoever. I wanted to shout at it to run, run run………… while it had a chance!

I was much too late. Its fate had already been decided.

All over the planet, in every corner of the world, the trees are falling, the bonfires burning and the creatures are ripped out of existence.

The trouble is that there is fast becoming nowhere for them to run to.