Instead of wallowing in my guilt at my good fortune, I will share with you the poem that I wrote, intending to read it during the "open mike" section.
The Inter-Galactic Greenie
I wanted to write a poem
A grand poem to be read in public.
It would be as rhythmic as a ballad by Banjo
And as moving as a passage from Eliot(But less obscure)
And it would make you smile.
But I’m not a fancy poet
Just a mediocre story-teller.
I found some perfect lines
While I was putting out the compost
But the dog tripped me up.
I didn’t spill the smelly vegies
Just lost my words.
I had a story I wanted to tell,
Of an alien who came
To try and save the planet
From environmental disaster.
His arrival would be quiet, but spectacular,
And he would look like an intergalactic frog
In a weird, black suit,
With a voice that chirped.
I tried to make it rhyme –
I was aiming for a ballad –
There were words I wanted the alien
To pronounce emphatically:
“I have looked into your future
And it’s hot and harsh and dead;
If you don’t change the way you live
There’s no life on Earth ahead.”
But, as always, it just sounded like doggerel to me;
And I didn’t think any-one would find it particularly persuasive,
Especially as I couldn’t find a way
To say what I really wanted.
Like my alien I didn’t “want to give offense
Despite people being so very dense”
And my ragged words can not capture
The burning prophet in my soul . . .
You see, when I turn around to face
The mammoth in the room,
The environmental time bomb
To which we all contribute,
I can’t seem to communicate the sense of panic that I feel
The certainty that we are killing ourselves
And my words shrivel up
Words are no good any more;
It’s action that the world needs,
Change on a global scale,
But people just keep throwing their hands in the air
Saying, “What can I do?”
We no longer believe in people power –We ignore the bleak future – the inevitable payback for our
Investment in our comfortable lives.
So, the world will miss the irony of my final stanzaWhen the alien admits that he’s a galactic greenie
Come to save the human race,
A seriously endangered species,
From its greatest threat – itself.
And I wonder if there is any-one else
Out there shouting into the void
Who has words to reach the deaf.
Is there any-one out there . . .
Who can convince us to save ourselves?