Might I suggest that this planet
is a single organism.
Trees and all manner of green things
are its organs, and we are its limbs, broken
over time by a parasitic aspect which seeped
through our skin, expanding
with each generation.
No doubt, so called lesser creatures
each have their place. Most step lightly, while
we complex beings employ our grasping brains to crack
and defile the soil, even as it feeds us; to destroy
the organs that supply the air we breathe;
to hate and kill our sibling limbs.
we torture our own bodies,
absorbing all manner of toxins
to satisfy our appetites and greed,
forever finding new ways to endanger
our health and this abundant earth’s
We misread our purpose,
and even when we discern a glimmer
of sense, we appear hard-wired
to continue the cycle.
Hampered by weakness, I try
to live a better way, often failing,
always knowing my insignificance in the scheme.
Yet if I die having admitted into my heart
genuine love and compassion
toward all members of each race and every creed,
no matter how our views might disagree,
my life will have been worthwhile.
Having ceased to be a parasite,
perhaps I’ll be satisfied.
What would be your answer to the question in exercise 18 of Calen’s Sandbox Writing Challenge?
If you could foresee one accomplishment in your future, what would you like it to be?
©Jane Paterson Basil