Jane Pauline Mann's Letter

to our leaders,

Yet Still - to you our leaders

We knew, way back, the facts
when scientists made us aware
that CO2 could be a threat
to our soil, our seas, our air.

We knew and you, our leaders, knew.
Yet still you let greed rake
our soil with its claws,
rape our forests for steak.

Growth at all costs your mantra,
no matter the rupture,
no matter the planes staining
the sky, straining our future.

Now fires are sweeping fast
through California, Greece and Spain.
Forests that once were green with life
fleeced to blackened racks of pain.

Flash floods in Pakistan have swept
away its crops of grain and rice,
its vital soil and livelihoods,
the lives of those who pay the price.

There's drought in Asia, Africa,
rivers, lakes now running down,
ground water now inadequate,
fields for food now bleached to brown.

Yet still we drive, fly, fossil fuelled
and farmers seek to clear the land
for cattle farms, more bio loss,
a soil denuded, dry as sand.

Yet still your focus is to win,
the next election, short term gain,
make sure the rich stay rich,
the poor comply and don't complain.

When will you wake? When will you see
the urgency to face the fact
that we must put the planet first,
that we all need to change, to act.

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