A Paradise Forsaken

Updated on November 6, 2019
Lora Hollings profile image

Lora has been a featured writer in poetry publications. She is currently working on a collection of poems that inspire a love of nature.

Black Raven Crow In Boots by Krahe Rudi Hurzlmeier
Black Raven Crow In Boots by Krahe Rudi Hurzlmeier

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.

-Lora Hollings

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.

Questions & Answers



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      • snakeslane profile image

        Verlie Burroughs 

        5 weeks ago from Canada

        Lora, what a passionate plea! I'm afraid this is how I see it too from my little corner of the planet. Mercy mercy. The Marvin Gay song is perfect. And that forlorn walking Raven/crow. So much sadness!

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        3 months ago

        Thank you, Alyssa, for reading my poem and I'm honored by your wonderful comment. This is the single most important issue that we face today and we must work together in saving our ecosystems and consequently, our planet. If we continue to ignore this growing crisis and don't make some big changes, eventually all species will face extinction including us! Bless you.

      • Alyssa Nichol profile image


        3 months ago from Ohio

        This is such an important issue and your beautiful poem gives a clear picture of what's going on. The last stanza is my favorite. I whole-heartedly agree with you and I think we can all do our part to make a difference.

      • Luis G Asuncion profile image

        Luis G Asuncion 

        4 months ago from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines

        Nice poem.

        Actually, I am against of those people who cut trees that has an effect of disaster. Philippines is one of the countries with lots of trees, however due to some corrupt officials and businessman, trees as fast lightning disappearing.

        There is a law here, for every tree you will cut, you have to replace to 100 trees. So, it means, if you cut 5 trees, there should be an additional 500 trees.

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        4 months ago

        Thank you for reading my article and your comment is certainly appreciated. We are losing species every day due to our total disregard of our environment, our wasteful ways, and not showing any foresight of the future, a bleak one if we don't take urgent action now to change the outcome.

      • PAINTDRIPS profile image

        Denise McGill 

        4 months ago from Fresno CA

        Well said. We have lost too many species already.



      • Cattaleya profile image

        Tiyasha Maitra 

        4 months ago from Gurgaon

        Such wise words from genius minds. And such an honest look towards stark realities. To close our eyes is to invite the doom.

        Thanks for the quotes Lora. I am going to come back and read them every other day.

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        4 months ago

        Thanks for reading my poem, Cattaleya, and for your gracious comment. We can't continue to ignore what is going on around us if we want to save our earth and much of its beauty before it is gone forever.

        "If the bees disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” Albert Einstein

        “The single biggest threat to our planet is the destruction of habitat and along the way loss of precious wildlife. We need to reach a balance where people, habitat, and wildlife can co-exist – if we don’t everyone loses … one day.” —Steve Irwin

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        4 months ago

        Thank you Devika for reading my poem and your comment is greatly appreciated. The balance of nature is being destroyed every day through mankind's destructive actions. It won't just be other species that pay with their lives for our shortsighted actions but our species too!

      • Cattaleya profile image

        Tiyasha Maitra 

        4 months ago from Gurgaon

        Sorry, typo. Meant to say buck up.

      • Cattaleya profile image

        Tiyasha Maitra 

        4 months ago from Gurgaon

        Brilliant portrayal of one of the major concerns today. Mankind better buck or else doom is inevitable. I loved your use of words and the last two lines are perfect.

      • profile image

        Devika Primic 

        4 months ago

        Nature been destroyed and the life on earth is slowly dying from the bad one has caused. Your poem explains everything in such great words.

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        4 months ago

        Thank you, Ms. Dora, for your visit and I appreciate your comment. I'm complimented that you found my poem touching and an urgent plea to take the present state of our planet very seriously! We should all be stewards of the earth and all of its beauty as we have been given the task to be its caretakers by our Creator. We see a reflection of Him in all of the magnificent creatures of the earth and in all of its varied landscapes and seas.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        4 months ago from The Caribbean

        Very touching. You captured our severe loss vary ably and we are encouraged to be intentional about restoring our Paradise. Excellent work!

