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Size Matters - A Poem by Jenni Edwards

Posted Monday, January 11, 2010

Recent news programmes have been exploring the implications of the rapidly decreasing honey bee population in Britain, largely because of pest and disease problems. It seems clear that no bees = no pollination = no seeds = no new plants = no food. That is "no bees = no humanity".

Size Matters

In 1962 Rachel Carson showed how time would bring
a "Silent Spring",
that nature and human cannot mix
with technofix,
and without more care the chain would break,
and we would make
a big mistake.

In 1973
E. Schumacher wrote "Small is Beautiful" -
it’s economical,
for as towns and businesses grow bigger
they lose vigour:
but maintaining life on a human scale
tells a happier tale,
and will not fail.

In 1978
larks were heard from my front door -
heard no more.
Six years ago lapwings flapped by the lane -
now sought in vain.
And it’s three years since the honey bee’s been,
no longer seen,
what can it mean?

Some thousand years BC,
the men of Babel thought they knew it all -
what a fall!
Do we repeat the patterns of the past?
Or learn at last
that the smallest things are priority -
save the honey bee,
save you and me!

Jeni Edwards, May 08

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