The Green & The Red

shepherds' warning
Maiasaura & Azhdarchid by Wayne Barlowe

The Green & The Red

To comment that Nature is always in balance
Is viewing it just in the shortest of terms –
Infact, as the countless extinctions all show
How the strong will go on, and the weak will just go.
For Nature exploits with its various talents,
From predator apex to parasite worms,
With no thought for planning or smoothing-out quirks –
And the law of the jungle is ‘whatever works’.

Like the tusks of a babirusa
Or a peacock’s sexy tail,
Nature will often fail through greed –
And as for the losers, let them all bleed !

From ancient bacteria breathing out oxygen,
Right upto elephants knocking down trees,
They do it regardless, they live for today –
And the balance keep shifting, and life finds a way.
So don’t think of Nature as perfection’s proxy
When plague-rats are swarming with some new disease –
For humans could not be more nat’ral, in truth,
When Nature is selfish and red in the tooth.

Like the cheetah and gazelle,
It’s an arms race to the bottom
The tree of life is rotten through
With its endless fascination for the new.

But warnings are warnings – why must we resist them ?
We still haven’t learned not to piss in the wadis –
We poison ourselves when we poison our neighbours –
The stables need cleaning, but nobody labours.
And sure, we are smart, but we’re part of the system –
For just as our thoughts are a part of our bodies,
So bodies are Nature, and Nature is us –
As perfectly nat’ral as cancer and pus.

Like the lemmings booming and busting,
There’s too many of us, however clever
But Nature’s balance is never still –
And if we can’t fix it, other life will.

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