Tag Archives: environment

Cultivation


Weed
we spit: anarchist
we accuse

Some snap stems, discard seed 
grasp leaves, dig dirt 
until each root 
is forcibly freed, but many 
use herbicide
for ease

"Die, weed, die
we cry with glee. Double dahlias
are what we need. Chemical feed will help
us raise crowds of blowsy blooms
from cultivated seed"

Bees leave
to seek pollen that they
can reach

Along steamy streets
pockets of green tickle pavements
reaching to conceal heaped waste
which feigns
innocent sleep

Beyond greedy shops, magnates' dreams
emigrate to where labour is cheap. Concrete and steel
remain, obsolete. Filth tipped into rivers
fails to biodegrade.

Far from the plastic parade, wide roads
surrender to narrow lanes,
white lines give way to green blades.
Hedgerows parade accord between living species,
yet earth's tilth is tipped to ill-health, trees strain
to clean our mistakes and seasons
struggle to progress

A frayed leaflet
flitting in the wake of a chance breeze
asks

Which Path Will You Take?

©Jane Paterson Basil

Paul’s Words

sun-rays

Can it be our planet breathes?
It breathes through weeds and leaves on trees.
It seems to need to seed and breed
to please the needs of human greed.

So does it bleed through birds and bees
to feed our breed, bloodthirsty thieves!
The worst of fiends, the first to leave
and deemed to scream and curse and bleed.

©Paul David Ward

I’d have been proud to have put my name to this amazing poem, but alas, I don’t have the right, since it was written to my son Paul.

After a separation of almost fourteen months, we are now in contact again. He lives 45 miles away, and we agreed that at this stage in his recovery it would be safest for both of us if we don’t see each other yet – not that the current lock-down rules would allow it – but we text each other every day. He’s had a difficult time, but has grown from it. He managed to get several thoughtful birthday gifts to me in February, and even bought me a tree for Mother’s Day, but by then the restrictions were in place, so I haven’t received it yet. I feel proud of how far he’s come, and hopeful for the future.

Out there (Stream of Conciousness)

Out there.jpg

In the enclosure below, white buses wait for children playing soldiers, intending to defend a country that doesn’t know where it’s going. Behind red brick and jagged wire, Army green shreds of a greedy empire cling, ragged, to their skin. Sergeants scream at lagging lads, as the keen stand to attention, toy guns polished and ready for the killing game, never questioning that they are on the right side. Whatever the cause, they will blunt their bloodied swords and raise the tainted flag of false victory, as the foe breathes his final breath, to find the only peace he will ever know, in death. Yes, they will say they have killed the beast, yet our fear will continue to fester, until we learn to live together.

Along the road, cars drive by, intent on many urgent or indifferent missions, while buses carry harried housewives home with their cache of nutritious food; but I am forgetting – those days have receded into history. The women are working, or fearfully trailing, to the Jobcentre to be sanctioned for something they didn’t understand, wondering how they will buy bread next week, knowing they may have to join what they see as the queue of shame for a free food handout. These days, the buses drag students to and from uncertain lessons in subjects they don’t want to learn, and can’t, because the courses are substandard, except for the fortunate few, who have up-to-date tutors and superior curricula.

Meanwhile, in a city we used to call The Smoke, due to the smog that hung over it, parliament buildings rumble with government people who shoulder the true blame, yet walk without shame. They jumble justice and shuffle the cards; each card bearing the name of an unwilling servant whose choice has been stolen by corrupt officers with too many ticks in too many boxes, pencilled in by people who thought only to make their own lives richer, but didn’t think to look for the truth behind the lies. Too late to take back the mistake they made, their spirits turn to sludge as they trudge though Satan’s paperwork, getting tripped at every step.

Outside, rain dulls the senses, though the day is brightened by a fading line of bright sky on the horizon. Through dripping windows I watch the traffic lights go by, to sweep around the roundabout nearby.

Suddenly I catch sight of the golden glow on the central island, and I wonder how, or why, it passed me by. My eyes are awash with yellow narcissi, trumpeting silently, promising that Spring will come, as it always does.

I feel shame; it is the daffodils, and not me, which have become the change I want to see.

I let the feeling trickle through me, feed me, maybe improve me.

The rain ceases, the sun shows its face, painting the sky blue again, making the trees glisten with drops of nature’s liquid saviour.

The world turns at its usual speed, and even with our destructive nature, we are tiny, and we cannot slow it. We can kill the deer, and ourselves, but the planet will endure until infinite space holds up its hand.

But that is not enough for the deer,  or for you and me.

Image: The least attractive  portion of the view from my window, showing the army cadet building on the right, with the white buses below, and the daffodils on the traffic island behind.In summer the trees cover a lot af the scene, leading the eye toward green hills on the horizon.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Subtle grey

Tonight the sun set in streaky shades of subtle grey, is if it didn’t feel we were deserving of its blazing exit. As I watched it sadly fade away, I had the fanciful idea that it was saying:

“I have watched over you for eons. Without me your trees wouldn’t grow, and your first ancestor would not have been conceived. I give you life and light and health and more besides. Without me your earth would be dust, and you, not even a speck upon its infertile crust. Oceans would be frozen, mountains would not cast sharp shadow across the land. Darkness would prevail – deep darkness the like of which you have never seen.

“You need me, but I have no need of you. You clutter my view and you damage the planet, when you should be giving thanks for all that you have. You humans are forever grasping, always wanting more for yourselves, always thinking that the land you live in is yours, and like spoilt children, refusing to share. This will be your ultimate downfall.”

The sun disappeared behind the hills. Then, like an afterthought, it painted a portion of the sky in a ripe apricot shade, illuminating a wind turbine on the horizon. I gazed at the haloed wind turbine until the glow shrank and disappeared.

It felt like a last minute message of hope, and a quiet thank you for those who try to make the world a fairer place.

©Jane Paterson Basil