Where do you see yourself in a year?
Still living here -
A tactile skyline atop pillars of smoke
Heavy with guilt
And the craftsmanship of a generation of men
To whom Earth is a rock, immortal
Untouched by the bouts of the smog which ascend
To hold up their forges?
Where that which is green must also be man-made
And an old plant-***
On an old window-sill
Is the closest to what was here before? Is it a facsimile?
Where your throat hurts,
Chemicals an ersatz flowing stream
Of purest water -
And why is rainfall the freshest you can drink?
You haven’t always been here.
Where were you before? Was it green
Or blue, or any other colour
Besides this abiding grey? Perhaps
There were rainbows and colours
And sunlight, unfiltered by smog
Or dust. Warm, purposeful.
Her fragility charmed you.
Because our Earth is not immortal. A wanderer
In space, motherly, who are we to defile her?
A species of smoke and tar turning her soft hues sour
Colours unknown to nature
Like a drop of arsenic in a stream flowing through rocks?
Do you see yourself living
In a fortress, tumultuous to its steel bones
Each day burrowing deeper into her body,
Claiming her for its own, and ruining her at the same time?
So you think about your opportunity.
This life which fills her air, pulsing and vibrant,
To restore the purity we are missing -
Because Human and Nature are as one,
Invention is necessary but we are losing our time,
Virescent leaves brushing in the wind,
Our friends are loving, laughing, living
And we realise now that we are able to do so much better.
Or does none of that matter, somehow?
We make money to spend on plastic.
We are born, we work, we breathe, we die,
But we are still yet to run out of time
So where do you see yourself in a year?
This is a spoken word poem I wrote for the short film, 'Human Nature', produced by Ethan Church. It was a semi-finalist in the Gottlieb Native Garden Green Earth Film Festival in Los Angeles and was also shown in the Arica Nativa Film Festival in Spain. The poem was read by the fantastic Gabriela Vivas, whose talents turned a semi-decent poem into a fabulous display of passion and integrity.
The film is available for free on YouTube for anybody who is interested.
© Lewis Hyden, 2018