The earth is dying. Hope is eroding, at best. Faith
is sustainable and will persist as long as the last

glacier resists the ice-melt. God was our Plan B.
For when it all became too much. Or we were the

cosmic Plan B. For when it all seemed too little.
All that is broken now, with the wild weather,

with the disappearing creatures, with the
invading seas. We reneged on our deal with

the planet. Defaulted on Plan B. A hungry bird
swoops low towards a pair of yellow-eyed fish.

Changes its mind and settles on a thirsty branch.
Eating the last two fish cannot be the answer. A

strange fox watches from the shadows. Cursing
the wasteland, he waits for the bird to drop.


17 thoughts on “Default

  1. Lesson for the universe: Be proud of Plan A and stick with too little. Excess of brain function results in this nightmare, all the more horrid for the abundance of life it destroys. We live now in this certainty, and learn to write of our grief in coal-powered luminance. This poem unscrolls calmly onto this terrible shore we now inhabit, each line measuring what it means to live in awfulness.


  2. Despair is very likely the most realistic state – and yet, I feel we must all keep doing whatever little we can, just in case. Meanwhile, I can enjoy living in the moment, savouring what beauties life still offers. (But then, I am old. It might be much harder for the young to do that wholeheartedly.)


    1. Thanks for pointing me to that poem, Peter. It gave me goosebumps… not just because I imagined a similar wasteland (though I wish I could articulate it as well as he did) but his poem was a few decades ago and we’re still in that same place.. waiting for dystopia without fixing the problem…Oh dear!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This poem reflects my personal struggle, contemplating my existence on Planet Earth. I cannot refute the forces of destruction that humanity has unleashed but my soul still clings to the joy of being that stirs when a hummingbird flits in front of my face. I struggle to focus on this joy, not to sink into helpless despair. I find the simple act of listening to and creating the poetry of words helps keep me from drowning, inspires me with the truth that others are also intent on creating beauty in their lives. Plan A? Plan B? What is Plan me? I was given the gift of life, what do I choose to do with it?


  4. We defaulted on doing our part, for sure. It is a dismal thing, to face how awry the planet is. In 100 years, we managed to ruin it all.


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