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        5 months ago

        Thank you Jason for reading my article and leaving your insightful comment. Fracking has very harmful consequences as it can lead to mini earthquakes and leak gas through water faucets in people's homes causing terminal illnesses such as cancer.

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        5 months ago

        I agree with you, Mary, that we all need to do something to help reduce our carbon footprint. Changes that we can make on an individual level can really help. Changing our lifestyles to consume and waste less, recycle more and live on a simpler scale. Also eating more of a plant-based diet can really make a difference since animal agriculture consumes so much energy and contributes significantly to global warming. I'm honored that you liked my poem and thanks for reading my article!

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        5 months ago

        Thanks Pamela for reading my article and your comment is greatly appreciated. Killing endangered animals for their skins, ivory, trophies or for any reason should be illegal in all countries! We are losing these animals at astonishing rates and I'm afraid that most of them are headed for extinction as a result of poaching, hunting, human expansion into their habitat, and climate change. We must do everything in our power to protect what is left of these majestic animals! I can't imagine a world without elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, giraffes and all the other awesome wildlife that we are so fortunate to have!

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        5 months ago

        Thanks Lorna for your wonderful comment. We don’t have much time left to take drastic action to change things around. I’m afraid that we’re like the Titanic headed for disaster with a captain who is so oblivious to the dangers we face. Is it acceptable to do nothing when we know through our scientists and with the big changes that are going on with our weather just to continue to ignore it? And see so many of our beautiful forests leveled, our rivers and streams polluted by coal and chemicals. The huge changes in our landscapes that are causing increased fires, more severe storms and so many people now losing their homes and lives due to these global changes in our climate. I think most of us want immediate action taken to change our course and save our home. We not only owe it to our beautiful planet to act now but to our children and future generations.

      • Nicoartz profile image

        Jason Nicolosi 

        5 months ago from AZ

        We definitely take this amazing planet for granted. All the fracking that is going on to extract oil or gas, is a huge issue. It create enormous damage to the planet. The pollution that is being spewed from our "technology" is killings us and the Earth. Its greed that has brough the planet to these disastrous conditions.

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        5 months ago

        Thank you, Flourish, for reading and commenting on my article. I'm deeply concerned about what we're doing to our environment and as a consequence all living organisms. We have polluted and contaminated our essential resources, and it is becoming more apparent every day that it is effecting our health, our children's health and the quality of our lives.

      • Lora Hollings profile imageAUTHOR

        Lora Hollings 

        5 months ago

        Thank you Iqra for dropping by and your gracious comment. We cannot continue to ignore the single most important factor in continuing life as we've known it for hundreds of years and where we can continue to function knowing that we will have the necessary resources we need to live if we don't adequately address this increasing threat to the survival of so many species including our own.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        5 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Lora, I love your poetry. It is sad that we have come to this but in our own little way, we can try to do something.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        5 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I really like your poem Lora. One thing that really bothers me is the killing of elephants to get their ivory. It is illegal, yet it happens and is openly displayed in China. I was happy when I learned that eagles were not longer on the endangered species. It is sad when anything living becomes extinct. This is a good article that gives us a bit of history in addition to your poem.

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        5 months ago

        I felt such a sense of loss when I read you heart wrenching poem Lora. Sadly this beautiful planet which we have all taken for granted for too long may no longer be ours.

        Climate change is happening and the time to take our heads out of the sand and do something is fast running out. The weather is usually a good predictor of change, and it also seems to me that Mother Nature is fighting back. We will not win this fight.

        Eco systems are dying, our rainforests are disappearing along with insects, plants and animals. There is a small window of time for the governments of this world to implement change. I cannot even contemplate the alternative. Thank you for drawing awareness to the plight of our planet Lora with a powerful poem full of truth and a warning.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        5 months ago from USA

        This reflects the same concerns that I have about where we are headed. You expressed it all gracefully.

      • Iqra431 profile image


        5 months ago from Pakistan

        a reminder to take care of our mother earth..Your poem illustrates how life on our planet will end with the destruction.. It is possible that all that would be left would be a wasteland....

        a most excellent write...

        thanks for sharing...


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