Ticking Clock

not one left to bury
no twenty-one gun salute
no flag draped coffin
no grieving kin in black
not even a discordant dirge floating in the
hot summer wind

who would care

who would care for a
tombstone that said:
“martyr in the war between
humans and earth –
bramble cay melomys –
first mammal killed by
human-provoked climate change”

leave a clock there

leave a clock where the
tide can’t reach it, for a while,

the countdown has begun


The bramble cay melomys is reportedly the first mammal to go extinct on account of human-caused climate change events.


For Poets United where the midweek motif is “Biodiversity”

44 thoughts on “Ticking Clock

    1. Yes, unfortunately it needs to be at the forefront of dialogue and action. I’m seeing some countries term it a climate emergency and they are quite right.


  1. The countdown has begun, and too few are waking, especially leadrs who care for profit and reelection more than the survival of all that is. It is hard to fathom. I applaud the leaders who recognize the climate emergency.


  2. Your poem may be the ticking clock–or the possibility of holding back the tide is over. What a spare poem, a dirge, a dagger straight to the point of numbering one, two, three … until the extinct species is we.


    1. We seemed to have reached the brink.. now it will take everything we have to pull back- they say the next decade or less could make the difference. Thanks, Susan.


  3. Ohhhh devastating. While all the war men play their money games, this is the consequence and only the terrible beginning. Thanks for your appropriately hard-hitting poem.


  4. So powerful. One to pass around. Or send as an obituary to the paper. We are at war with ourselves and our fellow species.


  5. This is so devastating! The first in a long line of extinct creatures from our once abundant planet. It is a crying shame.


  6. This speaks to me so urgently. They say a MILLION species will soon go extinct. Yet governments do sweet nothing. They dont realize : we are on the endangered list too. A powerful poem, Rajani.


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