Winters Coming

Sun Shower, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Ten thousand years
Since last snow fell
On southern lands

Ten thousand more
When what’s now green
Was naught but fields of ice

Or so the legends say
Where all tribes came

Hard to see
In my mind
The numbers
Of the past

What once were billions
Flight reduced
To millions
In the exodus

From the desert sand
Earth had become
To this plot
Of icy rock

Then those millions
Famine culled
And exposure
Due to lack of fuel

Until reduced
Till tallies kept
Tidy in the sealskin books
With finely written script

Then battled for
A thousand years
Conquered plots
Of fertile soil

Until their numbers
Fell to levels perilous
New students of necessity
Learned to live as if endangered species

With so few
The land could raise
More than enough
To feed the huddled tribe

Killing you
To keep what’s mine
Seemed no more
Than certain tragedy

All the while the days grew warm
Warmer and warmer still
When came the year no snowflakes fell
Not two nor one, but none at all

Few dates do we
So fatefully preserve
As the solstice deep in deepest night
The night that winter died

Just as prophesied

Chagrined by fate
We’d set in motion
With our hubris
Thick and callous

Wildlife reduced, so long ago
To rats and mice
Cockroaches and mosquitoes
While gulls pick through our trash

Instead grow corn and wheat
Potatoes, yams and turnip
The trees! Though small
But cows and seals: extinct

Renewed with faith
We renounced our greed
And live within
Earth’s means

Though seem it may
Our grief must keen
We’ve learned to love
What is and what’s to come

On this brief day
Which ends the endless night
The scant low sun illuminates
A single snowflake in the sky

And then a second
And then another
And then a few
‘Tis glorious a sight

Just as in The Prophecy
Our Earth rebounds
With snow of winters coming

Next, according to
The Book of Seers
We build the boats (from purpose-grown trees)
And sail away (it’s all due north)

If snow is here
Then rain is there
Across the Boiling Sea
And there begins the future

What we destroyed
It’s in our nature

Sun Shower
Wild Pacific Trail
Vancouver Island
British Columbia, Canada

Taken during travels, 2017

I think I had my tongue firmly planted in cheek the entire time I wrote this poem. That, and its interpretation of the photograph, make both the pic and the words of this post rather cheeky, don’t you think? Which makes this a response to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, Cheeky.