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Consuming Passion – John Coville


Take what of this earth you will,

but be prepared to pay !

Concern is not included in the bill.

We do not talk of famine far away.

The world and I have left it somewhat late,

and we are both beyond our sell-by date.

Earth, give up hope. The countries on your crust

are all too self observed to let you stay

alive and fit for long: they’ll have their say

at summits where procedures are discussed

for saving you, but do not put your trust

in those; the delegates will go away

and you’ll still wait and bleed. You’ve had your day;

ashes to ashes, dust to man made dust.

But is there one last chance? A revolution,

a human one – or yours? Were you to alter

your orbit, in a fit of pique, and melt

some ice, to spill selective retribution

on North America, your chief assaulter,

we’d grieve, no doubt; but know just how you felt.

John P. Coville