Sunday, 12 November 2006

Earth Passengers

"I don't want to be a passenger in my own life." (Diane Ackerman)

Not having ever learnt to drive
I am a constant passenger
on buses, trains and ferries
old Mazda trucks in Malawi
even planes when necessary

In my life I guess I want
to control the driving wheel
rather than to be controlled
by government or family

but we accept being passengers
on earth, abdicating
responsibility for the mess we're in
watching the scenery on the tv
as we hurtle through space
on an overheating planet.

Destination unknown.

This is now a second draft (as the first draft was not clear in meaning to some readers), written in response to the Diana Ackerman quote as suggested by this week's Sunday Scribblings.

For more about global warming and what you can do to try to stop it getting worse, please visit:

If we all take action now and refuse to be just passengers we may be able to secure a planet worth living on for future generations.


Brad said...



Nihil may not have said it quite so poetically.

Abdication, mess, control, hurtle, unknown... these are words that communicate a life without joy.

Seek control and you get squashed. Abdicate and you can complain about the bastards...

Take a risk. Grab the wheel.

Catherine said...

I don't think I read it as being as joyless as Brad suggests - more realistic (and it is sometimes the most realistic people who do the most to fix things up). I think that we do need to recognise that we are passengers on earth and can't totally bend everything to our own selfish will.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Brad and welcome to Crafty Green Poet! No it wasn't meant as poetic nihilism. My point was that we accept being passengers on earth too easily and while Catherine is right to point out we are all by necessity passengers, we need to wake up and realise there are things that are in our power to change so that the earth doesn't hurtle to a gloomy end. If global warming continues as quickly as it currently is then we're in a mess. That's realism, not nihilism.

Hmm maybe I need to make my point of view clearer in the completed poem!

paris parfait said...

Wonderful poem and great points! Too many people pay no attention to our environment and take it all for granted.

Rethabile said...

"Destination unknown"
Yes, unknown. We're in deep trouble, aren't we? Your poem says we're passengers in our own lives. True, but a pity all the same. Cheers

Mike said...

Poignant statement about our times...and our responsibility. I definitely enjoyed this piece. Cheers.

Mike said...

Poignant statement about our times...and our responsibility. I definitely enjoyed this piece. Cheers.