Yes, I’d cheer for life too but the song of myself
would not have been like the one sung,
from the other side of the Pacific,
almost two centuries ago.
I have never witnessed the horror of a war
first hand, nor laid my eyes on famine’s brutal face,
scourging through the humble populace,
I have only seen them on those news clips,
catered for the audience and compatible
with the visions and skeletons as well
of the illustrious owners in the board
and I shall never feign that I know how it feels.
I have never seen how hard it can be
to sow and reap the grains of food
from a stretch of frozen stone, for in my strange land,
to an unaccustomed eye it would seem
that even the bird droppings bloom,
courtesy of the fertile silt along the banks
of our ancient rivers, both large and small;
the cause of our national lethargy, perhaps.
The earliest scene from my childhood, long gone,
that I can recall is a paddy field,
soothing green as far as the horizon
beneath the sky so bright and pristine blue.
Since then the sapphire and the emerald
both have faded into the haze of pollution
while the stench of synthetic pesticide has grown
stronger in the helpless air and the abused ground.
Here the birds fly and chirp in early dawn
to welcome the sun but that is mundane
across the natural world, still alive,
hardly thriving though and I should confess
that just a tiny fraction has survived
the rapid expansion of human habitat.