I originally wrote this a couple of years ago when I first heard of abrupt climate change and the idea of exponential growth of climate disruption with numerous feedback loops versus simple linear climate change only influenced by co2. Everyone by now is noticing the effects with severe weather, fires, etc. When scientifically conservative organizations like the IPCC are raising alarming warnings things are escalating quickly. I decided to try and get this published and dissident voice a progressive news outlet was kind enough to publish it.
Work in the Time of Abrupt Climate Change
Ants scenting a line across your stoop
commuting back and forth from home to foraging.
Commuters stop and go dreading the dreaded SIG alerts
on the Devil’s own parking lot - the 405 in Los Angeles.
What a system of queens sacrificing drones we must follow,
the wealth of the many in the hands of a few
and by wealth I mean love
between the forces of death and this brilliant creation
of all living things reborn as commodities.
Do you want to be a good commodity someone’s purchased
for your work and your buying
or a bad one whose worth makes more profit
by you sitting in a jail cell rehabilitated
by making stuff for Nike at 10 cents an hour…
I lied, it’s not about love or justice but survival
and I really don’t care if the rest of you
all die and go to hell
but I need a living system to live
and maybe one for my daughter just a newborn thing.
Oh, when you wish upon a star…
My parents are not idiots
but they are idiots for what they are told
to believe and believing it
and I am an idiot for lacking the courage
to stop believing in anything
Our greatest achievement
no hope and still fighting the good fight,
saying things could be different, could be better
as everything we ever knew, or thought we knew,
is flooded away, blown by storms, perishes
in fire - no gods, no angels
just our unbelieving giving us wings,
our unbelief raising us up, the last to see
or care as we, the earth and every living thing
winks out in 50, 30, 20, 10 years time
and there is no hope but still fighting the good fight.
Ants scenting a line across a front stoop.
The system of queens sacrificing their drones.
The wealth of the many in the hands of a few.
The forces of death; the creation of all living things as
No gods, no angels,
our unbelief unfurling from our shoulders like wings
and we shall rise, the last to see and mourn
ourselves amongst the death of countless other species
on this once beautiful gaia mother earth
for all things are dying
and no more are being born.
originally published by Dissident Voice
In my poetry group, where I shared this poem, the comments seemed to center around the ideas of belief and the nature of reality until someone finally said “Can't we all just agree we are sitting in this room together?!”
That is the same way I feel about myself and all of creation being regarded by the current system as commodities. It is self-evident. But that is apparently not the case for everyone.
In the current system, the mass of the people “workers” are powerless drones guided by a powerful few – all of whom are trapped together in an illogical belief system where only profit matters. For example, in america we imprison our poor – i.e. surplus labor at incredible rates rather than create good jobs or educate them because it is more profitable for our private prison system to do so (control of citizen dissent simply an added bonus). Likewise, it is illogical to pollute a water system which you depend upon for drinking water unless it is profitable to do so and the decision makers do not live where the poison is dumped.
This system called Capitalism (both private capitalism – america and the “free world” and state capitalism – russia and china) kills and uses to exhaustion the natural systems upon which all life depends. And there is no mechanism within the system to correct itself.
Of course Capitalism may evolve into something else as it once evolved from feudalism but there are no more great land areas to take from indigenous non-capitalist peoples and there is no time as well. The coming destruction from climate change, and possibly abrupt climate change, is already leading us into the next mass extinction event – of which humans as predators on top of the food chain are particularly endangered.
One member of the poetry group, an educated man of faith, wrote in the margins of my poem, “Maybe not idiotic but 'desperate to believe'. We all need to believe in something, perhaps for our own security. Otherwise we can only focus on our own ultimate demise which could happen any time. Then there are idiots that do not believe! Idiots that think we are all dust and nothing more – evolved animals but they procreate anyway”.
I do not totally disagree, but am I an idiot because I am utterly confused by people who do not believe that this world is enough and have to believe in stories about invisible entities to feel better about themselves? And then fail to realize these same stories are also used to placate an afflicted, disgruntled population by their masters, or to create mass support and justify invasion of another's territory?
Yes, it is my belief that humans are dust – albeit star dust. But so is all of creation – we are all made of the same stuff. And although some would argue humans are evolved animals, I would argue humans “are” animals – no different than any other creature. Evolution is not hierarchical. It is the height of hubris and to my mind (considering the peril humanity has placed itself in) heretical to believe we are more than, much less, better than the rest of creation.