Poetry – Overpopulation is the Cause

Overpopulation is the cause

Overpopulation is the cause of the pain.

Eight billion mouths to feed.

Sixteen billion feet head off in search of food.

While the population breed.

They are chopping down the trees

Killing everything that moves.

Providing for their children and

Ignoring anyone who disapproves.

But there’s only so much wilderness

So many creatures to eat.

They are battling against nature

And inflicting a defeat.

Opher 24.4.2019

We can’t go on chopping down the forests and killing everything. There are limits.

With eight billion mouths needing feeding, huge numbers of fish to be dragged from the water, massive amounts of land cleared and used for agriculture, we are reaching the limit.

Our sheer numbers are destroying the world.

Poetry – Ode to Greta Thunberg

Ode to Greta Thunberg

It takes a schoolgirl like Greta Thunberg

To point the way.

In a world without an iceberg

We’ll have had our day.

With our cities under water

Life will not be the same.

It takes a young Swedish daughter

To change the game.

Eight billion refugees will be set loose

As the weather alters.

We’ll need to be waterproof

Or else listen to Swedish daughters.

Opher – 24.4.2019

Who would have thought that a young schoolgirl to get people to pay attention. With her schoolchildren sit-ins she has forced politicians to pay attention to what is going on. More power to her.

The young are the future. They will inherit the Earth from us. We need to leave it in good shape.

This last few hundred years has been a disaster for the planet.

We, as a species, have gone berserk. Our numbers have gone through the roof. Our technology has gone astronomical. We have massacred the wildlife, decimated the forests, polluted the oceans and filled the air with our effluent.

Three hundred years ago we seemed to think the world’s resources were infinite. We are clearly seeing they are not.

Unless we step back from the brink and bring sanity to bear we will wreck the world we depend on.

Greta Thunberg knows this. Why is it so many older people fail to grasp it?

Green – by John Phillips.


‘it’s a load of rubbish.’ Yorkie thumped the table. ‘I tell you. It’s rubbish. You’re being conned.’

‘How can you say that?’ Chris shook her head in exasperation. ‘The proof’s all there. Global warming is a fact. End of.’

‘Proof? What proof? You’re being conned. They’re just out to control you. That and make a load of money. You commies fall for it every time.’

‘You’re an idiot Yorkie. Are you blind? The world’s warming up. Ice caps melting, sea levels rising, Gulf Stream slowing down. I mean, what more proof do you need?’

‘It’s all lies. Control. That’s what it’s all about. Boody commies, tree-huggers, vegetarians. You’ll believe anything.’

‘Well how do you explain all these weather events – storms, extremes of hot and cold? Come on,explain.’

‘Weather’s always been unpredictable. Same as always. Business as usual. Same as always will be. What do you reckon Cuff?’

‘I reckon you’re dead right. Carbon emmissions, wind power. It’s all nonsense. You can’t beat good old fossil fuels, or maybe nuclear.’

‘Oh come on Cuffy,’ Steve laughed. ‘What’s wrong with wind power? I really rate those turbines. It’s proven. They are the future.’

Cuffy shook his head. ‘OK ‘til they catch fire, and anyway what about the concrete? Aren’t they set in concrete? Concrete’s a major pollutant isn’t it?’

‘That’s it Cuff. You tell ‘em!’ Yorkie leaned forward triumphantly. ‘They’ll believe anything. Next thing they’ll be telling us is that they’re getting vaccinated.’

‘Of course I’m getting vaccinated. I’ve already had my first jab. Haven’t you?’

‘No! And I’m not going to. It’s all nonsense. No such thing as Covid. It’s just a trick to get you vaccinated. They inject you with a microchip. It’s that bloody Bill Gates. He’s behind it.’

Steve laughed. ‘C’mon Yorkie. Course there’s Covid. I mean what about all those people who have died?

‘All Lies.’ He smirked at Chris. ‘That Gates – he’s a tree-hugger and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s not a vegetarian.’

Chris leaned forward. ‘So you’re saying that Bill Gates has invented Covid in order to microchip everyone.’ She laughed. ‘Here we go again. Now tell us Yorkie, why would he do that?

‘Control. That’s what it’s all about.’ Yorkie nodded vehemently. ‘They can trace you anywhere in the world. He’s one of them you know.’

‘One of what, or should I say whom?’

‘He’s one of the gang of twenty. Read about then in ‘The Sun’.’ He turned to Steve. ‘You know who I mean, don’t you?’

Steve laughed. ‘Oh you mean the Illuminati.’

Yorkie thumped the table in triumph. ‘That’s them! That there David Icke knows all about them. There’s twenty of the buggers. All lizards. That’s what Icke says. They’re the ones who control the world.’

‘And you got all this from ‘The Sun’?’

Chris shook her head. ‘You can’t believe anything you read in ‘The Sun’.’

‘That’s what you say. They’ve got it all sussed. Global Warming, vaccinations. All rubbish. You’re being conned. That Corbyn, he knows all about it.’

‘Jeremy Corbyn?’ Chris angry now. ‘For goodness sake Yorkie. You really are a moron.’

