UKArchive ID: 35660prospero
Originally published on October 23, 2015 in Poetry
Dedicated to all our grandchildren born to live on this wonderful planet at such an apocalyptic time in human history. To appreciate the full horror of what is to come read Naomi Kline’s book ‘This Changes Every thing’ or else call me Cassandra and stick your head back in the nice warm sand:-(
I sing a song of lamentation,
A song for the Earth
And for the human race
And for the long slow progress of evolution.
I sing of tears to come
Of wailings in the night
And innocent children made to lie down
In the darkness
Among the straw beds of misery.
I sing of the greatest loss ever known -
If it should be that any will remain
To remember this loss that is yet to come.
How could it get to this, that such a gift is thrown away.
Such a great gift and so hardly earned,
So dearly bought and so many years in the making.
How can this come to be?
And yet it will be
And still they stand and deny what is all about them.
Can it be that lemmings know what
These Homo Sapiens,
These so-called `wise men'
Have yet to learn?
Myths of mass suicide
Surround the little rodents,
But in fact
They have the sense
When disaster stares them in the face
To do whatever can be done
To avoid the coming doom.
Though many perish on the way
Migrating lemmings hold to their purpose
By the only means they know -
Short lemming legs -
A way to save their rodent race.
Would that man had such courage and such sense
To face what must be done
And simply do it;
To pay the price that must be paid,
To act together and to share the pain
Even if some individuals must
Must make a sacrifice
Greater than the rest.
Now it seems the paragon of animals
Is less than the lowliest of mammals.
How can it be that the maker of myths
Should chose voluntarily to live out the myths of others?
How can the seeing be led by the blind?
But of course, greed blinds as wealth grows.
This paradox -
That the greediest are the wealthiest -
Is a deadly truth.
Inert gold is poison to men's souls,
Now it will murder a whole world.
I cry to Great Gaia,
Come to our aid,
Exert your force,
Practice those arts
That in former times
Transformed so perfectly
This small planet
From a terrifying Hell into a beautiful Eden.
Oh, such prayers are bootless!
Gaia and Demeter and Prometheus
Are consulting with the Fates.
Don't we know yet how
Useless to appeal to the three Moirae?
Clotho, the spinner,
Has spun the thread of human life;
Lachesis, the measurer,
Has marked out our span;
And most powerful,
Most impervious of all
She who will not turn,
Standing ready now
With her great shears in one hand
And in the other
Six billion threads of life,
Ripened for harvest.
Oh I send pointless pleas into the wind;
Shed useless tears into the rain;
Who stands here with me?
Is it not beautiful this tiny planet?
A blue and white jewel
In the blackness of space.
Hard not to think that some Great God
Set it there for great purpose
And stood back to admire his work.
So, there are foolish gods it seems,
Or else no gods -
And only even more foolish men
Unwilling to learn the skills required
For the care and maintenance of a small planet.
Would that governments had subsidised evening courses in this art -
A better use of money than
All those classes
To keep keep cars on the road to the destruction of the planet -
No! Let us be precise -
The road leads to the destruction of the planet as a suitable place for humanity to live.
We should do the decent thing, sacrifice ourselves to Gaia
Before Gaia sacrifices us to Poseidon,
Leave our place in the sun
And let the rodents have another chance.
Dinosaurs had their day,
Men have had their moment,
Let the lemmings live with our leavings.
For all we know there were once
That briefly ruled the Saurian age.
Two hundred thousand years is a small blip
In geological time and,
For creatures of the land, not much time to
Create a fossil record.
Look how hard we have had to search
To find scant evidence of our own history.
Dinosaurs had world enough and time
To develop their own brains.
Evolutionary forces operated the same way in the Cretaceous as in the Quaternary;
Intelligence, tool making, communication and language
Would have given them the same power to rule the world as
Foolish Overgrown Apes.
Didn't Tyranosaurous Rex have hands?
So, are we no better than an extinct class of vertebrata?
Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Gaia.
Gaia, hear my voice!
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplications.
If You, Gaia, should mark our iniquities,
O Gaia, who could stand?
There is no forgiveness with You,
That You may be feared.
We wait for You Great Gaia,
The soul of humanity does wait,
But there are no words and no hope.
Our soul waits for Great Gaia
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
O Earth, hope in Great Gaia;
For with the Gaia there is loving kindness,
Even if She must be cruel to be kind!
And with her is abundant redemption.
And She will redeem the Earth
From all man's iniquities.
The judgement of Gaia is just.
They that destroy shall be destroyed
That the Earth may rise again from the dead.
That Life may live
And the World, once again,
Come to rights.
Let us pray.
All Glory be unto thee Great Gaia!
Do unto us according to Thy will.
Archived comments for I Sing a Song of Lamentation
stormwolf on 24-10-2015
I Sing a Song of Lamentation
You sure are lamenting but I understand why alright. It's overly long as befits the style and the frequent refs to mythology could be off putting to some.
A real 'humanist' poem.
Well it is a very important topic that needs long consideration I think. As for the myths some of them were Christian :-
Catholic Prayer: Out of the Depths - De Profundis
Psalm 129 Prayer:
Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord;
Gaia is not only the Greek God of the Earth but also the name of James Lovelocks serious scientific theory that the Biosphere is essentially a single organism that controls its environment to ensure its survival just as mammalian bodies do by controlling their internal temperature.