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Friday, 25 November 2011

Paradise Lost Bit by Bit

Paradise Lost is proposed by Poetry Jam as this week's prompt. Several interpretations are suggested, but it occurred to me that we are re-running the Biblical fall of man in slow motion, over however many generations - and what would Milton have made of it were he alive today?

Lush hedgerows, green and bright with berries,
dry stone walls, a sweep of corn,
its ragged edge against the purple hills - all
lost to view behind the mighty coffee hoardings.

A mile of yellow sands, a line of foam,
a chalk-white cliff is nature's solar panelling -
all lost to New Developments.

Bare rock emerging from its heather cloak,
the purple tints nuanced against
the rust hues of its seams -
lost now to yellow paint graffiti - the signatures
of local gangs that roam these days.
(Navajo Indians did the same, but they
with meanings that the tribe found spiritual.)

A delicate environment for adders,
butterflies, sand lizards, voles and moths
is lost to soil erosion from its over-use.
Walkers, quad- and motor-bikes take heavy tolls.

Prime stretch of river lined with rushes and wild life.
Small pools with eddies. Willows. Rocks.
All lost to rusting hulks -
old ships, parked up to sit the down-turn out.

On Arctic wastes the polar bears lose out
to toxic chemicals washed off our lands -
that's yours and mine -
and carried north by currents in the air and seas.

A once-pure food chain tainted now with mercury.
(Used recently to make insecticides.)
The concentrations build
each level sullied more than that below,
and at the top the prize for most contaminated
goes to the food we eat. (That's you and I.)

18 comments:

Helen said...

Dave ... a serious and relevant topic, captured beautifully ~ if only reading your words could make it all better. We are losing our paradise.

Mary said...

I like it, Dave. You definitely have captured Milton's theme well!

Brian Miller said...

well now that makes me feel great about what i ate yesterday...it is a sad shame what we have done to our world...even animals know not to poop their nest

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Dave,

The image of a green and pleasant land, now remains within history books it seems.
No longer 'in vogue,' with the world of today.

And to think that I was worried that the film 'Soylent Green' was too bizarre, to ever become reality!!!

Best wishes, Eileen

Christine said...

It just seems like the planet is spiraling out of control towards destruction, then I see how passionate my son is about the environment and I see hope

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes indeed Dave - I think we are well into Paradise Lost - but maybe that view is because I am getting old.

anthonynorth said...

Yep, we're certainly losing it, on all fronts. excellent write.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Paradise is indeed lost, Dave. Great poem.

Theodore Daniel Richards said...

there was once a true horse player, he went to get his ticket, heart attack, dead before he hit the floor, angel comes sez i'm from heaven, where you wanna go?, man sez to a racetrack, angel takes him, man wins every race, man thinks this must be heaven, next day the same, man gets bored and sez to angel, geez never thought heaven would be like this, angel sez, who said it's heaven

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

"Each level sullied more than that below". How terribly true!

Windsmoke. said...

I reckon that man is his own worst enemy and will bring about his own destruction by destroying this planet of paradise :-).

myheartslovesongs said...

i love your concept of Paradise lost bit by bit! all too sad and all too true! well written!

thank you for participating.
♥ dani

Cloudia said...

how do we carry on in such circumstances?

consolations to aging. . .


Aloha from Honolulu

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haricot said...

What made God rage? A snake or we human beings? How we can return forwards Paradise we once lost and going on loosing?

Dave King said...

Helen
Yes, sad, as they say: poetry achieves nothing.

Mary
That is a great compliment. Thanks.

Brian
Major point. Thank you. We still don't really see the whole globe as our nest, I think.

Eileen
Thanks for this. I do know exactly what you mean. So much that was bizarre is now old hat - as soon the globe might be if we don't get a grip.

Christine
The one aspect that does give hope, I think, has to do with thetruly amazing things that science is now coming up with. I juust hope that the politicians don't find unsavoury uses to put them to. (Two final prepositions - apologies!)

The Weaver of Grass
I'm not sure that it is, though I understand where the source from which it comes. A recent survey seemed to show that it's the younger generation that is not concerned about the planet and it's future. Not sure if it was apathy or confidence!

Dave King said...

anthonynorth
Thank you.

Rachna
Thanks a lot.

Theodore
Can't trust anyone, can you? Thanks.

Tommaso
Obviousreally, but I hadn't realised it until I read it a few days ago.

Windsmoke
It must be a real possibility.

myheartslovesongs
Thank you. It was an interesting experience.

Cloudia
I guess you have to uncover a morsel of hope from somewhere.

haricot
Interesting to speculate, but we surely can't blame the serpent!

Peggy said...

You did a good job of interpreting Milton in a more contemporary hue. So sad what is happening to our world (and I think some ancient Mayan probably had the same sadness.)

Dave King said...

Peggy
A warm welcome to you. Thank you for your comment. I do so agree.