Hope and no hope

How good to see those pearl-white drops of snow emerging from your garden's drab
How good to feel upon your face, however weak, late winter's sun:
You hear the upsurge melody of birds and thus oncoming Spring your spirits grab
But look, how still today she lies, Loch Ewe, Earth's ocean's ravaged womb.

My verse this morning comes directly from watching a TV program last night. The good people of Barra in the Outer Hebrides seemed to be united under the shamefuly short-sighted banner of their church leaders against the concept of making 'their' stretch of the sea into a protected Marine Park. Scottish Natural Heritage tried their best to convince their audience of the long term advangages - even necessities - of the plan but it was evident that nobody was listening.

Having watched the West Coast lochs being turned, over the thirty years past, from fish nursery abundance into fish-less marine deserts I could only marvel at the sheer stupidity, the mammonical, 'money uber alles' of it all. Even there in Barra, I thought? There in surely one of the most beautiful, unspoiled places on the face of mother Earth.

Read Charles Clover's The End Of The Line if you have any interest in the world in which your grandchildren are going to live. No, it won't be like 'our' world, for we have ravaged it so comprehensively in the name of - just what? Our own creature comfort?

Those Islanders must know that a thriving undersea will bring in greater prosperity to all via eco-tourism and massively improved fish catches along the fringes of the Marine Park / undisturbed fish breeding grounds. I will never believe that Mankind is incapable of finding ways to live without wrecking everything and every living thing in sight. One of my early poems included the lines: This land is surely no more yours / Than once it was the dinosaur's.  (We are all simply inhabitants and caretakers of the land on which we happen to live. Nothing more. The good Father on Barra should know who it is who 'owns' everything. And that it isn't us.)

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