Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

S. B. Merrow: Reading Half-Earth

E.O. Wilson says that when the elephants
            die, so will we, who have sought, 
 
seen and named 12,000 kinds of ants, 
            leaf-cutters, armies, iridescent and fiery. 

"The Mind of the Biosphere," we are busy
            with our big-game hunt for happiness, 
                        rounds of beer-pong that require focus, 
sidewalks, half the earth. Humans 
            shuffle to extinction, cups in hand, 
                        cloaked in microbes, 
in sunny fealty to fickle gods, 
            
while earthworm nations and unknown species
            settle the moist jungle, nomads in the dark. 
             
I recycle, shut off lights and shiver. 
            The future has always been uncertain, this
 
not-knowing as familiar as love—as luck —
            (to share our genes with thriving rats.) 
 
One day, when costly measures 
            yield slight progress, we will cite
 
the sad numbers, mention 
            those poachers on the savanna. 
            
E.O.Wilson says we already know 
            what happens to elephants—to us—
 
when families are broken, when 
            matriarchs and memories are lost.     
 

Copyright 2018 S. B. Merrow. First published by WordPeace.

S. B. Merrow was a flute maker for 40 years, and now, mostly retired from that work, is again concentrating on her first love, writing poetry.

One comment on “S. B. Merrow: Reading Half-Earth

  1. Margaret Liolin
    November 16, 2019

    OMG Sarah. Elephants have always been very close to my heart – since, many years ago, I made eye contact with one. And then it becomes too hard for me, and I shut out what is too painful. Granted, not exactly a Profile in Courage. Thank you for your work. It’s brilliant, poignant and beautiful, all at once. How the aitch do you DO that??! Giant hugs to you and Rob,Peg

    Like

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