The Earth in Eight Verses


"This is your garden," God told Man,
"To cultivate."  (Was that Voltaire?)
Man looked and said, "In my opinion
it is good, this, my dominion."

But Paradise soon lost its charm
as Man grew restless and ambitious.
Striking out, exploratory,
he sought ever greater glory.

And it was also good as he
plumbed sea, tamed forest, so he thought
they partook of Infinity
and having been, must always be.

His cities grew and towers rose.
Man was fruitful, multiplied.
He said, "In order to stay Master,
I must build more, higher, faster."

The prophets railed, those wild-eyed fools,
"What about the Pygmy Owl?
Arroyo Toad?  Bluecrested tit?"
Man shrugged, said, "Never heard of it.

Eat, drink, be merry.  Seize the day
for it is yours.  The time is Now.
Can't you see the only thing
that matters is that I am king?"

While far away, beneath the seas
the fish were gone.  In desert, wood,
without a sound, a word or tear
ten thousand species died each year.

The earth grew warm and oceans rose.
Birds and plants died off til as
in tales of Midas told of yore
there was no kingdom anymore.


Jenna Orkin

WTC Environmental Organization