the fall

At Real Toads, Brendan is hosting the weekend challenge and asks us to ‘Imagine a Changing Earth.’ He links in to an essay by David Wallace Wells which is interesting reading and throws up perhaps the question of our time.

Brendan’s own notes on the prompt are well worthy of a read too, as always. Why not check them out and Follow this link.

Here is my poem in response to the prompt.

***         ***         ***

small is beautiful


Schumacher’s echo

resounds and


a message mostly unheard

in the now

as much as in the then


visionaries are oft ridiculed

until their ‘nonsense’

becomes a truth

and death’s rattle shakes up

the sleep into which we fell


but this canary still sings alone

whilst sleep walkers stomp

wildly and blindly upon themselves

and their own

in this closing down

once in a lifetime

‘everything (including YOU)

must go’ sale


this collective




is not





but stumbles



and gorging still

on community’s corn


defecating in it’s

own backyard

oblivious to the stink

and the fact that fertiliser

without seed is just shit


and when the shit don’t smell anymore

you’re in way too deep


tsunami acid rains down on hope

ecocidal theatre production

plays out the final scene


fuckwit wins the day


and so

as this avalanche advances


along the well worn slopes of

Jeffers’s dark mountain


you may wish to


light your beacon’s fire, tell your story, howl your rage, use up your last lemons, plant a flower, grow a cabbage, smoke a joint, kill a mockingbird, leave a voicemail for the politician, drink until it all goes away (it won’t), laugh with the madcap, dance naked, dance clothed, watch the sunrise, look at a truly dark sky (hint: wilderness), hug yourself, protest, hug someone else, protest, take a forest bath, meditate at 6.03 am precisely, watch the sunset from above the clouds and walk back in the dark, wear a skirt, protest, build a cabin, watch nature slowly, scream in public, sit still, ( insert your own), make every waking moment a blessing full of love, compassion and vulnerability because it matters


for your own sanity

for your own art

for your own sake

for the making of compost

steeped with grief

and the wombing of a seed


life’s longing

for itself



or you could just give the fuck up and wail



before you are swept up

in that tumbling heavy snow

whose white irony

enfolds and engulfs you

whilst whispering

words that

mock your last

too late



about the interconnectedness

of all life


about this ‘who-man’

whirled mess


about the (w)hole

from which we all just



***         ***         ***



E F Schumacher wrote the 1973 book Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered It was ranked by The Times Literary Supplement in 1995 as one of the 100 most influential books published since World War II.[2] In 1977 he published A Guide for the Perplexed as a critique of materialistic scientism and as an exploration of the nature and organisation of knowledge.

Robinson Jeffers penned a poem called ‘rearmament’ in the lead up to WWII. It is a poem for our time. You can read the full poem at the link below.

20 thoughts on “the fall

  1. Brendan says:

    I’ve always loved Jeffers’ inhumanism, his embrace of a nature freed of the human. I wonder if there’s a human nature that can be freed of the human as well? Great process here, getting deep in the shit (literally) and so harrowed, begin sounding the leys of the hallowed. (The iteration of potential actions is spot-on.) I look forward to reading the Jeffers poem. Thanks for joining into the prayer circle!

    • paul scribbles says:

      I think his inhumanism is echoed in the Dark Mountain Project’s ‘uncivilisation’ narrative. I think there is a wider nature that encompasses the human and that a more ecocentric worldview would perhaps offer us a glimmer. Even if that were to happen overnight I still think we are planting seeds for a world beyond the one we are currently destroying. Perhaps if we (collectively) felt it really was OURS we might do more.

  2. Kerry says:

    Oh I do love it when you get on a roll…

    oblivious to the stink
    and the fact that fertiliser
    without seed is just shit

    and when the shit don’t smell anymore
    you’re in way too deep…

    All humour aside, this is a very apt observation.

    Reading your poem felt like a kind of liberation, which is a rare thing in these times.

    • paul scribbles says:

      I’m amazed you found some humour in there…what with all that shit 😉 I’m so glad to hear you found the liberation seeded in the poem. Let’s call it what it is and then maybe we can begin to work with it.

  3. Sherry Marr says:

    Oh my GOODNESS, you just summed it up so brilliantly, i dont know if there is anything left to say. Perfection. I love the format, and the premise. At this point, i think our own sanity is the only thing we CAN save. A brilliant write. Wow.

      • Aurora says:

        Tiring. 🙂 Glad to be home.
        Honestly, it makes the pain greater to stare it in the face, you know? In person~ Seeing my family again, all the relationships that were stripped from me. I have to stay tough to be able to manage it, or it will crumble me and I won’t be able to get back up. My mom’s in a wheelchair, you see. I stay here because it’s best for my kids, but it’s absolutely the wrong thing to do for my mom. Obviously she needs me back home. Thank goodness my brothers and sister are still there, for now.

  4. kanzensakura says:

    The world changes and goes through risings and fallings of heat and cold. The fuckwits however have brought on this change sooner than later. This ending of the current ice age is our fault. It may have continued another 100 years but for us. But, 100 years in the space of time in the age of the earth? a brief blowing of the nose. I think it is conceit on our part that we are actually in charge of our destiny when actually, the earth is in charge. It is tired. It wants to go to sleep.

  5. kim881 says:

    I love how you got off on this one, Paul! I remember reading Small is Beautiful and feeling scared. ! really like the lines (which remind me of a cartoon I once saw – I can’t remember when or where or who made it, but it might have been German or Polish, from the late seventies or eighties)::
    ‘…death’s rattle shakes up
    the sleep into which we fell
    … whilst sleep walkers stomp
    wildly and blindly upon themselves
    and their own’.
    I never did like closing down sales; this one makes me shudder. And how true the lines:
    ‘oblivious to the stink
    and the fact that fertiliser
    without seed is just shit’.
    But I was given a little hope by the ‘tumbling heavy snow’ with its ‘white irony’.

  6. hedgewitch says:

    The way you string these phrases falls very naturally, and makes each stand out even while it adds to the (w)hole…I especially like the compressed paragraph in the middle, with its infinite possibilities of choice and experiences of which we seem to never realize enough~I hope(and also believe in some small corner) that there is a better future to be made if only the makers will show.

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