Joan Knight

Great Houghton, Barnsley, S.Yorkshire

Man's Inheritance

Large fields sweep to horizon's edge in shades of green and gold,
Encompassed by close-chopped hedges, bare soil beneath.
Some say there has been progress on the land,
But where have the wild creatures gone?

No bird's nests because thick hedges do not rise,
Animals have no cover under which to build their homes,
Without wild flowers, butterflies and bees do not come.
These are some of the casualties of progress.

Rain forests have been plundered for nothing else but gain.
Acid rain has belched forth from chimneys by the hundred.
C.F.C.'s have helped to rend the ozone layer;
Below drifts a pall of carbon dioxide.

Waters stretch out endlessly with hazards in their depths;
Nuclear waste is dumped therein and toxins seep from the land.
Sea creatures are poisoned, and lost oil ebbs with the tide
As tankers thrust on to win trade's fortune.

Mankind has seldom learned from history's mistakes and mess
That through greed and thoughtlessness catastrophe is earned.
How shall we be view as years march on through time?
As spoilers of the earth or its guardians?
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