Saturday, April 28, 2012

Going Green

I've heard it said in some places
By people wearing long faces
"The Earth is doomed so you'd better go green
Or none of these will ever be seen again."

They say,
Drive electric cars, go hug a tree
(Never mind I'm so thin, it's the tree that's hugging me!)
Recycle your rubbish, say no to plastic bags;
Here, to make you feel better, wear an "I love Mother Earth" tag.
Say no to mineral water, use these cool plastic bottles!
... which are made of plastic anyway.
So how can the same material be both poison and cure?
Instead of winning you've just levelled the score:
Two steps forward and one step back,
"Don't worry, don't panic, there's nothing we lack—
Our movement is strong, we'll save the Earth
And teach everyone what this planet is worth."

The speaker made sense, I thought, at the end
But the problem with going green
Is that I'm neither a leaf nor a grasshopper nor a freshly picked bean;
I looked at myself and I looked at my friends,
Scanning them from all the way up—to all the way down.
And we aren't green!
We're shades of light, medium and chocolate dark brown!

[Written at 7.30 a.m. on 10 April 2012, at the canteen of SMK Desa Sri Hartamas, before the talk—apparently my slot was titled "Earth's Voice"!—I was scheduled to give at 9.00.]

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What do you see?

(On the first day of the UM Cares Capacity Building Workshop, 2012.)