Sunday, April 22, 2018



Burn more coke, gas, men
to power the engine
of global destruction.
Melt every glacier,
thaw every tundra.
Siberia warmed is easier mined.
Canals finally obsolete
with travel from East to West
having met West to East
at the top of the planet.

Punch holes in the atmosphere,
cross it with jet exhaust,
the acid of chemdestruction
floating weightless down
as the leaves of trees soak it in.
They deserve their crucifixion for standing still
doing a job we don’t know how to robot replicate.
We live with the sickness and say
“as long as I work and gather my pay life is not shit.”
Living is too hard when we cannot purchase it.

Joy at the reward of commerce,
cash, profit, higher seas
means more water
for filling cooling towers and plastic bottles
used with no fear of global Armageddon;
seventy percent of the planet
may be water
but we yet have thirty percent
that is land able to be filled,
bashed, slashed, trashed.

Subterfuge and ignorance
are the tradecraft of tower dwellers
who reside in boardroom comfort,
isolated from hungers
haunting repercussion
of working the force
of human ingenuity for their own vast prosperity.
Simplify, make this easier, use fewer human hands;
money out evil, money in good economy.
It is a simple equation, old math.

Use, abuse, and turn to refuse.
There is no collusion in damage
just as there is no repair left
that will stop the burn off
in ancient forests and grasslands
where once life lived is now fossilized,
monetized not set aside or sanctified
for the future to see past itself.
Our sin is not in building.
Our sin is poverty of thought.

© M Durfee
Earth Day


  1. This is nothing but the depressing truth, I'm afraid. We the shortsighted doom the whole fragile world just because we can, because we are unable to understand anything beyond the most primitive of drives, beyond hormonal greed and competition...the words are worthy of tears, but my eyes seem cried out on this subject, the legacy we leave behind.

    1. Yes, depressing but necessary to be brought to light again and again and again Joy. I have lost most of my anger but this one issue still boils my blood; the perfidy of profit has had its run. It is time to change the loop or sub,it and allow all to die.

  2. Right on, brother! Jesus, we're in trouble. An update to the Sound of Music: "Melt every glacier,
    thaw every tundra. . ."

    1. Aye and only people of sight can show the blind. I am no scientist but I can read, research, and investigate until I understand what is happening Erik.

      To me that is in part the proper place for a poet.

  3. ... purrs and all dat jazz, meouwpoppa ... happy earth day, hmmm? ... Love always, cat.

  4. hi - I'm here having followed over from V.E. 55 - and I've always been a bit shy to comment, but wow - I just couldn't keep my words to myself today -

    This is absolutely one stellar poem - from opening to crunching close - and it's stark, truthful, and yet, each stanza, each line, is refreshing for the new presentation of what's being said, repeated, so often, that it's part of the "immunity" - falling on deaf ears and cold hearts.

    This is one of the best "earth day" - hell, isn't every day "earth day" or should be? - pieces I've read in a very long time.
    And I just had to let you know.

    And these lines in particular? Just really nailed it for me. Stunning.

    the acid of chemdestruction
    floating weightless down
    as the leaves of trees soak it in.
    They deserve their crucifixion for standing still
    doing a job we don’t know how to robot replicate.
    We live with the sickness and say
    “as long as I work and gather my pay life is not shit.”
    Living is too hard when we cannot purchase it.

    1. The planet is and has been a primary source of my concern for a number of decades P.A. When I first heard of the affects of acid rain in the far North, I traveled by hook and crook to Northern Quebec, Ontario, and NS to see it for myself. I WAS STUNNED to see not only denuded trees and fish die off but the entire ecosystem changed, trying to adapt.

      We are now at a point where we may not be able to get back to a balance without a great human/industrial die off.

      Society has been led to this point but mankind has to do away with the current construct, suffer for a time, and then reap the benefit of a new ideation. The question is will the will to change grow enough, fast enough, to allow for the changes needed to happen?

    2. Indeed, it is a very harsh, but necessary question to ask - as are the others that are tied up in this ever-tightening noose. This beautiful planet cannot continue to sustain us as we are, as we currently continue to take far more than we give back, as we refuse to change our ways, and over-populate and strip it until it is bone cold. But it will push back - and erupt, fracture, fissure, thaw, melt and sweep us aside - and perhaps, this is how it should be, because it was here long before we arrive and began the tussle/struggle to survive, and then switched modes of thinking to dominate and crush ... pathetic excuses as a means of M.O.

    3. I honestly believe the planet can sustain perhaps up to 15 billion people IF the population were reorganized around sustainability, re-use, produce only what is needed, and lose the "for profit" method of economy.

      We do NOT need to cut 100% of human carbon emissions but we do need to reduce our share by a minimum of 75-100 ppm in order for the planet to have room to breathe. That would mean a more sensible approach to the use of oil and its byproducts. But as long as we are profit driven reduction is only a pipe dream as long as there are prophets of "doesn't matter it's all a hoax."

      I have no personal projection towards how long man has, we may have passed the tipping point already but we do not need a mass extinction event that leaves the planet another cold rock spinning in space. I HAVE HOPE.

    4. It's a right hot-cold mess, all of this. And I think we're on the same page, in that there is far too much of how we've gone about all of this, without, in some cases, even being able to project or forecast ahead. I mean, things like habitat loss and a sudden need for human expansion, for "basics" like shelter etc. To keep it simple, by way of metaphor? In the mid-70s, who in most fairly larger cities, could have envisioned a time when most middle class families would own 2 vehicles? It seemed like a pipe dream. Just always on the edge of being perhaps "practical" but not entirely realistic. So whole cities, infrastructures, etc. were never designed to withstand the additional pressures etc. So in my mind, if I take this simple analogy and start widening the circle, you can begin to see the ramifications. It's a bit like walking into the local grocery store, and stopping the meat section, and if it's fair sized store - just stopping and really taking stock of how much is there, in this one section - and wondering, this is one store - and within this shopping complex, there are 3 or 4 just like it - and how much of this will end up in landfill? Wasted. And yet, we have rampant hunger, in our own backyards and in other parts of the world? It makes no sense - all of this "mass" production and consumption - it really boggles my mind.

