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Saving the world

By Mort Malkin
May 25, 2016

It has been agreed by most all scientists (at least, those not in the pay of Exxon-Mobil or the Koch brothers) that human activity has heated planet Earth wantonly by increasing the greenhouse gases in its atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are the two worst culprits. They are produced principally by burning coal for electric power plants, drilling for gas and oil, and using gasoline and diesel fuel for cars, trucks, airplanes and ships. But not far behind on the short list of worst offenders are war and the military preparations for war.

The Gadfly Revelry & Research (GR&R) team, noting that April was National Poetry Month, proposed that April 2017 to April 2018 be proclaimed the International Year of Peace. The Year of Peace would start with a competition for the best poem of peace. A vote was taken among the Gadfly membership, and the proposal was passed unanimously. A priceless, autographed copy of the “Lilac Book of Peace—Axioms & Quotes” will be awarded to the best poem.
The members of the GR&R team immediately started at work and produced three poems, but were informed that they were ineligible because of their Gadfly membership. They reluctantly offered their poems as samples to motivate the vast readership of the Gadfly column.

The High Delaware

1) Mild today at seventy two,
gentle winds play chimes
pianissimo, streams add their

continuo, a woodpecker
beats a tremolo
on a leafless tree. Not far from

here, West Point trains the young in
the arts of war to
keep us safe from terror untold.

2) The first flutes, fashioned of
the hollow bones of vulture wings,
forty thousand years ago,

never were a call to
arms, but just for music making,
dance, and sociality.

Millennia on, through
reeds and keys, yet always one with
the glorious art of peace.

3) As primates
are the highest form
of life, I wonder if

it’s all about
opposable thumbs,
or vocal cords, or minds

that thrive on
signs and symbols. Some
say: it’s not the ways we
live, but how
we contend, each with
each, that makes us Us. They

point to all
our glorious wars. I
offer them: bonobos.

[Mort Malkin is a resident of Milanville, PA, and this article is part of his “Gadfly” series, a political column that has appeared in the Catskill Chronicle.]