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The Lovers Cried and the Poets Dreamed

1:02 pm in Uncategorized by Isaiah 88

A long, long time ago, I can still remember how that music used to make me smile. The music of idealism, the anthems of equality, the lyrical poetry of peace we heard from Democrats in the days of Bobby Kennedy and Gene McCarthy and George McGovern. But the music died, we all know what killed it, and we all know where we are now.

Mixed metaphors ahead, proceed with caution . . .

We’re Dante in that dark wood, we’re a shadow in the dust on the road not taken, we’re an entire society with an appointment in Samarra, we‘re a ghost ship on the face of the deep, chasing the great white whale of profit. I don’t like where we’re going, I don’t trust the captain, I suspect the hull is full of holes, but what do I know? I’m just a deckhand.

Call me Ishmael.

I can’t remember if I’ve just survived a shipwreck or if there’s one on the way. Probably both. I’m not as young as I used to be, my heart only beats when I’m here, but my eyes are just fine, I know a catastrophe when I see one, and this one is going to be off the charts . . .


The permanently-frozen soils of Siberia contain more than a trillion tons of carbon dioxide and methane, stored during the last ice age. If a small temperature rise causes the ground to melt, the released greenhouse gases could dramatically accelerate the global warming process.

I could provide further gory details, but everyone here understands what the chain reaction of environmental, social, economic, geopolitical, and ultimate death toll consequences are going to be when a trillion tons of carbon dioxide and methane start saturating the atmosphere, and the famines and the resource wars begin.

February makes me shiver, with every diary I deliver. I’d like to see spring, but all I see is a silver thorn and a bloody rose, lying crushed and broken on the virgin snow. There’s bad news on the doorstep, but we have to take one more step, and then another one, and then as many as it takes to save what we can.

There are lovers here, there are poets here, there are tears and there are dreams, everyone here is reaching out to the sons and daughters of humanity out there across this weary world, in troubled sleep beneath the stars of night. I know how hard you’ve tried to awaken them, I know how hard you’ve tried to set them free, but they would not listen; they did not know how.

Perhaps they’ll listen now.

Rings of Smoke Through the Trees

11:03 am in Uncategorized by Isaiah 88

There’s a sign on the wall. There’s always a wall. There’s always a sign on it. The rich erect the walls and the politicians plaster the signs all over them. Don’t read those signs anymore, don’t even bother looking at them, those signs don’t matter any more.

The signs you need to worry about aren’t on those walls. They’re in the poisoned air all around you. They’re in that dying sky above you. They’re in the ravaged earth beneath your feet. Those signs are everywhere, posted by Nature and written in pain, warning of fracking and mountaintop mining, of ozone depletion and carbon emissions, of species extinction and polar cap melting, of the acid in the rain and the death of the oceans.

Catastrophic climate change hasn’t been invited to any boardroom meetings on Wall Street, it’s never been interviewed on Fox News, it’s never been a guest on Morning Joe or Meet the Press, it’s not important enough to deserve any attention from the Grand Bargainers, it’s not welcome to testify in front of any committee of any congress or parliament anywhere, because the people who own this corporate bank vault that used to be a planet decide what’s heard and what isn’t, decide who can speak and who can’t, decide for all of us what the future will be.

But for some bizarre reason even Luke Russert can’t explain, catastrophic climate change has decided to testify anyway. It’s dropping by to say hello, It’s pounding on the doors of America, it’s pounding on the doors of Europe, it’s pounding on the doors of Asia, it’s standing on the doorstep of the world with more superstorms right behind it and the fire of karma in its eyes, it‘s come calling with a very loud final word or two for us before all the lights go out . . .


The world can’t say there wasn’t enough time to stop the polluting and the poisoning and the drilling, governments were given plenty of time to stop the ravaging of the environment. We knew the corporate capitalists were playing with fire, we saw the rings of smoke drifting through the trees long ago, but no one in power ever listens to progressives.

Or to songwriters.

In 1971, Robert Plant wrote a song about the threat of materialism, about saving the environment, about a stairway to heaven. He knew it can’t be bought with gold, it can’t be purchased with corporate cash, it can’t be acquired by the highest bidder and privatized for profit. It’s not for sale.

Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow? And did you know? Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

Your stairway, our stairway, is still out there somewhere, it can still be found, it can still be climbed, it can still lead us to reason.

That’s why it’s there.

It’s been more than forty years, but there’s still a tree by a brook, there’s still a songbird singing, there’s still a whisper of redemption in the wind, maybe there’s still time to change the road we’re on . . .