The Sea – By James Meek

22 February 2021  |  by Cllr James Meek

The Sea, La Mer, Das Meer, no words contain
The vastness of your boundless, deep domain.
From pole to pole, all latitudes you reach,
An endless ebb and flow foaming each beach.
Millenia have watched your countless tides,
Leviathans, moon-moved beneath the swell.
The fortune of our health on your health rides;
The timer’s ringing – do we heed the bell?

Your waters no state borders can contain,
Your tides respect no sovereign domain.
You reach each beach along the Spanish Main,
Yet Man, insane, still empties every drain.

Your corals bleach..

Profane is Man’s self-interest. Let’s refrain,
Reframe our place in nature’s web, and tame
This arrogance, which says we’re not to blame.

We blame
The storms, the fires, the hurricane, the drought,
The ice-caps melting, farmland drying out
For human suffering.
Some shame!
But Nature’s complex integrated stasis
We’re not respecting; where in this our place is –
Life’s game.

A game we’re bound to lose if we refuse
To recognise we still have much to learn
Concerning greed,
That laziness to use, but not re-use,
Because we have a lust to over-earn
And thus, in turn, can’t feed
Those most in need.
Unless we can confess, this selfish creed
Of speculative freedom is a fraud,
Dreamed up by those we should applaud
But who deserve our scorn.
For those unborn

Who us succeed,
Will likely lead
Lives steeped in famine,
Hopes war-torn,
Homes wrecked by storm,
Winds wild-fires fanning.

O Sea, we seed your sand with beaded nurdles,
Our toxic effluent your water curdles.
Oceans stretch wide with wide-dispersed detritus
We shun to own the sum of that which shames us,
Our wanton waste this planet girdles.

So much shame.

Your waters wrap the world, your currents drive
The weather, storm clouds, winds and breeze benign,
From Dornoch Firth to Dorset’s Durdle Door
From John O’Groats to tropical St Ives.
We only now begin to comprehend
The complex web that meshes all our lives..

This freeway we conscript for sea containers
Free roadway we pollute with diesel burners.
Propellers churn and turn calm sea to frothing wake
And macerate unwitting sea-life, deep life – always take.

The sea is free to plunder, so small wonder
We freely rip asunder Nature’s nets,
Those self-sustaining internets of life,
With mile-long, deep-trawled, dragging-nets of death.
No life escapes,
No safety nets,
Just deep moonscapes.

I dream in hope this seeming hopeless vision
Of teeming life-loss, strife and indecision
Precipitates a sea-change.
A gear-change in our lack of action.
A change so fundamental
A real game-changer
Nothing incremental
To see change
Everywhere and set
In thought, in interaction,
Starting a subtraction
From Man’s debt.
This wealth we’ve ‘borrowed’
From this earth we’ve hollowed
Out, of oil and gas and coal.
A climate change black hole.
Carbon deep sequestered through millennia
Carbon that we squander daily
On our paraphernalia.

Is this the culmination of our genes?
An intellect so keen that it is blind
To all the mounting evidence we find
That points to our destruction? So it seems.

Some intellect!

To calculate the sum of all our loss
Yet still persist in giving it a gloss
That hides the truth.
And what about the youth?
These genes we’ve seeded down the generations,
These offspring, these inheritors of nations
Still concerned with limiting their losses,
Lobbied hard by hard-nosed fossil bosses,
Who bend their ears.
What chance for common sense, when business scents
The loss of edge, of market influence?
And cons its peers.
Sense says you’d rather lose the market place
Than risk the future of the human race.
Some sense.

We teeter knowingly towards a vast unknown,
Our scholars warning us our chances may be blown,
For Time and Tide we know for no man waits
So nettles must be grasped – no more debates.

If we can’t see what wealth we stand to lose
Because we fail to act, or plain refuse,
We’ll end up cast upon an endless deep
Of unpredictability, and reap
Calamities we scarcely can foresee –
This force to fear, Das Meer, La Mer, the Sea.

JamesPMeek ©Feb 2021

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