Corona, a poem written by Mike Turner at
Martin Sanchez



written by: Mike Turner



In the third decade
of the 21st Century
Earth was in peril
Her skies clouded with emissions
Her waters polluted with chemicals and plastics
Her lands scarred with mining
Her flora eradicated by development

And so she rebelled
against that which threatened her:

How to defend against
the despoiler?

And so Earth sent forth
a virus
Simple. Silent. Deadly
And Humankind was affected
Their throats dried
Their lungs choked
Their reason clouded

Beyond mere
physical sickness
Humans turned upon one another
In a quest for control of limited resources
First hoarding non-essentials
Then essentials
And when the essentials became truly scarce
Taking what they needed by force
Pitting strong against weak
Young against old
“Us” against “them”
“Me” against “you”

As society collapsed
so did the economic structure of the planet
Manufacturers closed
Further limiting scarce necessities
Agriculture failed
Processed food no longer available
And individuals lacking the means or knowledge
to grow food on their own
Violence and aggression increased
And people who had initially sheltered in place
Now cowered in fear

It is unclear what finally
did them in
Not merely the devastation of the infection
For it only eliminated a relatively small percentage of the population
Far more were killed in the
Violence and war which followed
As first lawless states battled
And later, when the states had exhausted themselves
Outlaw bands of scavengers spread across
denuded landscapes
Raping, pillaging, taking, taking, taking

Through it all
Earth bided her time
And slowly recovered
Playing a long, long game
First removing the means
of her pollution
through elimination of the industrial structure that produced it
And ultimately enabling
final removal of the humans who had built it
As they devolved
from an industrial
to an agricultural to
a hunter-gatherer society
Unable to cope without their technologies
Devoid of the skills they had developed
over millennia
Overtaken by the natural flora and fauna
That Earth nurtured
Having made her choice in who she would support
And who she would abandon

It is said that everything
has its natural cycle
Beginning, growing, aging
and falling back to dust
And perhaps we now are at a place
where, for us, that cycle has turned
And begun its inevitable descent

It has also been said
That the moral arc of the Universe is long
But bends towards Justice
And perhaps we are at that place as well
Where the Great Arc is at its apogee
And begins to bend
for Humankind
Towards Justice
And Accountability
And Redress

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