When treeless mud slides into the sea,
Wiser Timber Industry rulers will be
Retired to shady acres in the sun,
Their executors battling to keep what they have won.
Call it ‘Third World Madness’, this
Clearing the land that will kill you.
We are dusted with dioxin. Call us stupid.
Yes, we are that, too.
After much rain, there are they, everywhere,
on walkways and in gutters; anywhere wet and firm.
Say it poetically.
Like tourists from the desert they come,
and drown in the grimy concourses of the coast.
Why are these great survivors of Earth’s longevity so
fatally attraction to waves and water on hard beaches?
They perish like those who celebrate their inadequacy,
wasting themselves, who need not and should not die, surely.
Your subject is Worms?
These worms’ deeds have the evolutionary value of war:
the slaughter of our fittest, fearless, and most fearsome young.
This is too didactic.
This is the truth: ‘There but for the grace of God go I’.
Are we so totally the product of circumstance and situation
This is still prose. We want Poetry!
Instinct calls them forth, so boldly they go, and blindly;
the young and old, short and long,
lithe, lively muscle, to explode in sogginess.
Nothing eats them this side of the sea; they are totally wasted.
When, later, they lie shriveled in the sun,
still nothing avails itself of them.
The object is to comment on the human experience;
certainly not to discuss the fate of worms.
No drugs. No visions of futility. No lure of stupidity.
No religion. No hope. Life’s late abortion.
I lament the witless mass suicide of worms, for
worms made and maintain the habitability of this world.
These are not the self-appointed dregs of our cities and arable lands,
who sally forth to no good end, and to no good purpose.
No voice. No vote. No violence.
Not bursting for drugs, nor broken by drugs.
Anywhere could be home, yet here they are
on the footpaths, in the gutters, down the drains, and
away through the sewers,
wasting themselves, and thoroughly wasted.
© Bridh Hancock, 16 10 07
Tasmanian Times Poetry Editor.
Tasmanian poets or those with a Tasmanian link are invited to send up to 5 poems which have not appeared previously in print or electronic media to:
For the complete collection, click here: Poetry, Peter Macrow