The Gulf Streams away

The story gets more depressing every day and the Oracle doesn’t pull her punches. I’m posting this one to Earthweal where it might feel at home.

The Gulf Streams away

Sun trudges with heavy feet behind whitecap clouds
no fish swim on airy wings through this rain
that draggles feathers and spirits.

The girdle of the oceans will wrap us
in a cold embrace blowing bitter winter
to shrivel warm beating hearts unopened buds.

We say we worship beauty the face of nature
press hands together before the setting sun
a flock of silver birds and say this is the creator’s work.

Our song is raw and bloody the wounds weep
red-running the earth an open sewer
entrails ripped and steaming

but we pluck a flower coo at kittens
eat steak not someone’s baby
and consider ourselves compassionate.

We reward our affluence with an idyll
tropical island deserted beaches trek across
a country teeming with poverty

but we take home
such memories, such beautiful pictures.
We love our god-created planet.

Empty words
when the earth is screaming
and we are all dying.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

48 thoughts on “The Gulf Streams away”

    1. I get so upset (and angry) at the way we behave. It’s so selfish and arrogant but try explaining to people who want to sail their hotel liner right up to San Marco that they’re destroying what they’ve come to see. Or any natural site. They don’t care.

      1. We were in Venice a couple of weeks ago and a lot of the bell towers look ready to collapse. And it can’t be too much longer before the seas roll in permanently. Kind of strange to think of. And yes, there were super yachts there as ever.

      2. I read that the big cruise ships the floating hotels had been banned. They’re letting the rest of them in, but at least the monsters are being kept outside. It’s maybe too late. I hope not.

  1. As Ingrid said “raw and angry,” but the Oracle knows what’s going on.
    She got her anger out for the moment with you, so she gave me similar words, but in an entirely different tone. Perhaps what could was or could be.

      1. It’s good to have both sets although the new ‘original’ is still new enough to be interesting. It’s probably more or less the same words but in different combinations.

  2. One person’s “dream vacation” is a nightmare for the rest of the world. Money is a disease with no cure.
    The Oracle was philosophical with me this week. Questions, no answers. (K)

  3. Gah. This is it exactly. The world as viewed through privilege or its lack. Nailed it. Those last lines, a skewer to the heart. So freaking powerful.

    1. I’m so depressed by what we’re doing to the world. Because it isn’t ‘what’s happening to the world’ as if it’s some random act of nature gone crazy. It’s us, but we won’t take responsibility for it and accept a less wasteful lifestyle.

  4. How could we have arrived here so fast? Ten years ago climate change was for most a troubling concept, and now the tipping points unleash global fire and battered oceans. The old imagery of Oceania with mermaids and dolphins in its train seems now so trite, so … draggled, as you put it. Even accusation seems trite in the face of such immensity. I don’t think humanity can or will reverse course. I populate those nereid waters with harpies and ghouls and extinct porpoises, spread by Bezos’ berserker mace. That’s an ocean without circulation.

    1. Rachel Carson’t ‘Silent Spring’ was published 60 years ago! We’ve known about this for decades. By ‘we’ I mean Shell, Total, Ford, Unilever etc etc. Remember when we used to see fly-tipping, streams full of carpet dye, fields full of no-birds? We accepted that this is how it is. We’ve tidied our act up a little since the 60s but only the façade and we’ve neatly shifted the blame for the real mess to the too-many Africans, the Chinese, the Indian sub-continent. We knew what we were doing, but short-termism is the order of the day. Because there won’t be a tomorrow.

      1. No, there won’t be a tomorrow, not the one our TVs were proclaiming while we were growing up. Now we’re growing up all over again. Reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s “Under A White Sky” about the impending threat of our “Solutions.” It isn’t just the corporations who are to blame. Maybe they got us addicted, but it’s our teeth that are fast to the teat.

      2. No, the corporations sell a dream that appeals to so many. Even when we know that we’re sawing off the branch we’re sitting on, they just say, change branch.

