Tuesday poem: Pages like football fields

February 27, 2017

Pages like football fields

People try to bring home
what is happening in the Amazon
and they reach for metaphors, like tools.
They hope to find the metaphor
to push reluctant minds into consciousness.
A metaphor as useful as a chainsaw
that fells a thousand year old tree.

Some people turn to mother
and speak of the earth’s bosom.
Or of a green girdle
(Mother is an unfashionable dame)
or of wombs and fecundity.
When they really work themselves up,
They speak of raping the earth,
which must equate to removing a girdle
In such people’s minds.

Still others take a sporting approach,
calculating the number of football fields
lost to the dozer each minute.
Suggesting that if we only blew a magic whistle,
the infringement would cease, fair play break out.
Such people tackle issues head on,
so long as the goals are clear, and the weather fine,
they’ll take a punt at converting you.

And of course the difficulty is that what happens
Is no metaphor at all, nor a smiling simile.
What is lost, can not be substituted.
It is this process of substitution
which allows some to think money
when they see that thousand year tree.
Just as others call starvation, debt.
These things stand in for each other,
support each other.
That is the problem with minting too many metaphors.
They prop up things that should be brought down.

However, let me present one more.

If this page were the rainforest,
the letters its constituent parts:
jaguar, fungus, creeper, human,
then in twenty years (or less)
the man who borrowed this book from the library
would have ripped it out, jaggedly.
By doing so, he has caused
all the book to unravel.
Slothfully it started,
leaves dropped daily,
the spine collapsed.
Now it is not a book.
punctuation is gone
pages and w rds have g

PS Cottier

bigstock_Dead_Planet_Earth_9559400

This comes from my first book, The Glass Violin, published way back in 2008. I just reread it recently, and thought that it had held up quite well.

Mind you, I have been known to select Sheena Easton’s ‘My Baby Takes the Morning Train’ to play at the gym, so I am by no means to be trusted.

2 Responses to “Tuesday poem: Pages like football fields”

  1. Rosemary Nissen-Wade said

    Now that is a powerful metaphor!

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