Poetry – No More Squashed Hedgehogs

No More Squashed Hedgehogs

I drove through the country lanes.

There were no squashed hedgehogs in the road

And I was saddened.

I know some people

Actually went out of their way to squash the spiky creatures

With their cars.

They veered across the road

And laughed at the little bump they made as the tyres

Crushed their delicate bodies.

It used to make be sad

To see their flattened little corpses with their guts

Spewed out.

But right now

I would crave to see any number of them

Murdered on the highways.

Opher – 18.4.2019

It used to be a common sight. Jokes were made about them:

‘Why did the hedgehog cross the road? – To see his flat mate!’

I never found them funny.

Hedgehogs are such wonderful creatures. We used to have one who came to visit frequently. We fed it cat food from a saucer. It became quite tame. But that was long ago.

There are no squashed hedgehogs because there are so few hedgehogs.

Poetry – Two Swifts Shrieking

Two Swifts Shrieking

Two swifts wheeling in the sky

Shrieking with delight –

Not missing their brethren?

In days not long gone

Those same skies

Were full of flocks of screaming swifts.

The air, now a desert,

Teemed with insects

That were scooped with such glee.

There was enough

For many swifts

To gorge themselves and feed their chicks.

Now those insects

Are hard to find

And the future is looking dim.

Do they now shriek with delight or horror?

Opher 23.6.2018

It is so noticeable to me that the skies are emptying. We were so used to seeing the swifts, swallows and house martins, the filter feeders of the skies, putting on their aerial displays.

Where once there were flocks now they appear in pairs. The flocks have gone.

The skies that once buzzed with insects are empty. The insects have gone. There is no food.

The barns and house eaves that provided nesting sites are all knocked down, cleaned up and gone.

It is hard to believe the changes that have taken place in the space of one lifetime.

Were those two swifts really shrieking with delight! I feel they cry in desperation.

Poetry – Caught Between

Caught Between

Between the profits and the greed,

Between the money and the seed,

Between the madness and the war,

Between the illness and the sore,

There’s no room.

Between the pillar and the post,

Between the devil and the ghost,

Between the hard place and the rock,

Between the explosion and the shock,

There’s no room

Between the funfair and the ride,

Between the hunter and the pride,

Between the arrow and the gun,

Between the baiting and the fun,

There’s no room

Opher 13.4.2018

It seems to me that something is missing from this modern life. We’ve lost it somewhere along the way. It has been squeezed out.

Now, with our life of fun, comfort and ease, between the leisure and entertainment, between the purchasing and throwing away, we have lost something that was immensely important.

Now that most of us do not need to struggle for survival, when the food is on the table, the fridge bulges and we just have to turn the central heating or air-conditioning up, something has been lost.

Now when the trip to church, mosque, temple or synagogue and the reading of the verses has no impact on our daily life or the way we act, something has gone badly astray.

Somewhere in the het up struggle between NeoCon and LibTard, where all minds are clouded with tribal fury, a real sense of purpose has been waylaid.

I think I know what it is.

I think we have lost our connection with nature.

Poetry – Stalked

Stalked

Stalked by our own virility

The cthonic monster of fertility

Will drown us in our own flesh.

The Malthusian oceans of humanity

Riding swells of pleasure and vanity

Have snared us in its mesh.

Like a flood

Inundating

The Earth

Sweeping all before it.

Like a fire

Consuming

The land

Turning it to ash

Like a plague

Infecting

The body

Dissolving the breath

Swamping everything

Reducing everything

Killing everything

In the pangs of pleasure.

Opher 13.4.2018

The flood of humanity is consuming the earth, destroying the forests, slaughtering all creatures and leaving smog, pollution and devastation in their wake.

We are busy turning this beautiful green planet into a sterile ball of concrete, plastic and bacterial slime.

It’ll take us some time but the project is well under way.

Unless we put an end to this capitalist religious impetus for more, for growth and expansion we will destroy the very thing that gives us life and nourishes our souls.

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 – Once

Once

Once grasshopper jumped with every step

And ponds were full of frogs.

Once there were stag beetles

That lived in rotten logs.

Once there were huge flocks of swallows

Wheeling through the sky.

Now they are all gone

And we’re left to wonder why.

Once great forests covered every hill

Bears and wolves hunted the deer.

Once people lived in harmony with nature

And the seasons of the year.

Once there was a balance

Full of bounty for the gleaning.

We lived a natural life;

An existence full of meaning.

Opher – 23.1.2021

We live in the Anthropocene, in a landscape designed by man. The wilderness has gone. Nature is tamed.

All that lives only does so through our benevolence; vestiges of what once was.

The forests have given way to green fields of crops, sprayed with death.

Now we life an artificial life and search for meaning.

Nature on the run – Anthropocene Apocalypse – one man’s view of the destruction we are causing.

Anthropocene Apocalypse cover

Nature on the run.

Since the Second World War we have been living through an ecological disaster. Something on this scale has only been witnessed two or three times in the whole three billion year history of life on this planet. The rate of species extinction is almost unbelievable. It took comet strikes and major volcanic activity to produce anything on a par with this.

 

The human population in 1927 was only 2 Billion.

In 1960 it rose to 3 Billion.

1974 – 4 Billion

1987 – 5 Billion

1999 – 6 Billion

2011 – 7 Billion

 

In my lifetime it has nearly tripled! All those people need food, water, space and goods. They clear wilderness, slaughter animals, produce waste and have dramatically changed the world.

 

We now live in the Anthropocene. The world of the apes called human beings. We have reached sufficient numbers that our impact is drastically changing the planet.

I wrote about my own witnessing of the destruction in my book Anthropocene Apocalypse.

I believe that we are at a crossroads. If we do not reduce our numbers and cease destroying the natural habitat we will destroy ourselves along with the majority of the animal kingdom.

 

It does not take a genius to recognise this. Global warming is not the most important issue – species extinction and the population explosion is.

 

In the last thirty five years invertebrate numbers (bees, worms, butterflies, and other insects and arthropods etc.) have declined by 45%.

These organisms are the food for other animals.

 

In the last 40 years vertebrate numbers have declined by a staggering 56%.

 

We have over-hunted, poached and destroyed habitat to such an extent that we are pushing all vertebrates towards extinction.

 

Tigers have decline from over 100,000 to under 3000.

 

100,000 elephants were killed by poachers last year alone. 64% of all elephants were killed in the last decade.

 

There are only 50 white rhino left.

 

Rhinos have suffered a 96% decline since 1970. In 1900 there were 500,000. In 1970 there were only 2,300.

 

What are we doing? Are we really blindly stumbling along, wiping all the animals out and thinking we can happily live without them?

 

We are part of a complex food web that has evolved over three billion years. We cannot live without our fellow creatures. We are inextricably linked. If we kill off the wild-life ultimately we kill off ourselves.

 

All this distresses me. I feel I could cry.

 

Are we so stupid?

Read about how I feel about all this in my book Anthropocene Apocalypse and then make your voice heard before it is too late.

Or look at my other books on Amazon. They are full of passion and honesty:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1458487093&sr=1-2-ent