Words Matter

Words surely do matter and surely do shatter
our painfully crafted illusions.
Most especially words we most assiduously avoid.

Pandering is such an ugly word,
Which is why politicos (private or public, interchangeable manufacture) are careful
to never, ever let it pass their lips,
when that is what they are most deeply, earnestly engaged in performing.
Instead, they misdirect, with a conjurer’s ease, to:
Look over here! – at this spinning flashing shiny noble bauble coded word:

because what that word really hides is: foul slimy clinging stinking toxic ancient sludge,
long eons rightly entombed.
As if the code will blind us to the consequence of our horrendous addictive dependence,
As if it’s beyond dispute that there is no substitute – for that godawful stuff.

And we.
We most definitely do not (absolutely do NOT) want to hear that we are Coddled,
that the party is over,
that we have lived beyond our ecological, biological, who knows ideological, means,
for generations.

For the power of Denial can’t be denied.
How can it be my fault? It can’t have anything to do with me.
And Besides,
the world is too big, I am too small, it won’t matter what I do, it won’t make any difference,
it must be the Chinese or the Americans. They burn a lot of coal. Everyone knows it
yes, they’re evil,
or maybe …
… but it can’t be me in my SUV.

Alex was, until retiring recently, an engineering technologist and executive by trade, and he owned a consulting practice focused on operationalizing sustainability in the buildings industry. Since then, he designed and built a small boat, rowed and sailed the Inside Passage with it, has published a book about his 25+ years of kayaking and sail and oar boating on British Columbia’s coast (called “Becoming Coastal”) and occasionally writes poetry. Read other articles by Alex.