Where northern lights chase lengthening nights and caribou roam the plains
Where grizzly bears and snowshoe hares shake off the autumn rains
As trees advance and oilmen dance we lose the permafrost
As greed trumps need and pipelines bleed
Our ties to the land are lost.
I like your poem Hobie. Especially the way each line gets shorter. Profound irony man! 🙂 Great job!
Thanks, Hobie. This poem is.. perfect. I have read it silently and aloud a few times. What great cadence. Nicely done.
I like the interior rhyme (lights/nights, bears/hares, etc).
I dare say our ties to the land are also lost in increments each time a new rule removes an access to the land. We (all humans) are part of the natural world— as integral as any other cog in the great wheel. Every beaver must build its dam.
I am glad that you point this out. We impact the landscape even when we postpone or don’t make any decisions that might leave the land in better shape for those who come after us. We impact it when we believe we are powerless, when we think things are too difficult to change or are incapable of changing, when we put restrictions on the land to protect something, while preventing other things from happening. We impact it when trying to influence one variable in nature while neglecting or ignoring all the other variables to be taken into account. We impact it trying to limit or reverse any future damage, to “save’ endangered species or their critical habitat, the reasons go on ad nauseum, and I am sure that they will continue to do so.
In a nutshell, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. As long as we have been around on the planet we have been impacting our surroundings, that is for sure. There’s plenty of evidence, history and anecdotal observation that just about everyone who has ever lived has changed their surroundings, for better or for worse during their lifetimes, and have left things that were either considered desirable or undesirable to those who come after them.
I wonder what folks will be thinking in a few generations time about the opportunities and the challenges that we have in front of us today. What troubles me is that there is so much overwhelming scientific evidence that we are impacting the planet’s vital functions and services that it provides for free and that we continue to postpone making hard choices that will become even harder and more painful to make the longer we continue to postpone doing so. Einstein I believe said that insanity was repeating the same thing over and over expecting the same results. I wonder where we are on that continuum now as folks look to the last oil reserves, somewhat more easily reachable now given melting polar ice caps, the exploitation of tar sands in mid-latitude Canada (see the most recent issue of National Geographic on that one), and coalbed methane development in Montana versus Wyoming and other places.
Here’s hoping that this blog will continue to be a forum for folks to respectfully, constructively and consciously contemplate our inseparable role in nature, no matter where they stand on a particular issue, and take actions that will leave it in better shape for those who come after us, including all non-human populations. Thanks for weighing in on this, Carol, and I hope you’ll revisit and contribute often!