The Wrong Amazon

Talking with the delivery guy
about farming
He smells of cigarettes
I want to tell him
to stop smoking
But I don’t
I listen and find out
His was a farming family
Hard life
Father told him
Don’t be a farmer
So he’s a delivery person




Thinking about land
every day
The destruction
of Mother Earth
Thousands of hectares
every day
deforested in Australia
Trees cut down
Amazon burning
As one youth activist
quipped on a poster
The wrong Amazon is burning

I don’t even know
what a hectare is
I have never lived
on a farm
I have lived
in cities and towns
on six continents

Hiking in the bush
just outside town
I see parched earth
Erosion
like the deep cut
on my arm
But the cut was
sewed up
closed up
Now healed
Leaving only a slightly
pink and purple scar




How to heal the earth?
Some farmers know how
The earth can be renewed
But forcing the land
to yield immediate results
leads to
long-term destruction
Farmers becoming
delivery people







Author: Pamela Collett

I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I have a B.A. from Stanford University and a M.Sc. from Cornell University. I have lived and worked in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland, California as well as in Washington, DC. Outside the United States, I lived and worked in Venezuela, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Uganda, Somalia and Kenya. I currently live in Canberra, Australia. I edited three books: Bold Plum: with the Guerillas in China's War against Japan by Hsiao Li Lindsay; Peace and Milk: Scenes of Northern Somalia by James Lindsay and Fatima Jibrell; and Solo vale si piensas rápido by Mehedy Lopez, a book of poetry in Spanish. In 2016, I published a book of my poetry and drawings, Silence Spoken. I have taught communication skills, English as a second language, and English for journalists (in Beijing, China) at university and secondary school levels. I was a features writer for the Daily Journal, (Caracas, Venezuela), and The Chronicle of Higher Education. I am a member of the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Writers Centre, active in a writers’ group and a contributor to poetry readings, That Poetry Thing, in Canberra, Australia.

3 thoughts on “The Wrong Amazon”

  1. Good poem, Pamela. I liked the way you returned to the delivery man at the end. He’s important. Keep writing, as will I. Hugs, Margie xxxx

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

  2. Environmental problems run so deep that it is hard to understand what to do. For instance…
    Soil contains nutrient minerals.
    “Food” grows in soil, soaking up the nutrient minerals.
    Humans eat “food”, digesting the nutrient minerals.
    The adrenals and thyroid use those nutrient minerals to produce energy for the body to function.
    All part of the beauty of nature.

    But what happens when soil is depleted and no longer contains the nutrient minerals it once did?
    Well, we are finding out as human health changes dramatically.
    And while these changing soil conditions happened rather quickly, it appears to be something that will take a lot longer to change back.

    We have a lot to learn about our world.

    Like

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