Poetry – The Plastic Jungle

The Plastic Jungle

 

The flies are disappearing

The beetles are all going.

There are few caterpillars for the birds

It’s a sterile world we’re sowing.

 

It took five billion years

To create this interlocking mesh.

But it only took a few thousand

For us to create this mess.

 

With libraries of books,

Knowledge and civilisation.

We still do not understand enough

To correct this situation.

 

We seem content to let them go

Without a second thought,

While cluttering the plastic jungle

With the rubbish that we’ve bought.

 

Opher – 27.7.2020

Poem – We fell asleep in one world and woke in another!

Such a great poem to music and images.

Is nature giving us a reminder?

Nature doesn’t need us – we are guests! I hope we remember that!

I don’t know who did this. It was sent to me by my mate Graham in Oz. (The music’s a bit cheesy but I love the words!)

Poetry – Dear Mrs Planet Too

I wrote three of these poems. I was imagining a naughty child being threatened with punishment by their parent.

They have been caught doing something they know is wrong. I wanted it to be the sort of letter of apology that a child writes when they are forced to grovel.

I wrote three of them with different rhyming structures and metre. I wasn’t sure which one worked best and at one point I thought I could meld them into one – but I don’t think that’s really possible.

I’ll post the third one in a minute or two.

 

Dear Mrs Planet Too

 

Dear Mrs Planet,

We’re so sorry about the trees,

All the insects and the bees.

We’re sorry about the animals

We’ve driven to extinction.

We’re sorry that so many of us

Are behaving without distinction.

 

Can you ever forgive us

For the way we’ve been treating you?

We thought you were just a lump of rock

And we could do whatever we wanted to.

 

So Mrs Planet, I know we’ve been running wild.

Busting up the place like a dysfunctional child.

But please tolerate us for a while

And we’ll find a way to reconcile.

 

We promise to be good and clean up all our mess;

To stop discharging into the poisoned air.

We’re holding up our hand. We will confess.

We’re really going to change and start to show we care.

 

Opher – 17.7.2020

 

The Sci-Fi novel Green and the Green Movement

Green and the Green Movement

The setting for this novel was in the distant future. The planet is heavily overpopulated and polluted. Nature has been ravaged.

I was exploring the philosophical nature of mind and whether the inner universe is infinite.

The other major theme was that of the Green Movement. In a last desperate attempt to safe Nature from complete destruction, they were trying desperately to get the government to take drastic action.

The Greens were split into three distinct factions who argued fiercely among themselves.

One faction believed they could gain public support and force the government to take action through the sheer force and rationale of their argument.

A second faction believed that big business was too powerful and that most people were simply not interested enough until things became so bad that it directly impacted on them, by which time it would be too late. They believed force was the only way to get big business and politicians to take notice. They were using terror and attacking the polluting industry.

A shady third faction believed that the problem was people. They hated mankind and believed that there was an inherent flaw in all people. There was no hope while humans were around. They believed it was only a matter of time before we destroyed the world. Consequently, the only way to save the planet was to eradicate mankind.

It set the background for the intrigue and drama as the two themes interweaved.

Why not give it a read?

Available in both paperback and kindle from Amazon.

In the UK:

Buy the book – click here

In the USA:

Buy the book – click here

In India:

Buy the book – click here

In Canada:

Buy the book – click here

In Germany:

Buy the book – click here

In Australia

Buy the book – click here

Or from your local Amazon Store.

The Destruction of Nature.

I’m still greatly infuriated at what has happened to the large expanses of natural habitat that has been wantonly destroyed.

We live in a world where nature is under attack. We are encouraged to set aside areas in our gardens for insects because their numbers have crashed, yet a huge expanse of rich habitat is just stupidly flattened. It does not make sense!

I think it has spoilt my summer. No more chances to see those wonderful animals – the stoats, kestrels, owls and kites. Without anywhere to live or food to it they will be elsewhere.

Here is a picture of what the hill looked like a short while ago:

Unfortunately, I did not take photos of the really wide verges where the stoats live.

This is how it looks now:

A wide, 5-metre verge, has been mown. All the wildflowers are gone. The undergrowth is gone. There will be no seeds, no insects and so no food for the birds, voles and mice, so no food for the stoats, owls and kestrels.

The litter is now scattered everywhere. It looks disgusting.

The above photo is taken from a similar place to one in the first batch.

These are narrow verges but they have been mown too. You can see on the right-hand side the height of the undergrowth and flowers. On the wider verges, this provided habitat for millions of insects and the creatures who feed off them. The loss of flowers is terrible.

Amazing photography of nature.

Amazing Photography of Nature. It really demonstrates how we need to cherish and protect this magnificent array of wonder. Some tragic most just beautiful.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/gallery/2020/jul/10/the-week-in-wildlife-in-pictures?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR30nM_L66qoLk3x3FfZTMRsqspC6XhVo5bj_Jpzfx1B-IgkBMtiu_OKGzI

Nature destroyed!

Just the day before yesterday I was ecstatic. I was on my daily walk up my hill into nature. I had seen the stoat, close up, carrying a rabbit it had killed, dragging it along the lane. I had watched a kestrel hovering, looking for a vole. I had delighted in the beautiful blue cornflowers that had appeared on the verges and felt good at the succession of wonderful wildflowers that had appeared on the wide verges.

