The Angry Poet

An Angry ManSometimes, when anger wells up inside us, an outburst can actually do more harm than good.

But when it’s wrapped in poetry, the power is conserved but the harshness is somehow diluted, allowing the message to get through without causing an aggressive backlash.

Here’s a poem that encapsulates some of the anger I feel about climate change …


Mr Angry

My practice is that of a Buddhist
For practice makes perfect they say
So why do I still get so angry
When resources are frittered away?

The Earth has a finite collection
Of minerals, water and air
So why are we all quite so blasé?
It’s almost like nobody cares

They hoover the bed of the oceans
Till every fish has been caught
Then they freeze ’em till prices go mental
‘Cos profit’s their first and last thought

They cut down the trees in the forests
The lungs of the world it’s been said
To make palm oil for everyone’s cookies
Pretty soon Planet Earth will be dead

We marched in the sun at the seaside
In the hope that somebody would hear
Our demands that our leaders take action
To reverse all the climate change fears

But I fear for my grandchildren’s future
On a planet we all have sucked dry
They will never ever forgive us
When they find we’ve condemned them to die

Richard Blake © 2014

Is It Finally Here?

Spring LambsDespite the recent gloomy weather it is so heart warming to see the green shoots of Spring finally starting to appear. It was beautiful in Ringwood yesterday, temperatures of over 20°C and lovely warm sunshine. And not before time, farmers all around the country are warning of late starts to their crops, with the ground temperature being kept low by the cold east winds.

Of course, in Buddhist terms, Spring is the first chapter in the year’s Wheel of Life. The reincarnation of nature, following the apparent demise of trees, flowers and shrubs over the Winter months.

As sure as day will follow night and Spring will follow Winter, our rebirth follows the death of our earthly bodies. Exactly the same way that plants use Winter to build their reserves for the Spring, we use death to recharge our souls ready for rebirth.

It is a time of lengthening days, warmer sunshine and the emergence of banks of daffodils  and other Spring flowers. With the recent change to British Summer Time, we can but hope for a better summer than last year and to being able to make the most of the nice long evenings again.

The Wheel of Life continues to turn, today, tomorrow and for Eternity.

How Long Before They Listen?

You, Yes You, When Will You Listen? - A Tanker Washed Up On Staten IslandHurricane Sandy, the latest, and most destructive storm system so far to hit North America, is today wreaking havoc across a huge part of the eastern seaboard. The states of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have so far born the brunt of the onslaught, but others are bracing themselves as the storm is predicted to head north into Canada.

Of course, we who are watching from the safety of the other side of the Atlantic can only pray for the safety of all those affected, family members included. Nature, when it shows its raw power, can be a devastating and deadly force.

But should we really be surprised that these storms are becoming ever more powerful and frequent? As with all energy systems, the more energy that is available, the more force that can be delivered by that system.

The energy system in question here, is the global climate, and the energy in that system is growing and growing as we, and particularly North America, continue to burn fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow. It is therefore no surprise when we see ever increasingly destructive climatic events around the world.

As a Buddhist, I pin my faith on the unquestionable connection between cause and effect. When we make causes for things we want, we are only too happy to see the effects we desired. But if we continually make causes for things we don’t want, we cannot be upset, or even surprised, when the bad things come along in the same way.

The USA has been dragging its feet in terms of committing itself to measures to stop, or reverse, global warming. It is top of the list when it comes to energy usage per citizen and seems to be oblivious of the effect that is having on climate systems globally.

Maybe, just maybe, now New York has been so badly affected by hurricane Sandy, the American people as a whole, will take global warming seriously and put pressure on the politicians and energy companies to make serious inroads into cutting their impact on the climate.

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