Sunday, October 25, 2015

Two degrees

The earth’s the only known paradise, don’t get me wrong
But we have mortgaged our future for a song
They say we are only two degrees from hell
A generation to come will have to ring that bell

Warming hearts did not cause that mess
Neither the poor, for whom coal fires bring bliss
It’s easy to speak from a rich man’s cave
But that isn’t the hallmark of the brave

What on earth got us here?
The answer isn’t what one would like to hear
Fire in the mind rivals that of the sun
In the heat of the moment, great damage is done

Billions of such mental suns burn bright
Fighting proxy wars just out of sight
Mind goads the body to take the fall
It considers itself too holy to get into a dirty brawl

Acceptance and humility cool the air
The ego would say, don’t you dare
Ever in search of a balmy life
Without the scent of strife

But unable to withdraw billowing smokestacks
Of anger and hate, try as one may there’s always danger of relapse
Teetering on the edge every moment
Held steady only by the promise of greater enjoyment

The earthship can right itself
A sign would be a stagnant and frozen ice shelf
If humankind didn’t interfere
By rolling back the speed of life by just one gear

Ignoring the riches locked away in the permafrost
Would spare the future generations the opportunity cost
Two degrees may not seem much
But who are we to judge?

Guilty of consuming fossil fuel
To keep our air conditioned environs cool
The modern mind cannot be inconvenienced
But nature cannot be silenced

An ambling juggernaut
That cannot be fought
Believers and disbelievers alike
Better get away when nature’s fury strikes

It's only two degrees away
A cataclysmic grey
Enemies and friends would have to band together
To figure out how to bring back fair weather

Prevention trumps cure
Why put ourselves at risk to endure?
Green isn’t bad economics
When time runs out, there’s little use for profits

Taking a moment to pause and breathe
Even as thoughts seethe
Rivaling a desert’s summer heat
From where there is no place to retreat

Cools heads can solve this impasse
That threatens the rich and the working class
Waiting for poisoned oceans where fish go belly up
Would put us in the careless club

Given such a grand gift
Very little is needed to inwardly subsist
Eyes can feast on blue and green
While the attention quietly embraces the scene

If there is true love for the earth
Which is life’s only hearth
There would be unity
To keep the weather Gods in equanimity

They always have the last laugh
All that the dinosaurs left behind was chaff
When the weather turned
Their reign was quickly spurned

History always has a lesson to teach
It is silent and does not preach
The rising tides to come
May not have the familiar thrum

There are only two degrees of separation
Between heaven and damnation
The choice is ours
Do we want a predictable bloom of flowers?

  • N. Seshadri