The Old Witch

Long ago, an old witch walked through the land
when it was full of reeds, and leaves, and other strange things.
It was near the end, and the land had long been suffering
but the people could still have woken, and saved it.
But no, the old witch dazzled their sympathy away,
stole their hearts with economic oil,
so all they thought of was the second refrigerator,
expensive holidays to get away from what they had built,
and their eyes remained closed. They had but to look
at the poisoned life around them, trees stunted without Bonsai,
weather going wild, death where they thought it didn't matter.

But the old witch believed that poison was beside the point,
greenery didn't generate wealth, and that was all that mattered,
for the old witch thought that since Oxygen was not on the balance sheet,
it was not a cost, so it had no import.
The old witch saw that the deluded people gathered wealth,
and that the deluded were her people, so she stole freedoms
from the loving people, and gave them to the deluded people.
She stole freedom the right, and gave freedom the cost;
she stole the freedom to love, and gave freedom from care;
she stole freedom to relax, and gave freedom to race;
she stole freedom to breathe, and gave freedom to wreck.

Some heroes understood the witch's dastardly plan,
and tried to put things right. But they could not defeat
the evil usurers of banking, the satanic mills of profit,
the foul bombmakers of electricity, the blind charge of bureaucracy.
And the old witch launched a war of poison on the whole world,
flying squadrons of acid to bomb foreign forests,
spurting streams of pollution to strangle rich waters,
and holding in reserve a Martian winter,
of dark, of ice, of ending.

And the old witch won. We, who inherited Earth's corpse,
who are descended, who are underground,
who learn of what the witch stole from us,
we curse our ancestor. One day, we will break from these tunnels,
and rise up back to the Earth, and the Earth shall be reborn,
and we shall be the midwife. And when life has taken,
and green again spreads across the nuclear fields,
then we shall die, die by our own hand.

Never again shall one of us build Hades,
be bribed and owned by Death,
be corrupted by Satan,
for Gaiea is owed a debt, and we shall pay it.



Surely this was written before Mrs. T launched her anti global warming campaign.

image: poem

84-85

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