Friday, August 7, 2009

Last Chance

"We're all going to die: we've taken too long to come up with the answer, and like the dinosaurs, we will all die."
Those are the words I uttered to my littlest sister Bella*, as we sat in the library, writing in our respective notebooks.
"What? When?!" Was her response.
"I don't know, but soon. There's no way a species that's made such a mess of things will survive," I responded.
"How do you know?" She challenged.
"We can't breath our air, we're fighting wars over the most basic human necessity; water. We're cutting down trees like there's no tomorrow, and every single species on earth is in decline. I'd give us to about year 3000." I said, choosing the year partially to insult the Jonas Brother's song I'd had to endure for the past 2 years, and partially because I honestly believed it would all be over by then.
"Well, I'll be dead by then," She responded, face full of smug satisfaction at having retorted to her big sisters 'the end is nigh' proclamations.
"Yeah, and so will everyone else." I growled, my volume earing glares from the nearest librarians.
Bella rolled her eyes and returned to her diary.

That was the end of the discussion.
But not the end of the reality.
Will we die? Maybe, maybe not.
Perhaps we'll survive, but what is survival? Take away our clothing, our homes, our inventions-modern necessities-and what do you have left? Without the things that we have created, what are we but animals, not as powerful as we had once assumed, naked in the big world. Could we ever start from scratch, with so few resources left to exploit?
Perhaps we will all die. Scientists constantly talk about the tipping point, giving us long term solutions. But maybe we've already reached that point. We plan to cut our carbon emissions by half by 2050? We're burning fossil fuels so fast, we won't have anything left to use half of in 41 years!
Everything's a mess, and we're not stepping up to prevent it.

Everything's a mess; but just because we don't think we can survive, doesn't mean we can't try to.
This isn't an excuse to say "It's hopeless anyway. Why does it matter whether I drive across the road to get gum from the convenience store?" This is a chance to fight.
It's too late to screw in your energy saving lightbulbs and shower heads. It's too late for you to feel warm and fuzzy just because you went to church for an environmental workshop. Stop driving, turn of your air conditioner, and stand up on your own two feet. This is our last chance: don't waste it.

(As usual, names are not used. Perhaps my post sounds outrageous? It's not.
My family hasn't had a car since I was 2. We use ceiling fans, instead of central airconditioning, and we walk, bike, canoe or bus nearly everywhere. Maybe where you live, this isn't an option, but at the very least, you can carpool. Please, just try: we really are on our last chance.)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

You Will Never Have It

I wrote this poem some time ago, and have never gone anywhere far with it. I've definitely written better, but anything by me in the way of poetry actually worth reading has already been published, meaning I can't post said work here.
Well, enough of my bitter complaints: without further ado, the poem.

You see a flower

You want it

You want it's beauty

You want it for your own

You want to be beautiful

You pluck the flower

Hold its radiance in your cupped hands

Its beauty will fade in death

You can pluck it from the earth

Tear its petals from the steam

But you will never have it

Its beauty is for itself

To share with whom it will

You can kill the flower

But you cannot have it

You will never have it

You can never truly take what isn't yours

When you try to take the light of another

You only turn to darker night

You will bear the flower forever

And will never obtain its beauty

For the flowers beauty is its own light

You will never have it

You see a flower

You want its beauty to shine inside you

But pluck it from the earth

And it will reflect back

Only the ugliness

Of your heart.

Well, that's the poem in its entirety. Thank you for taking time to read it.