mass extinction times abound

species gone and going still

throw another lump

of carbon on the pyre

How to speak for the dead

when we never even noticed their living?

or our own for that matter

How to listen to those we chose not to see?

How to live fully when we do not know

how to die?

Blindly stumbling through the halls

of ‘plenty where that came from’

in the hope that bound us all

to inaction

That shimmering mirage

of a never to be future

That dangled carrot of anywhere but NOW

anything but THIS

We do not keen the loss of these species

do not feel their gone-ness in our bones

Do not sob at the thought of extinction

because if we were capable of such depth

they would not be gone


as are we

who left the web long ago

forgetting who we were

and not even grieving that step away moment

elevating sapiens to some higher ground

Maslow’s pinnacle perhaps

One man’s heaven and all that

In our lostness and without a hint of irony

we created our own world wide web

a intertangle of virtual connection

No more communing around the council fires

Here it is that I pen my inkless words

with a sadness that won’t pass

a stain on my being now

a grief too vast to hold

Over at Earthweal Brendan asks us:

What are the meanings of living in complex and interweaving ecosystem? How are we dependent on it, and what changes when a part of it is lost? For this challenge, weave extinction tales. Make them a manifesto, a myth, a meander or a hymn. Ponder not only the loss of a particular lifeform but intimate web it has become a ghost in.

13 thoughts on “losst

  1. To say it that way — losst – is to hiss an emptiness which echoes through the poem. It’s an accusation which writes the human epitaph. How do we write this grief? What ink is sufficient? All we can do is try. Thanks Paul – Brendan

  2. “A grief too vast to hold.” I feel that, Paul. A beautiful and sad poem of our times. Lovely to read you, so happy you stopped by earthweal.

  3. ‘How to speak for the dead

    when we never even noticed their living?’

    Our blindness and inconsideration baffle me. You have summed up the tragedy of the situation so well.

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