Category Archives: environment

Are We Listening? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: from spring 2018, Leda Nature Reserve, Everlastings in full bloom. (One or two rains and the bush comes alive)

“The forest makes your heart gentle, You become one with it … No place for greed or anger there.” Pha Pachak

Are We Listening?

Do winds come to die, or the 
ocean exhaust itself upon the shore,
are trees silent before the storms of
humanity, does grass wither?
You might think it if you took no time 
to stop and listen, for trees speak in
silences and grass always regenerates,
while oceans shout in their return,
winds take time to rest and even the
soil speaks if we would but listen.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Are We Capable? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: stocksnap at pixabay.com

“What people want is not the easy peaceful life that allows us to think of our unhappy condition, nor the dangers of war, nor the burdens of office, but the agitation that takes our mind off it and diverts us.” Blaise Pascal

Are We Capable?

Do we only find meaning in what we make,
are we capable of attending to the natural world,
to wait on events not of our doing or control,
or is our attention fragile, a result of distraction?

Are we capable of attending to the natural world,
to challenge ourselves to be present to the issues,
or is our attention fragile, a result of distraction,
always seeking, always grasping, never waiting.

To challenge ourselves to be present to the issues,
suspending our search for a heroic intervention,
always seeking, always grasping, never waiting,
time to end the denial that the planet is terminal.

Suspending our search for a heroic intervention,
to wait on events not of our doing or control,
time to end the denial that the planet is terminal,
do we only find meaning in what we make?


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Beware Toxic Positivity – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Image: found at borgenmagazine.com

“The many sorrows of our recent history suggest that we humans have a learning disability.” Carl Sagan

Beware Toxic Positivity

I was thinking about extinction
and finding the whole problematic
is lost to us while ever we play with
life as an idea, a thought, a concept,
we dizzy in speculation as with deckchairs,
better to argue infinitum than engage with
the reality that looms before us,
our denial is obvious in our choices,
amusing ourselves to death in a world of 
ostriches with ideas of abstract fantasies,
real hope lies in action.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Calling – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: Nature_Design at pixabay.com

“I’m planting a tree to teach me to gather strength from my deepest roots.” Andrea Koehle Jones

Calling

On a bleak desert plain I planted
a tiny seed, it was the last of its kind,
all others having failed to sprout in
this hostile clime of searing heat and
cheap words, a forlorn hope with
crossed fingers and many incantations,
a seed of tomorrow calling to me in
my sleepless dreams, to plant a future
outside of this malevolent  drama, this 
self-enclosed fantasy we call living.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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The High Horse – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Image: found at the sanctuarymagazine.org

“There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” David Attenborough

The High Horse 

That horse was high,
the drop was long,
we saddled ourselves,
a collective myopia
with the bit between
trusting our own creative
lies of soothe, fantasies 
of paradise and the reality 
too dark to contemplate,
a paralysing denial has
reined us in on ourselves,
and it is past the time to
awaken, yet the wake is 
already before us.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Slender Stems – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: a lemon flowering grevillea from my garden.

“I think for any relationship to be successful, there needs to be loving communication, appreciation, and understanding.” Miranda Kerr

Slender Stems

Sometimes it is the simplest things that speak,
while yet not knowing the language or even the
way of forming a sentence or meaning by way
of response, and it dawns, slowly, that perhaps
a response is impossible despite the complexity
of education or presumption, because nothing
is required, only the acceptance of receiving 
slender stems of beauty in this moment, which 
cannot be owned by words, but yet understood 
by heart alone.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Defining Moment – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Image: from therugbygroup.sandler.com

“The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.” Dante Alighieri

Defining Moment

We are never so defined as by our crises,
the irruptions of pressure force change,
suddenly malaise transforms to purpose,
individualism rediscovers its malignancy.

The irruptions of pressure force change,
denial is the most useless safety helmet,
individualism rediscovers its malignancy,
slowly but surely we leave our cocoons.

Denial is the most useless safety helmet
while ignorance is the tightest kevlar,
slowly but surely we leave our cocoons,
the dividing line of transition now drawn.

While ignorance is the tightest kevlar,
suddenly malaise transforms to purpose,
the dividing line of transition now drawn,
we are never so defined as by our crises.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

Note: in this I am deeply influenced by Jean-Paul Sartre’s dictum that the French were never so free as when Germany occupied France – meaning that it suddenly gave purpose, called forth identity and action.

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Whose Time Has Come – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: From acmstravel.com a view of the Whanganui River, NZ which in 2012 was recognised in NZ law as a natural entity with legal rights equivalent to humans. This followed on from the first landmark case in 2008 in Ecuador when the Vilcabama River was protected by granting it rights at law.

“Nature cannot be seen solely as a resource to be owned, exploited and profited from.” Suzanne Benally

Whose Time Has Come

Global never thinks local,
only to its own lusted desires,
but among the suited ties of
the mean sx landing barges
comes the conscienced 
resistance of the locals, 
whose time has come to speak
of cousins as rivers and trees,
whose rights are sacred and
who now wait to sue the suits
off miners who would euthanase 
every breath of life in an irony
of futures doomed.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Someone, Something, Somewhere – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: by skitterphoto at pixabay.com

“All choices are fraught with peril, but inaction is the most perilous of all.” Frewin Jones

Someone, Something, Somewhere

Sitting with our eyes closed in a dark mediation,
we're not painting slogans,
not marching or gathering,
we haven't written much at all,
no rallying call lingers on our lips,
just sitting, waiting, hoping
that someone or something,
somewhere, will cause a spark,
meanwhile we're
sitting with our eyes closed in a dark meditation.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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Writ Large – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: from gcg.net.au asbestos fibres.

“We can’t go on as we have been.” Sir David Attenborough

Writ Large

Of thalidomide and asbestos,
those roman pipes of lead,
benzine to carbon making
nearly everything so dead,
atomic wet-dreams,
what a gas, or just a 
fracking nuisance and the last,
with plastic sands and bubble
wrapped whales carrying tales
of wasted trees on which the lies
we subscribed are writ large.


Copyright 2022 ©Paul Vincent Cannon
All Rights Reserved ®

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