What On Earth Is Sustainable?

A good question to ask
When all that’s given
Of incomparable value
Seems to come at a price
Worth more or worth less
As a set of commodities
On the supermarket shelf
Of vacuum-packaged distress

Where what scores most regularly
Is considered most consistently
To be the best
Of those put to the test
To be singled out
For maximum uniform production
Of an elite order
And preserved in a perpetual pickle

Whilst discarding the rest
Of rampant variety
Into a stultifying space
Of squandered vitality

Placed under arrest
Somewhere else
Where none can have grace
To give of their best
What they gratefully receive

Meanwhile, as our favourite selection reigns supreme
It closes its hatches
Against all oddness
In a harrowing victory
That spells desolation
For each and all
In a row standing stiffly on proud parade
Amidst the fallen rank and filed
Away for safe keeping

Because no one kind
Can sustain itself
As a monoclonal antibody
Of corporate ill health
In narrowing arteries
Blocking the flow
Betwixt heart and head

What is truly downright ugly
In the natural world
Is the clot in the landscape
That claims for itself
All credit for wealth

Of human despair crying
Never heard but trying
Itself to the limit
Within drab straight walls
That shut out the wildness
That burns to come in

A wildness whose life cannot deaden
And whose death can only enliven
The vital space
Breathing in and out
The fresh air and water
Flowing through channels
Of pulsating arteries
Sustaining supply from a pool
That empties as it fills
With no fear of drought
Or stagnant disgrace

Rich in expression
Of rampant variety
Through irregular heartbeat
Of present giving what passes
Through central reception
Into continual future

Where all that can be sustained
Are sustained
Accepting the invitation
To hold, protect and pass on
The capacity to flourish
In a pool that ripples and ruffles
Amid spells of calm

To ask what on Earth is sustainable
Is not the same
As to ask what’s best
To preserve in isolation
As a keeper of deadness

But to ask what can keep going
By giving what’s given
Its unique evanescence
To sustain the flow
Of what’s coming around
In perishable packaging
To have not to hold
For ever

Share the Post:

Make an impact from your inbox.

Sign up to stay informed on the latest news, events, and volunteer opportunities. Thanks, and welcome!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.