Nature, during lockdown, was sustaining me.

Either side of that lane were wide verges – up to five metres wide and going the length of the lane. They were a nature reserve for herb and fur, for insect and bird. Those verges gave life and refuge to nature.

Heaven knows there is little of nature left. The insects have been decimated. The space for wildlife greatly reduced. Ponds have been filled, hedges grubbed up so that big farm machinery can operate more efficiently, streams are culverted, trees cut down and what is left is very little, and diminishing by the day.

When I was a boy there were meadows of long grass and wildflowers, alive with bees, butterflies, beetles and grasshoppers. The skies were full of swallows and swifts. There were frogs, newts and toads in the ponds, sticklebacks in the streams and caterpillars in hedges and trees. Even that was merely the rump of what had once been when Britain was one great forest, but it seemed rich and enriching.

Over the years I have seen that richness eroded. No longer the bees and butterflies, flocks of swifts are down to a few, no more hedgehogs flattened in the roads. Nature is greatly reduced.

My daily walks up the hill during lockdown has been delightful. I have seen so much living in that strip of nature.  It was a haven. Every day I would go up there not knowing what I might spot. It was a thrill in these barren times.

Looking out over the green fields one might be fooled into to thinking that nature is all around us. It isn’t. Those green fields are a barren desert, lethal to life. They are sprayed with pesticide and herbicide so that any ‘weed’ or ‘pest’ that dares to intrude is destroyed.

The verges and remaining hedgerows are the last refuges for nature and even they are threatened by the drift of those deadly sprays.

It was a shock. It felt like a punch. The whole of the five-metre verges, all the brambles and undergrowth, all the wildflowers and grasses, the habitat for millions of insects, the seeds to feed the birds, the homes and food for the voles and mice, had been destroyed, mown flat. It was vandalism on a huge scale.

What were the stoats going to feed on now? Where were the voles for the kestrel and barn owl? Where were the insects for the swift and swallow? All gone! Destroyed.

The whole nature reserve along the Wold Road was a barren desert, like the fields around it.

Seemingly there is neither use nor room for nature anymore. It is untidy, an inconvenience, even an irritation.

Unless we start to value it, make space for it and protect it, we will not have anything left for our grandchildren to thrill at. Surely it deserves to be given space to live? Surely enough of us care? We value the bird song and the sight of our wonderful wildlife, don’t we?

Was it just ignorance? Or was it malice? Did someone just want to make it look tidier? Or did someone want to be rid of all those creatures and plants?

What is the basis of this ignorant policy?

It makes me feel sad, angry and ashamed.

Encountering nature.

When I was a boy I was surrounded with nature. My life was caterpillars, lizards, slowworms, snakes, frogs, toads and newts. There were ponds, streams and grassland, forests, moors and lakes. But so much of that has gone. I used to lie back in a meadow, among a mass of flowers, and the insects would be buzzing all around.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

There are hardly any insects now and consequently, everything else is harder to find.

This lockdown has been fantastic. Every day, for one hundred and six days, I have gone for a ten-kilometre walk in nature.  It has given me a real rush of pleasure. Every day I seem to stumble across something wonderful – a duck with her brood of ducklings, a grass snake swimming the beck, a barn owl swooping overhead, a kestrel hovering in the air, a fox walking up the road towards me, a hare running up the path and nearly bumping into us, a pair of buzzards circling, a family of eight stoats flowing across the road in front of me, weevils, butterflies, rabbits, warblers, red kites, tits, finches and hedgehogs. It feels like nature is alive and was expanding back into the space we’d left vacant.

Today, as I walked up my hill, in the distance I could see some creatures moving on the road, but I could not make out what they were. I thought that it was probably crows with a bit of roadkill.  As I slowly went forward I saw that it was two stoats with a dead rabbit. One ran off but the other was trying to drag the carcass along. When it was about five paces away from me it looked up and saw me. It darted, sinuously into the undergrowth on the verge.

I walked passed the dead rabbit and quietly stood ten paces away to watch. Sure enough, the stoat, not wanting to lose its kill, shot across the road. I waited another minute and could see its tiny face peeping out of the undergrowth. It came back out into the road, stood on its hind legs to look all around for danger. I stood still. It went over to the rabbit and began dragging it along. I was enthralled.

Nature is amazing. To get so close to the action was like being on safari. I love it. It filled me with joy (I’m still feeling it).

We so have to look after this planet of ours and protect the wonderful creatures we have!

Now that lockdown is over it is sadly in retreat again. No doubt we will chop more trees, fill more ponds, spray more fields and continue to kill off the little we have left.

Poetry – A trail of corpses

A trail of corpses

 

Tree by tree                       pond by pond

Ditch by ditch                    field by field

Hedge by hedge               bush by bush

Verge by verge                 copse by copse

 

We chop, we culvert      we cut, we mow

We fill, we build              we rip, we bulldoze

We burn

 

Without a thought

A thousand tiny cuts

Leaving a trail of corpses

 

Opher – 27.6.2020