Environment

LAGOS-BADAGRY ROAD

Lagos-Badagry Road;

Yes, from Alakija to Iyana Iba;

Ha, home of confusion.

What have we woken to?

Hell suddenly let lose in the cold

Where morning dew dries

In the fire of a billion buzzing bees.

An ocean of fretting fire

Aglow with a hotchpotch

Of a billion burning eyes:

Eyes that blaze through the haze

Of a million hooting elephants

Poised to trample a million prancing monkeys

On a canvas of buzzing bees,

And we, the unfortunate spectators

Cringe to save our souls from the

Collective terror of drunken monsters.

Yet everyone remains where they are.

And there is no where to go.

Elephants, monkeys and bees are trapped.

This is a road that leads to no-where.

The trucks blame the commercial buses,

The commercial buses blame the commercial bikers,

The commercial bikers blame the pedestrians,

The pedestrians blame the road construction contractor,

The road construction contractor blames the government,

The government blames the treasury looters,

The treasury looters blame the system,

The systemblames God's help” delayed.

Yeah, this is Lagos

And Lagos unfortunately is Nigeria.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The Reconstruction of Lagos-Badagry Carriageway Project was started in 2012 by the Lagos State Government to expand the Lagos end of the road which leads from Lagos through the west coast of Africa all the way to Accra in order to create a metro rail system at the centre. However, the progress was stalled during the immediate past regime and this left the section of the extremely busy commercial road in a state of complete collapse plunging commuters into unimaginable suffering. So many have died on this road, many of them trampled by containers that often fall off trucks. Millions of dare-devil commercial bikers have flooded the place hiking prices as this has now become the preferred mode of transportation. Sometimes you might be tempted to just stay aside and watch the squirming sea of pedestrians, motorcyclists, buses and trucks altogether caught in an unending traffic jam. It may yet seem unbelievable to some that pedestrians could also be caught in a standstill traffic jam. 

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Solyent Green

Solyent Green

By jfarrell

 

(love them old scifi classics - don’t you)

 

In a way it’s inevitable;

Every culture has it’s own tastes, own customs,

Of what is and is not acceptable to eat,

For a multitude of reasons.

 

For Britain, horse being passed off as a cow was a major scandal;

Though I doubt few noticed until it got front page in the red tops.

And despite those headlines, we queued in our droves

To buy our horseburger with cheese please.

 

And we had been buying our horseburger for some years

Before it became front-page news;

They ‘sneaked it in, with no-one noticing.’

For years.

 

With our population growth,

We have two major problems (worldwide - not just Britain, hehe)

We need to produce more food;

And we need to build over where we grow food and let animals feed.

 

I’m sure, if they could get away with it

“Roll up, special offer this week, free batman with every solyent green!”

Sadly, I begin to realise…

To save everyone, you may have to make a deal with the McDevil.

 

First time I’ve really empathised with a politician.

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

remember watching star trek as kid, in black and white, with william shatner as kirk - talking into your phone, beam me up, it's a torch, it plays music, it turns on your coffee machine... solyent green a prophecy, as things are, sadly

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Bill's Grass

Ah! The first spine of light
Dawn again, and I made it through the night.
Soon my owner will come and water me.
I hope he wakes soon as I am thirst-ee
Lookin' forward to hangin' with the boys on the lawn
could use a trim today, as my tips are getting long

Bob told me last night of a time without Bill,
when grasses like us could grow at free will,
supposedly we'd climb almost 6 feet high,
that's all the way up to Bill's eye.
Our long seeds would blow through the breeze,
sometimes they'd get higher than the trees
I'm glad all that's over, the tall growing stuff.
no sharing with clover, it's not half as rough.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Wrote this in a few minutes during a writing exercise for mock teaching. The group loved it.

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Thoughts

The duality of personality is reflected in reality
And it seems, nothing gleams outside of dreams

The street is hot,
Steam rising from the baked black pavement
A flower wilts, it's leaves singed
Are you sure you can't walk to the corner store?

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Just random thoughts. Let me know what you think

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Orion

1977—The Department of Energy becomes a new cabinet post;

2027—
This little lighta mine…

At 9:07pm, EST, a distant silver bubble skimmed the top of Orion’s belt. In the city it could be seen only by looking straight up so that the towers didn’t impede the view. No one, except the agent, looked. Four street lights on First Avenue hummed on. A chorus of reverent chanting arose almost simultaneously. Agent Hatt, gazing skyward as he walked towards home, did not smile. Any pride in his achievement was canceled out not only by the necessity to deny his part in it, but also by the hollow, haunted voices singing praises to The Power that Be.
* * *
Before Agent Hatt was an agent and far before he had to change his name to Hatt, OPEC had used its dying words to demonize its foe, the Department of Energy. Pumps had been dry for months, with people growing increasingly rabid for gas and kerosene and power for televisions. On the evening news, if you could get it, they invariably charged the DOE with “burning the last billion barrels of oil” to crush such honest American endeavors as oil and coal and nuclear power. And although the DOE remained alive in theory, it was starved of funding until only a handful of followers—a few idealistic scientists who changed their names to Hatt and Vest and Shue—trudged on within its skeletal remains in the hope of relighting the city.
* * *

