Greta Thunberg Ode

By | 1 February 2020

children the size of adults
pester me with questions like

how big is your carbon footprint?

I mean yes
I’m a minor poet

not a major corporation

but I’d still prefer being
taken to task by someone
with a stake in the future

over being taken to court

watching the lawyers
stride in
& out of the stone building

from the shade of this
frankly arrogant tree
resplendent with carbon

there is a whiff of the
entitlement that comes off
a certain kind of person
who when asked

still or sparkling


something equally
as bougie

—is firing off tweets
as bad as burning down

I mean
I get it
some kids don’t want to have to
think about the anthropocene

they want gazelles

they want supreme

on the other hand

grew up
climbing trees

barefoot & in rags
swinging off
the fig trees
outside the zoo

a real Mowgli figure
of inner suburban Adelaide

imagining the tree
was my mother

or at least the female
tree-character from

(…Grandmother Willow, but I had to IMDb it)

you stop to think
for a minute
that’s a strange film

I mean
from a contemporary perspective

there’s settlement
& the reek of entitlement
not to mention
the extensive
land clearing

plus it stars

Mel Gibson
before he got cancelled

for saying those
awful things about
Jewish people

—my point being

can the market
really be relied upon
to even all of this out?

to absorb our
the way trees
absorb our carbon
from the

can a pouch of tobacco
costing $36
really stop someone
from smoking?

can e-cigarettes?

can this 36 degree day
lived here
that could be anywhere
somewhere in
the golden age of capitalism?

in the way that
a plant turns golden when the sun
had voided it
of its moisture?

in the way
we tend
to convince ourselves
things are beautiful
even as they’re
right in front
of our eyes?

I’ve been
having better conversations
since accepting this
perennial state of

reading about the school
protests & watching Greta
Thunberg videos on youtube

accepting the
solution will not be simple
or easy

as unpalatable
as it tastes

this soy latte
is not the solution

with the newspaper
in front of me
which I’m sure
almost no one my age
or younger
is reading

the editorial suggests

maybe plant a tree?

or get a sodastream?

failing that
their logic would

just go back to work
as normal?

& if you don’t have a job

buy one?

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