‘No. Not that commie bastard. I mean his brother Giles. Real visionary. He soon put them right.’

‘I suppose he’s a holocaust denier too?’

Cuffy slammed his cup down. ‘That Hitler wasn’t so bad. OK so he went a bit over the top.’ He chuckled. ‘At least he solved the unemployment problem and for sure he wouldn’t have had any truck with this Green nonsense.’

‘Hitler was a vegetarian.’

Yorkie smirked. ‘I knew there was something not quite right. A good beef-steak now and again would have sorted him out good. I tell you, veggies and vegans, all crackers.’ He sneered at Chris. ‘I suppose next thing you’ll be buying an electric car?’

I couldn’t afford one, but I would if I could. We’ve only got one planet, we’ve got to look after it.’

‘One planet,’ Yorkie shook his head. ‘You’re talking rubbish. There’s millions of them out there. Where do you think these, er, what did you call them Steve?’


‘That’s it. I’ll tell you where they come from. They’re aliens. Come in on the U.F.O.s ages ago. They are the ones running the show.’ Yorkie’s voice rose an octave in excitement. ‘I tell you, all the great people believed in aliens and the like. Hitler, Trump and that Russian bloke, all believers, all visionaries.’ He glared at Chris. ‘You lot think you’re clever but you’re not. No idea what’s really going on. No idea at all.’

Chris sighed deeply. ‘I suppose you’ll be telling us next that the Earth is flat?’

Yorkie stared at her in amazement. ‘Are you stupid or what? Of course the bloody Earth is flat. If it wasn’t we’d all fall off and float away.’

Poetry – Dear Mr Bolsonaro

Dear Mr Bolsonaro

Dear Mr Bolsonaro, please take a minute

In between chopping down trees

And bringing all those with contrary views

To their knees

To listen to the birds, the animals

And the pleas;

The people who care about nature

And the purity of the breeze

Who feel the need for oxygen

And life within our seas.

Please Mr Bolsonaro, please.

Opher 8.1.2019

Trump Mark 2 – the scourge of the Amazon. Another black and white populist who wants to rule with the gun, cares not a jot for the environment or sensibilities and is only concerned with himself, getting elected and the fanatical support of his base.

He talks of clearing rainforest, putting a motorway through the wilderness, opening up logging and mining. It’s only ever about money.

Mr Bolsonaro – there’s more to life than money!

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 – Greta’s Lament

Greta’s Lament

World leaders are letting us down.

The Green Deal is not enough.

So many loopholes.

The world is run by a bunch of clowns.

In search of the dollar;

Swirling down a wormhole.

A safe future for all our children

Within this existential threat.

No luxury of time.

The world on the run at the end of a gun.

No thought for tomorrow.

To ignore it is a crime.

We don’t have the decades;

Just ten years to get this right.

Giving up is not an option

Our future lies in the trades

As we balance the wind against money.

The future should not be an auction.

Connect the dots – we decide what to do.

To buy more and more stuff

Or save the planet.

A beautiful green ball with oceans blue

Or a barren rock;

A stagnant ball of granite.

If it were easy it wouldn’t be a crisis!

Listen to the science!

Act. Before it’s too late.

You all know what the price is.

Words are not enough.

Inaction seals our fate.


Watching Greta on TV, full of idealism and determination. A frail girl who is using everything she has to highlight what we all know to be the case. The world is warming. The animals are dying off.

We are the cause. Eight billion of us consuming. Eight billion of us destroying habitat. Eight billion of us wanting more. Eight billion of us not taking enough care.

I have to question our priorities.

In this poem I used Greta’s own words for the first verse and answered them with a second verse. I repeated that throughout.

Poetry – An Invisible Machine

An Invisible Machine

There is an invisible machine

Relentlessly churning around the world.

Into its maw goes forests, lakes

And whole oceans.

Out of its rear

It excretes plastic trinkets

And control.

Its gears drip with blood and sap.

Sitting astride this behemoth,

This slow-motion holocaust,

The gleeful sneering drivers spray champagne down upon us.

In its wake the controlled

Buy trinkets and are distracted

By the addictive effluent

As they desperately strive to climb on board.

Their dream

Is that they too might live to spray champagne.

When its job is done

And all the wonders have been transformed to junk

It will consume itself.

Opher 18.9.2016

An Invisible Machine

I wrote this poem on the way back from a Roy Harper gig in Scotland. We discussed the environmental damage being wreaked upon the world by the selfish, greedy minority who control the capitalist machine that is destroying the planet.

Five billion people live in poverty and despair while a few hundred thousand squander everything in a senseless orgy of extravagance.

The forests, lakes and seas are being consumed. The chimps, elephants and rhinos machine-gunned.

I suggested Roy wrote an epic song on this subject. He told me that he was writing one about what goes on in people’s minds. That is where the madness is conceived!

As we are distracted with booze, sex and TV, religion, psuedodemocracy and talent shows, tribute bands, muzac  and nostalgia, fashion, glamour and celebrity, the real world is being ripped apart before our very eyes!!!