World Environment Day

World Environment Day

Today 5th June 2020 is World Environment Day. The world seems quite an unsettled place at the moment. Environmental issues seem to have taken a back seat.

As a family, we made the decision many years ago to avoid flying. Taking a plane to a destination just to fulfil a desire to ‘see’ that place, doesn’t feel like a good enough reason. I wrote a poem about unnecessary flying a while ago. In the current situation with aircraft being grounded due to the corona virus, I have revisited the poem. Today felt like a good day to share it.

Scratches on The Sky

Looking straight up high

I breathe a heavy sigh

For I cannot help but chunter

About the scratches on the sky


It wasn’t all that long ago

Within my parent’s life

That sky was free from long straight stripes

Cut as with a knife


I quite like the jet plane

As a piece of techno skill

I enjoyed the flights I’ve had

And I guess I’d love them still


It’s the glibness of the flyers

That I fail to understand

It takes a lot of energy

to lift things off the land


For emergencies I think it’s right

Technology should grow

But emergencies are not the drivers

Of the traffic at Heathrow


Is it worth our atmosphere

to make more rich men wealthy

In their air conditioned shells

emitting fumes unhealthy


And does it really help the world

for everyone to see

Machu pichu, China’s wall

Or Memphis Tenessee


It seems to me that bucket lists

And the World of the ‘Must-See’

Are crowding herds of people

Into planes to cross the sea


What’s wrong with boats and wheels and sails

Or legs of man or horse

In a world so fast are they too slow?

You answer me, “Of course”


Was Noah wrong to float his boat

Are people wrong to care

Do the answers for our troubled world

really lie up there?


Thundering through the sky so loud

On the ground we cannot hear

The softest sounds of loved ones

Or nature on our ear


I must confess at this late stage

My loved ones flew away

And left a scratch upon the sky

Saying “visit us someday”


It hurts it hurts it hurts so much

To live by a belief

doing the right thing

isn’t guaranteed relief


Come fly come fly come fly to us

say friends and kin afar

for solace I wish everyone

be happy where they are


I don’t agree

Cannot agree

With those flying hunks of metal

My world is here upon the ground

With butterfly and petal


I know some conservationists

Fellow guardians of the earth

Who tell their airline stories

With open pride and mirth


We know enough not to drive

around our homes in cars

The fumes would choke us quickly

Yet we fly beneath the stars


We know that atmospheric dust

And smoke and vapour spray

Are damaging the biosphere

Day on day on day


And yet the aeroplanes commence

To thread their merry way

Sewing us inside a bag

We’ll grow to hate someday


Can it be right, to take a flight

Up in the sky so high

When emissions in our atmosphere

Are bringing chaos nigh


And as Earth’s ice caps melt away

A tear falls from my eye

How much of our troubles come

From scratches in the sky


May 2020 addition to Scratches on the Sky

But now its 2020

The sky is almost empty

And I wonder if those noisy jets

Are the cause of planet sweats


With vapour trails all gone today

In the early days of May

It seems the clouds are gone as well

And whilst it is too soon to tell


Could it be that vapour trails

Like high tech tracks of flying snails

Helped form the clouds that changed our weather

Hell let loose from its tether


Made us seek the sun some more

And to the sky we all did soar

Concrete rose to take the crowds

And temperate skys made more clouds

Sucking moisture from the tropics

Leading to the hottest topics


Global warming, climate change

Suddenly here, now ain’t it strange

That all this comes before our eyes

Just after folk take to the skies


The biggest carbon foot on earth

Stamps and smears our fragile earth

And all the while Nero’s kin

Fly and fly and think they’re in


Technologies loving caring fold

But without love or care for all they’re told

The Titanic was like that you see

But quickly slipped beneath the sea


And as we fly up because we can

To get some money or a tan

The sea rises up as well

To hug us with its hungry swell


For from the sea we came to burn

And to the sea we may return



All the pointers say slow down

You’ve climbed too high, now come down

Take the scratches from the sky

And let’s give life another try



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