      As for whether it'll end up with a mass extinction? Well, all I can say is I hope that I'm not around to live it. If it comes to it. And I think it most likely will, eventually. But I too live, breathe HOPE. I may feel cynical and definitely jaded. But I do believe it's still within my purvey, and responsibility to try to work and look for solutions, but first, as most are more than happy to decline, you have to own what has come before, own what's happening now - and take responsibility for it. Without spending time blaming etc. It's about recognizing that if anyone if "going to get out of this alive" - as in having a sustainable, decent and well-meaning, honest future, we have to be "critical in our thinking and understanding" and accepting of certain very important "facts" - we need to change our ways, behaviour and look to the now, and the future.

  5. So let's all kiss our asses good bye and admit defeat?

    Earth has gone through worst changes and kept on spinning, life goes on in many forms.

    Old to new and rot to tomato.

    I just sit back and smile, for my time is near and I may reappear.
    But if not so whaht?

    1. While I agree that planet has a verifiable cycle of warm and cold; cycles that changed the "livability" for all life forms on the globe.

      The cycles have been sped up Goatman, while co2 is a primary and most often mentioned carbon gas it is not the only one affecting the climate. With the warming that man has sped up we also find increased levels of methane that are a result of Tundra thaw.

      The planet has had an increasingly difficult time as the filter for co2, 330ppm was not much of a problem for the oceans and forests to convert back to breathable O, man has increased that level now to 406ppm and the planet is unable to filter those levels.

      What has been happening instead is the leaves of trees instead of taking in the excess co2 and converting it to O through photosynthesis they have been storing it in the root system, branches, trunks.

      Plastics are another vast and harmful way man has hurt the planet, not so much in their use but rather in the discard of them as refuse. Plastics are one of the hardest substances we have to recycle to useful product. It would also seem that even if we could find the engineering to recycle them to useful product, we would still use the carbon based oil offshoot gases to make more. The industry of plastic engineering is a trillion dollar source of employment and profit. Now that we are chocking the oceans and lakes with the stuff, we are putting the food chain at risk, not only for humans but the entire chain from whales to plankton.

      Then we turn to see what I consider to be the greatest problem which is glacial melt. The glaciers are melting at an unsustainable rate due to the warming of the ocean temperatures, everwhere from Antarctica to Greenland is experiencing the phenomena. Warmer waters are adding to the melt throwing off the natural thermostat of the planet as well as increasing the size, severity, and numbers of hurricanes which in turn affect the inland weather patterns.

      I do not think we should give up or throw in the towel, I am worried though if we have the TIME to reverse the damage. The one area I am watching as a bellwether to indicate whether there is hope for success is coral bleaching, if we continue to see the swift death of the reefs in ALL oceans it is indeed an indicator of irreversible change.

      I do not recognize the climate of fifty years ago and my grandchildren will not know a world of climate harmony.

  6. Sequestration of carbon dioxide in the trunks,limbs and roots of trees is an interesting concept I have not heard of. Surly this would not negate the absorption by the growing leaves?

    But considering the major earth event (meteor?) which killed off the dinasaurs and probably much else of the existing life . . . here we are!

    I have confidence in an adapting, changing, and continuing planet; in geologic time if necessary.

    1. Goatman trees have always been a main (1/4) repository of carbon. They intake the co2 use it for growth by converting it to glucose--that is the essence of photosynthesis. The problems reported in 2017 studies indicate that because of the changing climate the other nutrients necessary for the tree growth are being diminished; ergo the ability of the forests to "sequester" carbon as a nutrient. It would seem that excess co2 is becoming a detriment to the forests.

      Also a part of the problem with the planets ability through the forests to reduce co2 is the physical location of those forests. There are roughly 3.5 trillion trees as counted by new methods in 2018 which is roughly 1/2 of the numbers that once were. The places where great forests could do the most good are now clear cut lands used as human habitat.

      I have to agree with willow_switches, the planet will fight back as we continue to SPEED UP the geologic time. Science is of the mind that as the planet thaws not only are gases being freed but no one knows what ancient viruses, microbes, and other heretofore captured cellular level items are being released. Things for which no human nor animal has built up immunity.

      I sincerely believe that man has a place on the planet, that man can live in accord with the awesome system that regulates everything from growth to weather but not if we continue to whiff and waffle about what it is we are doing to change ourselves, our habit of planetary destruction.

      What I do not desire is continuing on the same trajectory of speeding up a global wide kill off of all life in a series of mass destruction events.

    2. I wish not to make you footnote your references Mark, but if you know of an interesting study: "The problems reported in 2017 studies" , I would like to read it/them.
      I could look this up but I am basically lazy . . .

  7. Earth has been around for much longer than us mere mortals, one shrug and we'd be history. Humanity has created it's own cesspool, and now it's 'save the planet' as a means to controlling us further. Look at the continents at night, see how many unpopulated spaces exist... we were herded to cities for reasons of control, we complied by giving in to our desires... cities are overpopulated, the planet isn't, save humanity, the plant is plenty strong.

  8. Mark, I think this is your best poem ever for so many reasons. it's depressing as hell because your words and the images they create are so powerful. I hope you will share this further than your blog. it's so damn good.

    my fav:

    as the leaves of trees soak it in.
    They deserve their crucifixion for standing still
    doing a job we don’t know how to robot replicate.

    love always mark


So Walking Man I was thinking...