I’m gonna let it shine…
* * *

But there was still power, mostly thanks to Hatt’s jet stream turbines. (Vest and Shue had relocated to the abandoned land ringing the city to capture solar power and siphon it covertly back to the people.) A trickle like a choking stream dripped through what was left of the grid, jumping around the way electricity does, and random lights winked throughout the city at any given time. In fact, a whole religion crawled out into the flickering lights. Its Savior: The Power that Be. Its Satan: the DOE, who had undone all the progress of power and industry. Hatt assumed that these followers still thanked OPEC when the lights flickered, as if the Spirit of Oil was still alive within the grid. The tics—fanatics—sent up amens and hallelujahs when nearby street lamps wavered to life, and any on the street would run into a shop if the power happened to come on, sending up hymns of praise to the images illuminated inside. This superstitious fanaticism birthed, or at least reincarnated, humanity’s tendency to create imaginary evils. Those archaic avatars of ancient times rose like steam from under the jagged urban towers. People began again in the night to see filmy floating specters, heard the wailing lamentations of la Llorna, and found rumbling ravenous demons in alleyways once reserved for tomcats and bag ladies.
* * *
At home, they ate on the floor, cross-legged, amid dozens of overpriced Yankee candles that made the food taste sweet and smoky and waxy. It’s schizophrenia, Dee—he called her Dee honestly, lovingly, as if it were her real name—but you’ve got to wonder, if everyone’s got it, is it insanity or just reality? She loved him not because he was a scientist or even a good man, but because he was a poet. And a prophet. He whispered, The grid is dead. It’s rotting and no one even smells it; they enshrine outlets with wreaths and incense and candles until all you can smell is their decomposing idolatry. Whispering had become, to him as to most, the standard mode of speaking. Its tone and flavor fitted instinctively inside the darkness. The tics had never adopted whispering, but screamed into the empty streets and took the echoes as proof of disciples. She hardly noticed the whispering anymore, except when she thought of the tics, screaming prayers to the street lamps, and how his voice challenged them not by its volume but its reason.
They would go outside after they ate, before la Llorna began to pace, and search for Orion’s belt. You can’t take light away from people, he said to the stars. And when the faraway turbine passed across his eyes, his face, illuminated, became one as a martyr’s.
Let it shine, let it shine.
Let it shine.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

short story contest 2011

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Plastic

Folder: 
Filipino poems

Taga-ipon ng mga dalahin
upang madali itong bitbitin:

tagapagsilid ng mga lihim
tagabalot ng mahalagang gamit
bahagyang proteksyon
sa tubig,
sa bagyo.

Subalit,

kung marahas na buksan
o kaya'y marahang silipin man lang,
agad ilalantad
ang dalahin,
lihim,
ang mahalagang bitbitin.

Walang tibay
ngunit kung gumaganti ay mahusay;
hindi lilisan
hindi mawawala
sa paligid pa ay maninira.

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Nature's Cry

Ugonna Wachuku 

 

 

Weep with me because our enchanting oceans

and seas are polluted. Weep with me because

there is nuclear danger dumped in the icy
north. Let us weep because climate change 

is upon our enchanting earthly home. 

 

Weep with me because fishes are
dying. Dolphins are singing no
more. Weep with me because oil
is choking earth's oceans to
death.  

 

Weep with me because our trees
are dying. Human hands defile
them. Weep with me because our
farmlands can no longer be
pregnant with seeds: Famine,
barenness and starvation
menacingly storm through
the earth in broad day
light!  

 

Weep with me because I went to the
Niger Delta and the earth was dead.
Ogoniland has been stripped of her
fruitful environment and natural
wealth. Weep with me because I

wentto Odi and Odi village was

dead.  

 

Deeply weep with me because I went
to France and saw the sea spitting
oil. Weep with me because oil tankers
now break into two at sea. And now,
this Prestige, off the Spanish coast
has fatally wounded earth's oceans
with oil spills and leaks once more:  

 

I am so deeply hurt, and keep asking:
Why wasn't that oil pumped off the
Prestige into a healthy tanker all
those days it sat there waiting to
break and sink??????????
???????????????
???????????????
??????????????: 

 

Countries talk dumb and hopelessly
dumb letting their numbness to truth
and urgent reality reveal heaven's
weeping heart for dying humanity
and our bleeding earthly home.
And now Spanish government
apology. What use is this
apology now? What use???:  

 

And the USA Gulf of Mexico 

one with BP: and more: 

 

Weep with me because I am dead.
Weep with me because you are dead.
Weep with me because our beautiful,
chanting birds are dying. Weep with
me because our bountifully and
wonderfully created earth is
singing a glarring dirge.

