Waiting for Worms

After rain, the snow has melted;
in hedges and by the roadside,
beer cans, plastic cups and wrappers explode
like mutated flowers and, in isolated places,
fly-tippers’ gifts of mattresses and fridges are exposed.

On the other side of the world,
rare creatures perish, some with pelts,
horns and other parts removed,
waiting for worms to consume
the vestiges of their existence.

Humans’ degradation is obscene
while Mother Nature tries to keep the planet clean.

Kim M. Russell, 15th February 2021

Image result for free images flytipping

My response to earthweal weekly challenge: Already Dead

This week, Brendan reflects on humanity’s collusion in the extinction of life on a planet that has been through ‘three and a half billion years of living evolution and much if not most of it is now endangered by the actions of just one species over an infinitesimal 10 thousand years’ and explores his personal contribution to the pollution it will take millions of years to biodegrade.

I was interested in Brendan’s paragraph about Hagakuri (‘hidden leaves’), the guide for the samurai warrior, which ‘states that the warrior’s code of bushido is really the Way of Dying: “If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he pains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling.” By living in constant awareness of one’s death, it is possible to attain a transcendent state of freedom. It is by being already dead that one finds true life.’

I agree that being already dead does not permit us to do nothing and that there is much we can do to reduce, save and sustain our world. Brendan says it is a paradox that ‘for all our destruction, our species has never been more aware of its responsibility as a sentient species to care for all of life’.

For this challenge, Brendan as us to write about Already Dead. What does Already Dead look and feel like, what echoes do we hear in the registers of extinction, what gifts and/or freedoms does it bestow?

Free image found on iStock.

19 thoughts on “Waiting for Worms

  1. I’m sure the angels of life on earth (bacteria mostly, with some carbon dioxide and water molecules thrown in) must marvel in dread at the antilife manners of its royal species. Nothing grows back from our eternal plastic, and the animals who had been growing horns through millions of generations find them so casually cleaved of them and left to rot. How could this regnant species be the literal fantasy of walking dead? Great job Kim. (PS, you and Jane have quite a liking crew, why don’t they comment?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a poignant image of Mother Nature desperately trying to clean up our mess while we make more and more of it: isn’t that the task of all mothers? But we seem incapable of learning from this one!


    1. I despair at all the waste by the side of our country lanes. It had all been cleared and it’s appeared again during lockdown – where is it all coming from?


    1. I was in a sombre mood, Sarah. According to the national Geographic, when threatened by worms/nemstodes, bacteria summon killer fungi So yes, we must work on fungi!


  3. Poem and photo have great impact. I will never understand people dumping stuff by the roadside……..and wish plastic had never been invented. Great post, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh gosh, what awful sights you describe. Such a marked contrast to your poetic evocation of winter grey that I just read. You certainly are a versatile poet. Your descriptions are so vivid I can easiy visualize what you describe.

    Liked by 1 person

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