ECO FORUMS

Fathers of the Earth

Posted by Richard Morgan


My descendants rose in the dark of night
With sunken eyes and faces deeply lined
Mouths dry, lips cracking, they proclaimed,
"Great Father, we survive in burning times


On silted lands where technology has failed
We pray with thirst for a gentler sun
To guide us safely on the placid winds
That do not steal our homes and youngest ones


We beg the sky for half-remembered signs
Of ages of content, when we could grow
Our food on stable soil and breathe in sleep
And lay our living masks aside."


"Father", they asked, "why did you not protect
The goodness of the earth we share with you?
Did you not call for values to be weighed
Of elements that keep the planet whole -


The potency of open plains, the innate shield
Of natural diversity, self-pollinating seed
Translucent waters flowing, uncontaminated ground -
Seeing that their loss would cast a heavy price on us?"


And who, they wished to know, should be to blame
For gambling their inheritance, tearing up the roots
Of all our race depended on to grow - and to my face
They quoted honoured sages of our day
Who claim unclear returns for public good
"But who spoke for our interests, and who stood?".


The Children of the Fathers are wandering the night
Sacred flags and portraits hang within their caves of shame
Empire falls to appetite, reason to delirium
Silencing the voices that would speak for those to come.


And still the final hour has not yet chimed,
At every moment possible, although it is so late
For messengers to bring courageous news
Of carbon tax, electric-driven cars


And continental railway tracks in geometric lines
As when this land was conquered first, while those condemned
For arbitrary crimes are freed to plant the trees

>From which the generations will draw sustenance and shade


The news of species born again, majestic pachyderm
And Gulf Stream waters that return to run, lost shores resurfacing,
The vanished snows that gleam again on Kilimanjaro peaks
In skies of our Great Children, who with reproaching smiles


Haunt us through these nights of troubled sleep
With mirrors they hold up towards our eyes
Where we see reflected, when we look in honest mind,
The ruins of the planet that our Fathers leave behind.


Back to Earth Poetry/Prose

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