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Poetry Prose and Other Words

by Ken Ingham

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Ecoepic Part III.
Dawning of the Eighth Day

(excerpts)

For several years the battle raged,
Some scenes were too gross to mention
But extremism always helps
To focus the people's attention
Those who used to turn their heads
In spite of all the proof
Were sensitized by Points of Light
And wanted now to know the truth
They opened up their sticky eyes
Their hearts and minds became like sponges
Groundswell quests for truth were launched
In hillbilly bars, yuppie lounges
In coffee houses all over the world
On the internet, in the workplace
Deep conversations of great substance
About the goal, the purpose, the mission, if any
Of the highly intelligent human race
Rationality was important
No opinion could be blind
Assertions made with no support
Were challenged or left behind
Books that previously went unread
Became dog-eared and tattered
Thoughts once muttered or left unsaid
Were now uttered as if they mattered
Arguments broke out, composures cracked
But most their tempers controlled
An obscure poet/playwright strove to extract
The highlights of the story that was being told

Imagine a stage where actors enter
All assume different stances
Then take turns front and center
To deliver the following stanzas

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Go to hell
You tree huggin’ son of a bitch!
Who asked for your stupid opinion?
Don’t tell me I can’t dig a ditch
On the land over which
I’ve been given dominion
I bought this swamp decades ago
Useless mud, mosquito infested
Now drained and filled, it's ready to go
For many returns on what was invested

Invested by whom?
You greedy capitalist developer schnook
Your contribution is minuscule
Compared to the thousands of years that it took
To establish this watery vestibule
Where runoff pauses to give up pollutants
Before entering the Chesapeake Bay
Where amphibians thrive, ducks dabble and dive
Small mammals and raptors breed and play
Then comes one thoughtless man
Armed with a dozer
Destroys it in a single day

Look Buddy
People want new homes near the water
Where they can watch the osprey catch fish
Who are you to stand in the way
Of them fulfilling their wish?
It’s a free country
It’s a matter of supply and demand
It’s an opportunity to get ahead
They have the money, I have the land

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Consider this:
With respect to social
evolution our species has yet
to fully flower. While sometimes
sharing and helping each other, more
often we fight over money and power
over food and land, oil and water, or
to settle a historical score. For
reasons we don’t understand
we’re caught in a vortex
of violence
and war.
We
need
to practice
resolving conflicts
making collective decisions.
We need to formulate common goals,
articulate collective visions, to identify
issues on which we concur, write them
into our constitution. It takes a majority
of at least two thirds but its less traumatic
than revolution. Those issues on which
nobody agrees should be debated
over fences, across all social
boundaries, an ongoing
search for global
consensus

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But what about the animals?
Who will speak on their behalf?
The wolf, the whale, the salmon the quail
The pigs and the cows - don't laugh!
Much of the land we cultivate
To feed the animals we eat
Could be restored to a natural state
If we could get by with less meat

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I swear!
To hear you going off like that
I wonder if you went to school
You do believe in democracy, don’t you?
You do believe in majority rule?

Of course!
I believe in democracy
Ain’t never been nothin' better
I learned that before I earned
my high school varsity letter
Constitution, Bill of Rights
The evils of communitysm,
Adam Smith, Henry Ford
The marvels of capitalism

But the forefathers didn’t anticipate
One of democracy’s little imperfections
The extent to which those who incorporate
Would come to influence public elections
With checkbooks ready they circle the obelisk
Grateful for their corporate personhood
With all of its benefits and none of the risk
Why worry about the common good?
If you truly believe in democracy
Then you’ll love this antidote
Let’s put the charters of the Fortune 500
To a periodic popular vote


yEEGads! Take him away!
How would we compete with other nations
In the game now played on global stages
Which, by the way, if we win will give us the jobs
With the easiest work and the highest wages
NAFTA and GATT are where it’s at
The rules on which the captains agree

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