11 August 2010


I am afraid 
Enlightened people, 
will opt out of childbirth 
knowing Earth 
won’t sustain 
growing populations.

I am afraid
welfare doles will continue to grow
teaching children 
to rely on a system
       to hate a system
            to believe a system owes them.
I am afraid
that rather than relying on themselves
       to contribute to society, 
          they will expect society 
                to contribute to them.

I am afraid
education lacks importance 
to illiterate masses
taught to hate the hand that feeds them.

I am afraid
that Muslims will breed more Muslims
Christians will breed more Christians
Mormons will breed more Mormons
Jews will breed more Jews
Athiests will breed more Atheists
Welfare moms will breed more Welfare moms
          and the walls 
                   won’t tumble down.

     One against another people break turtle’s shell.

I am afraid 
that our mother grows weary.
Without her, we are nothing. 
Without her, we are nothing. 
Without her, we are nothing. 

I am afraid.
We are killing our mother.  
We drain her oily hollows.
We are too many ravenous mouths.
We vomit her contents in greed.  
We are parasites We.  

Smell the sulfur 
rising from her inner thighs.  
Watch her wither slowly 
beneath deep polluted skies. 
I am afraid.

If you love our mother,
speak out.
Be a warrior.
Change the world.
Taint the milk supply.
Sterilize the masses.

Turtles need clean water to
strengthen mother’s shell.

I am afraid.
Humanity puts itself before everything else.
Where does that leave our mother?  

Shout out to Mallery at We Write Poems for the prompt:
For this prompt let’s define the topic to be a list of “things you’re afraid of”, or alternately, “things you’d never do”.


Doctor FTSE said...

I think you are right to be afraid. Can you really see the Asian nations, the USA and Europe giving up their ways of life in the interests of a planetary future more than 48 hours away? Building wind turbines and "doing X" where X is any of the claptrap talked about "energy conservation" and "reducing our carbon footprint" is a bit like rearranging the deck-chairs on the Titanic. I hope your poem reaches a wide audience . . and MAKES THEM THINK!

Dina Spice said...

These are my fears for my children. What is being left to them? And of that, what can I even begin to imagine for my someday grandchildren.

Here's hoping there are enough of those who care, to step outside their small worlds and see the bigger picture - contribute to the bigger picture, teach their children that there is more than what they are living now, and strive to make some sort of change.

I hope I'm doing that for my kids....I feel like I am most days, as it's uphill and I'm struggling, so that says something, right?

You've got me circling around in my head over here, Brenda. Tearing up for "our mother" and the abuse done to her.

Thank you.

- Dina

JRM said...

Well put, and a clever way to express a concern had by many.

flaubert said...

Brenda this is a real concern for me and the enlightened few!
Well put!

Diane T said...

Brenda, this is a brilliant poem!

Linda said...

So much to think about —
just this morning the front page of a national newspaper ran two stories: 1. the thousands of people who have died in China 2. new machines to make ice coffee
Then there was a story about cooking camp for children—12 days cost over four thousand dollars.
Your words resound.

Elizabeth said...

I'm with Doctor FTSE and hope your poem reaches an everwidening audience. You humble me. This is beautiful, and resonates with deep anguish and longing. Incredible piece of writing. And thank you for leaving a comment. I do respect nature, but also respect you.


Mary said...

Brenda, this is a serious and brave poem that deserves a wide audience.

Ron. said...

I'm fond of asserting: People are idiots, but, sadly, as you point, out there's more than mere foolishness or idiocy involved; there's ego, greed, and complacency, just to name a few.

And you have named them beautifully here. Salute, poet.

Paul Oakley said...

A very moving list of fears of the real effects of humanity - on themselves, on each other, on the systems of support and safety, on the earth and her creatures! Humanity as a parasite sucking the life out of the earth. A powerful image! Especially the stanza that begins "We are killing our mother."

irene said...

Oh wow, a poem that speaks out for Mother earth. Not enough said by the rest of us. You've done a laudable piece of work Brenda.

brenda w said...

Thank you all for your comments, and thoughtful responses to this piece. It makes me feel good to have it so well-received.


Anonymous said...

Powerful poem of fears many do not wish to express, fear of our cocooning, greed, speaking out without change. Love the repetition and the flow of lines. Also love reference to delicacy of turtles shell, the mythology resurrected (for me). Thank you for poem sharing.

jinksy said...

It's not the world we need to change- it's the people and their perception of it...

gautami tripathy said...

Genuine fears that need to be addressed..

tumbled thoughts in a silver tumbler

Derrick said...

These are powerful fears, Brenda and well stated. I particularly like the first half when the walls remain secure. One can only hope that these fears can be overcome.