  5. Nature ,unfortunately, is falling victim to greed but, nature is wild and untamed and humans will pay a high price in the end. This is the only planet we have to live.

      1. I think we are buggered if we continue to live in the same way but I think a huge paradigm shift in consciousness is possible. That idea keeps me writing even if the evidence seems stacked against such a shift.

      2. I know what you mean. The human spirit, whatever else it does, clings to hope. I’ve noticed that awareness too. You have to be pretty determined to deny so much evidence. But I hear too much along the lines of, yes, it’s sad but there are too many people living in the Indian sub-continent anyway, who needs giant pandas, we all need to take holidays or it’s the gulag, and I love red meat too much to change my diet.
        Too many people who don’t care enough to change anything, no matter how small, even if in theory they admit that we need to take drastic action. They usually mean, somebody else needs to take drastic action. I don’t know what the solution is.

      3. I had no idea people were saying such thIngs. I’m reclusive and have a small circle of friends. I have a low tolerance for bigotry. I can understand why you feel defeated when you hear people saying such things. Over here in Australia the stupidy is currently ficused as an antimadk, anti vax, the virus is a hoax level. Awful stuff particularly when family members fall for it.
        For me the only place to go with all this stuff is to the writing desk.

      4. I hear real people saying this kind of thing, moderating it when they realise I don’t like it, but there’s so much of it on all the social media, interviews of ordinary people on the radio etc. It is depressing. The antivax is depressing for itself, but also, I find, it’s even more so when the same people who are out on the streets protesting about their loss of freedom won’t lift a finger over really important issues.

      5. Yes, there is a lot of ignorance and bigotry out there. I don’t look at socil media much now. My Facebook feed is mostly my sister in law posting conspiracy theories! I avoid her. Luckily she lives interstate. I don’t listen to commercial radio either. I do hear it sometimes in shops tho. I listen to chill music and I put my focus on other things. I read The Guardian . I medtitate. I spend time alone in nature. These things all work to keep me reasonably happy and give me the strength to go on writing and working towards a more holistic future.

      6. No, I stay away from FB but we have a family chat group on Messenger so I log into FB often. Nothing I see makes me want to join in though. Nature is the best medicine, and I’m lucky to have a bit of it. On the other hand,, I see too much ugliness here to be completely happy. Hedge destroying, hunting, the things rural folk do for fun.

      7. I don’t know about you, but my list of people/things to worry about has grown so immense I’m at the point of being submerged by it. Son was talking yesterday about how his generation are finding it so hard to even rent a room on the starting salaries they earn and most of them can expect to never earn any more. He doesn’t know why his eldest sister has just had a baby given that the world is such a shitty place and getting shittier by the minute. I know what he means and it breaks my heart to think of how in one generation kids of twenty have gone from complete carelessness about the future of the planet to a dread of what’s to come.

      8. Yes, therental situation in acute over here too and there are many depressed people in my family also. The world we have known teeters on the brink of collapse.
        This is where I find the creative edge. We all have a choice now. Do we sink under the weight of it all or do we swim to some other way of being? This is whatI am writing about. Sometimes in my poems forvEarthweal and everyday in my novel I hope to publish as an ebook later this year. I say hope because I’m deep into a structural edit that is taking me longer than I planned. 😊
        So yes, I agree the world is a shitty place right now but I’m not ready to lay down and die just yet. I still believe in a better world. My world building tools are words and art.

      9. I’m not desperate enough to give up either, but I don’t have much in anything. Certainly not the governments we have at the moment. Too attached to reproducing the cosy capitalist camaradierie that has got them where they are.
        I write a lot and would love to make a living at it but it’s becoming painfully obvious that you already have to be ‘somebody’ to get a foot in the door. Us nobodies have no chance. I’m writing for myself now.

      10. Exactly. I often see writers posting questions in groups about how can they get their characters to produce the ending that the author wants. I’m not sure it should work like that. You invent characters, give them a life, put them in a situation, and they have to solve it according to their abilities, not the cunning plan of a committee.

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