Lora has been a featured writer in poetry publications. She is currently working on a collection of poems that inspire a love of nature.
How Long Will Life Be Able to Continue?
Through our wasteful habits and the destruction of so much of our rain forests, we are literally killing our planet and causing global warming which is taking a terrible toll on other species. Are we entering the sixth major extinction on Earth? According to a global report issued by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and released on May 6, 2019, one million species are now at risk of extinction — the greatest number in human history! This is due to our actions of destroying ecosystems that not only these animals depend on for their existence but that we depend on for our own survival as well.
If just one of these species becomes extinct, it in turn can cause other species to become extinct in the food chain acting like the domino effect. It doesn't take many species' extinction to seriously impact the balance of nature putting our own species in a precarious situation as well! All life is connected on earth through ecosystems that are vital to all plants, wildlife, insects, and mankind. Our existence depends on intact ecosystems.
The following poem is about the destruction that we have wreaked on our planet and are still continuing today as a result of our leaders shortsightedness and not acting in the best interests of us all. It is up to everyone of us to recognize the seriousness of this situation and to educate ourselves on how we can help our planet- our home! For most of us, the only home that we will ever know but what a beautiful one it is with its incredible diversity, magnificent landscapes, and oceans! Let's change these destructive habits to ones, instead, that can sustain life and change our destiny to a good one.
A Paradise Forsaken
What was once a home to life so diverse
is now muted, dull... inert.
In a world once filled with majesty
Only skeletons remain
in a vast lifeless terrain.
Where once much beauty abound
death has come to reign...
and a palette rich with color
has now faded to gray
as far as the eye can see.
Great mountains reduced to rubble
great forests now ash…
a world filled with concrete,
and streams filled with toxic waste-
a world so utterly. . . bleak.
Oceans over fished...
creatures once alive, float up dead-
a common sight now
in the wake of a toxic brew,
a world blackened by smoke and ash.
Shadows fly overhead
as a plague of death begins to spread
before the last vestige of life
is extinguished from sight.
The forests lie plundered
so much of life defiled
and this garden of eden . . .
now lay wasted and bare.
But they unleashed
a tale of such destruction-
they, the actors in their own prophecy.
In a narrative of unabashed greed foretold
lies a future grim
and one that has been sold.
What is that figure there...
is that something on the horizon-
yet still alive and breathing?
But soon it will be gone.
Will the earth finally take back what is hers
and say enough
to such ungrateful men . . .
were they not the makers of their own destiny?
Nature has been sacrificed
to the worshippers of a synthetic world . . .
for profit and greed.
So this was Eden
at one time a paradise
filled with wonder . . .
replaced by a uniform world of concrete,
neon lights and condos,
and sameness as far as the eye can see.
Marvin Gaye - Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)
Mercy, Mercy Me is from Marvin Gaye's 1971 socially conscious soul classic What's Going On. Just like the album's title track, it was a mournful questioning. Sadly the song is even more poignant that ever.
Jonathan Strickland "Are We Entering the Sixth Major Extinction on Earth?" 6 May 2019. HowStuffWorks.com.