Avoiding Making Choices

An icecap swallowed
by the warming waves;
rain keeps falling in winter
as humans harm the hawks
and tumble the timber
the corals are bleaching, them brittle,
crumbling crustaceans to sand
while rodents are feasting
on the whales
that are moored on the beach
while we talk about weather,
lamenting the taxes on oil
on the prices of beef.

We might hear how species
cease to exist
but all we can do
is to round up the usual suspects
complaining that they —
politicians we have selected
must solve
the intricate problem
of how we should behave.

Humphrey Bogart (1899 – 1957) and Ingrid Bergman (1915 – 1982) star in the Warner Brothers film ‘Casablanca’, 1942. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Today Mish hosts dVerse and gives us a selection of movie quotes to embed in our poem. I am so happy that she included my favorite quote from one my favorite movies ever: Casablanca. For those who has ever seen the movie it’s spoken by Captain Renault at the very end of the movie when he refrains from telling the truth and thus saving Rick from the Germans. He says he will “round up the usual suspects” which for me always mean a diversion, and it’s a quote I use every now and then.

May 25, 2021

24 responses to “Avoiding Making Choices

  1. This is incredibly powerful, Bjorn! I love the manner in which you give voice to the significance of preserving wildlife and nature especially here; “crumbling crustaceans to sand while rodents are feasting on the whales that are moored on the beach while we talk about weather, lamenting the taxes on oil, on the prices of beef.” 💝

  2. I was hooked by the title, Björn, and drawn in further by the ‘icecap swallowed by the warming waves’ – and discovered an ecopoem incorporating a line from Casablanca! I love the use of alliteration to foreground the issue, most notably in the lines:
    ‘…tumble the timber
    the corals are bleaching, them brittle,
    crumbling crustaceans to sand’.
    I agree, we must round up the usual suspects.

  3. I really like the way the tone of the poem builds beginning with vivid pictures of what we’ve created. The message is spot on with putting the onus on a selected few when we are all to blame. This is powerful.

  4. You’re absolutely right Björn, and it is something that concerns me greatly: ‘we talk about weather,
    lamenting the taxes on oil
    on the prices of beef.’ – the very things that we should be doing away with in order to stop the damage before it is too late.

  5. Excellent use of the line to confront a problem we must all face.
    “while rodents are feasting
    on the whales
    that are moored on the beach”
    These lines were perhaps the most disturbing to me. We’ve seen whales and dolphins beached and it is devastating. But then to add that they are carcasses with rodents eating them…..oh this truly paints the picture of what humans have wrought.

  6. Well its always our reflex to point it to others do their job. Sadly we make some positive choices in our lives. A timely one Bjorn.

  7. I liked the line, “as humans harm the hawks”. You really nailed the prompt, explicating and illustrating our dun and dusky status quo.

  8. politicians we have selected
    must solve the intricate problem

    Classic assertion Bjorn! You picked the right punching bag who loves to be remembered even negatively.

    Hank

  9. The usual suspect is always someone else it seems, yet we all will pay the consequences. Maybe we can only avoid the choices for so long. Great write!

  10. A great strong statement against apathy! Seems we humans, as smart as we are, only live in the present. Passing the blame is a game we play to avoid reality.

  11. Very potent and very spot on. We talk and talk, but don’t really get around to changing anything. It’s always easier to blame it on someone else.

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