Facts of/for/against Survival


“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”
“the more things change, the more they stay the same,”
(Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, Les Guêpes satirical journal, 1849)


Everything has an unsteady centre of mass,
though dead elephants may stay standing,

unlike humans. A cockroach can live
for up to nine days after losing its head.

Aljazeera finds 1000 Palestinians murdered
by Israelis misleading. Across the globe,

scientists reckon there are 400,000 flowering plants,
and 19 major religions. A grandmother in Gaza

tells a young woman, “Be grateful you lost
just five – 14 of mine are gone.” Jews attacked

in Britain, France, Germany… In Luhansk,
225,000 flee Ukraine-rained bombs.

1,750 refugees drown in four months of 2015.
Russian air strikes are launched against Syria.

99.9% of all animals that have ever lived
are now extinct. Bulletproof vests, windshield wipers

and laser printers were invented by women.
My son asks why the orchid he hasn’t watered

is dying. His fingers stroke the dead leaves,
I turn on the tap. At this instant, God knows

how many different nations and beliefs
are praying. I tell him to take care of our roots.


Sarah James

Using information from The Sunday Times, The Telegraphwww.aljazeera.com, Kew Gardens, www.religioustolerance.org and the amazing true facts collection (The Lagoon Group) in 2014 and 2015.

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One Response to Facts of/for/against Survival

    1. […] poem ‘Facts of/for/against Survival’ published on the International […]

      Pingback by Christmas offers, plenty-fish & poetry snippets on 29 November, 2015 at 9:11 am

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