The beginning of the story


Some time ago 

when all creatures wandered free 

when trees grew lush thickets 

when streams bubbled with laughter

roamed tiger-sized lions 

roamed dragonlike lizards 

roamed giant kangaroos.


Into the forest stepped a tribe 

of small, powerful apes 

who drove these creatures to extinction 

to claim the forest for themselves 

who burned down the trees with fatal fires

with thoughtless abuse of their power 

who turned the streams to dirty wastewater 

their laziness trumping their virtue. 

They dominated the forest 

and took what they wanted. 

But the forest, unlike them, 

kept giving and giving 

ceaselessly, selflessly

to the tribe who refused to give back.


As the tribe grew in size 

and continued to take 

the fortunes clouded the eyes

of the leaders, moneymakers, 

blind, as they were, 

the tribe plunged on in their journey. 

For all they saw 

was the green of the cash 

not green of the trees, 

not of tender spring buds. 

For all they cared 

it was all-you-can-take 

and they took all they could, 

they conquered it all. 


The tribe’s citizens could see a little more 

watching the destruction 

worsen each day 

but as fingers touched more riches, 

as ears heard hollow promises,

they turned their backs to the calls of nature 

denying the truth 

they claimed it was just

a part of development 

a fixable issue 

and a sign of Man’s growth. 


But the eyes of their children

were clear like full moons 

as more were born into 

watching forest life weaken 

by the day 

so their eyes only widened 

at the horrors around them. 


Their hope started waning

it seemed too big to address. 

How? they wondered, 

we don’t have the power…