 

Weep with me because Igboland

is weeping for her own and
all humankind. The land
of the free and the home
of the brave is also
weeping. All earth is
weeping indeed.  

 

Weep with me because I am Mother
Nature and I am weeping for earth
and every uncaring human being.
My brilliant blue earth is fast
dying. Dolphins are singing no
more. I am so scared. So, weep
with me. Let us meet at Mt.
Olives. Let us plant the earth
anew under heaven's loving eyes
of compassion.  

 

Come, humanity, let us save
our dying earth this new day.
Yet weep with me because I am
Mother Nature - I am heaven's
soul - and I am weeping for
earth and all humanity! I am

weeping for our dying oceans! 

I am nature. And I am crying! 

Our climate is changing and 

global warming is threatening 

us. 

 

I am nature! 

I am earth! 

And

I'm weeping!
!
!
!

Banks of the Amazon

Ugonna Wachuku 

 

On sustainability, climate change action,   

renewal of earth's environment, corporate

social responsibility, energy efficiency, 

responsible global trade and abiding 

nature conservation for beloved

humankind's survival: 

 

Life will continue her journey
on the dream's path. She will
take along every purity from
the earth. Every root shall be
moved for life through nature.

 

The dream has come to the land.
You shall ever know the love
from my soul to help humankind 

take sustainable action on this 

threatening climate change, 

globally. 

 

From bountiful banks of the
Amazon, I shall rise for the
voyage. I shall take with me
fresh fishes for new
beginnings. Trees of the
jungle will bow in
admiration and care

for earth's soil and

blood humankind.  

 

The dream shall kiss this
river in a subtle show of
universal love. On the face
of the Parana, the dream shall
glitter to let everyone know
the love that we share.

 

This spirit of the Amazon shall
take me to the breath-taking
height of precious Pico da
Bandeira. Then, let me know
what you think of the dream's
soul for earth's renewal, forever.

 

Cherish a whole life of oneness
across the land. Let love light
the dream's torch in the morning
of darkness and uncertainty from

this climate change on humankind's

enchanting earth home.

 

Let every eye see its the dream's

flame in the heart of Brasillia and

across the world. From the land's

depth, let Rio de Janeiro beat

drums for a Samba of peace and

love to let humankind conquer

this climate change, threatening.

 

Let time and seas of life kiss
the love of my being on the coast
of Sao Paulo. Let your soul
experience the dream's lovely joy
on the yearning lands of Salvador.

 

Let love and hope
dine with us in
Thecife for

humankind's

earth

r

e

n

e

w

a

l

!

 

Let the banks of
the Amazon and
Niger bloom and
glow for life

for climate 

renewal
on
our
dying
earth
this
day
and
ever!

 

Nobody Loves Me

Ugonna Wachuku  

  

 

I live on a misty mountain top
in the heart of Uturu. On this
mountain, I walk with eagles.
My house is built of natural
stone. Streams water my
surroundings with refreshing,
live-giving scent from nature.  

 

I am in tune with nature.
I am a child of nature.
Nature knows me; and I know
nature within the depths of
my being. 

 

My hope in life does not
wane because daily, I breath
healing freshness from nature
and my mountain top environment.

 

I drink from springs on the
mountain. Each night, when I
bend down to drink, moonbeams
caress my longing back.

 

Nobody knows me; not even
my name; not even where
I come from. Could I have
been forgotten in the still
smallness of life? Could I
have lost that unchanging
love promised?

 

Each dusk, I stare down the
valley wondering if life has
anyone like me down there.
I wonder at my home and at
nature in all of its beauty.
I wonder at my beginning.

 

I rest with the hope of
finding a companion. But
nobody comes. Nobody calls.
Nothing leaves. Nothing comes.
Yet, I stay on this mountain top.

 

Suddenly, I wake up sweating like
a christmas goat: I have been
dreaming. Then, I realize that it's
real. My heartbeat panders to the
rhythm of a bird's voice. I listen
carefully. This reality comes into
me. I look out of my stone house
window:

 

The bird's green trees and lush
landscapes have been burnt by
fires of human strife and loveless
destruction across the valley below.
Tear drops fill my sunken eyes.

 

"Nobody loves me, nobody loves me;
including you" the bird sings on
my mountain spring while I watch
from my weary window on the
mountain top. The bird's tears
mingle with my natural spring
on the mountain.  

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

A bird laments humanity's destruction of its environment ... 

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