Northport resident Norbert Nathanson shared the following poem with us this week, which he said might serve as a “more sober thought” during this holiday season:

Ponder

Sucking life from all the planet,

Transforming it to legal tender,

Stash it, store it, save it, hoard it,

Make investments, be a lender.

 

Mine the elements from the earth,

Spray them far across the fields,

Pump excess into the water,

Can we justify the yields?

 

We have borrowed nature’s assets,

And exploited its great charm,

Turned it to supposed profit,

Bringing us tremendous harm.

 

All the wealth in little boxes,

In all countries ’round the earth,

Sets the standards for all peoples,

While avoiding all the dearths.

 

Mother Earth has not been sleeping,

She is adding up our loan,

As she compounds all the interest,

We are facing a great koan.

 

Nature’s never had a surplus,

In the history of man.

Profit is a misconception,

Mankind doesn’t give a damn.

 

Can you ponder all the questions?

To what future do they lead?

Do they threaten our existence?

Can we stifle our own greed?

Nathanson, who has shared several guest columns with VillageSoup/The Republican Journal before, had a career in public television, education and government.