Posted in Climate Change, poetry

Why don’t we stop?

What if we all just stopped again?

The scientists say the birds sung quieter in 2020.
These days here they scream, they screech, they shriek.
Sometimes a cry can be so loud I jump.
I guess they’re trying to make themselves heard
above the din.
The coastal construction.
The pleasure seekers driving here, there and everywhere.
The domestic noise,
the teenager drummer over the back fence
pounding the skins for hours every evening.
Letting off steam I guess, after another day of school.
My daughter works in a high school now.
She says the kids are out control.
They swear, they walk around the classroom any time,
They laugh at the teachers.
The worst kid, the one with major problems,
throws chairs around when he goes off.

But I digress,
it’s all just symptoms you see.
Stressed out kids. Freaked out birds.
Covid cases on the rise.
How about we all just stopped again?

But no, that’s not to be.
We have to save the economy.
Forget the fires burning out of control.
Ignore the droughts and flooding rains.
We must go on, it’s imperative.
If we stopped, we’d have to think.
We’d have to look at the mess we’ve made.

prompt: https://earthweal.com/2022/07/18/earthweal-weekly-challenge-in-the-wake-of-progress/

Author:

I'm an artist and a writer living by the coast in southern Oz.

24 thoughts on “Why don’t we stop?

  1. “If we stopped, we’d have to think. We’d have to look at the mess we’ve made.”
    Yes, without reflection upon the trajectory that mankind treads, the incessant technological progress, and the noise of our discontent, as well as the everyday strife in our own lives, the disharmony will accumulate all the more so. Failure to look within at our own faults, and improve ourselves on an individual basis, also contributes to the perpetuation of societal ills, because looking for scapegoats, and blaming others does not solve the overall problems.

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    1. The drummer is very hard to take some days. I want to move but am tied to obligations here till later in the year. The rental situation is so bad too.

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    2. Also – just letting you know I am having trouble commenting on your blog at present. I got a new computer and the settings are different. I loved your poem for this week’s Earthweal challenge.

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  2. Ai, indeed! We’d have to look: “it’s all just symptoms”! The blend of bird and children noise is compelling. The satire at end is cutting. I hope you read and publish this poem!

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  3. Humanity didn’t will the anthropause, nature commended us to silence. Maybe Life will learn that the only way to defeat rampant human galloping (like that teen drummer over the wall) is to break it. The present moment is sure shredding any notion of mastery.

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    1. Thanks Brendan. That’s an insightful comment. I think nature is currently asking us to stop and take notice of what we’ve done to the planet. The trouble is people are panicking and running round in circles screaming rather than taking notice and acting to change things.

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  4. Oh, you have captured it exactly. The freaked out birds and kids. I can well imagine how scary it must be to be a child in these times – especially when they see so clearly how wrong everything is. And they somehow have to make a future in this mess. Sigh. A really impactful poem. Like the wild critters, the world’s children are being impacted well beyond their ability to cope.

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    1. Thanks Ron. The kids are really in a bad way at present. We need more staff trained in helping kids with emotional trauma and those with atypical neurological conditions.

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  5. Perfectly, and poetically put, Suzanne. You’ve crafted in verse what I’ve felt for so long now, but you say it so much more eloquently than I could. I’m with you with every word.

    P.S. Apologies for not being in the blogsphere much at all in recent months. I’m hardly getting a chance to read or write owing to our big move, which is getting closer all the time now. But I still love your blog and am grateful that someone out there is voicing what so many of us feel so keenly now. Keep up the good work, Suzanne. 🙂

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