I want to be an eco-warrior and stand a-top a mound
Wave leaves and flowers like flags for the earth
And call to all around:
“Don’t kill the animals! Don’t poison the plants!
“Don’t burn trees to the ground!”
“Leave beauty where you see it.”
“Don’t covet all you’ve found.”
I want to fight for truth and hope
Teach sharing, caring ways
And show each human how wanting less will bring us better days
Let’s look past borders, let’s empower the poor
Let’s end this greedy phase
Give hope to future people
And the children that they raise
I want to change the way we teach: setting children on course for greed
Drive minds instead to long term plans
With warnings they must heed:
Give up your ego, give up your bling
Give time to thought and deed
See wealth for what it really is:
Taking more than you need.
For it is our greed that got us here:
Our desire to own and win.
Our minds must change from envy and respect
To avoiding this huge sin.
Quiet, committed thinkers
Are the role models for me
No Bransons, Trumps or Windsors
May ever come for tea
Admire the ones we’ve never heard of
Who never took a dime
Who ask for nothing in return
Though they’ve given so much time.
I’ll never be that warrior
Up high for all to see
I fear for the attention
And the conflict aimed at me
But I will heed my own message
And write for solidarity:
Power to the future
And the sea
Destroying nature is not progress
That’s for the trees.
I draw three fingers gently down a page of sheet music and examine the dust. I left it open weeks – months – ago as a “Come and play me” but every day and every glance the pressure to do something else or the realisation I didn’t have time (my own fault: I didn’t make time; I didn’t complete other things quickly enough) won. I look at the notes and sing them in my head as I think of shopping and check the time yet again. Too bashful anyway to make a sound when I’m not alone. My camera is the same: dusty, waiting, unsure of its future. My imagination floods other worlds into my head, people I’ve never met appear to me and words unfold never to be spoken, never to be written. To be creative, to be musical, to thrive on sounds and words and images that I am part of, that come at my own pace, but to live in a world where sounds and words and images are now a media bombardment, gives me a sense of worthlessness: “We don’t need your creativity, Rachel,” the world seems to say, “Do something more useful. We have TV, we have radio, we have famous musicians, famous authors, big money stuff that draws respect.” Creativity that once served like a gentle, loving gift is now owned, branded, thrust upon us.
To just do, to just feel, to just enjoy has become pointless.
So here I am. Left. Frozen in moments. Waiting for the time when it will be okay. Living a lie. Stiff with impatience and boredom at a world that doesn’t pay with joy by the experience but with the dollar and the pound by the hour.
Wondering “Who am I?”
I will not judge you if you do not wear a poppy.
I will not judge you if you do wear a poppy.
I will not judge you if you wear a red poppy.
I will not judge you if you wear a white poppy.
I will not judge you if you wear your poppy with pride.
I will not judge you if you share your reasons for not wearing one.
I will be sad for systems that force the wearing of a poppy.
I will feel sad for those who fear the outcome of their choices.
I will be disappointed with those who feel they have the right to express anger at others’ choices.
I will remember that all death in war is tragic, futile and calamitous.
I will remember those forced to give their lives: certainly, bravely, reluctantly, screaming for home, running in terror.
I will remember lives blasted away, families ripped apart, generations lost. Mental and bodily health ruined.
And I will hear the echo of those determined, traumatised souls of the past warning: “Never again. Never again.”
We must surely remember but we surely must not judge.
For surely when we judge; when we make no attempt to understand, we sit in different camps like enemies and do battle.