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It was the cides

Category: Poetry

 

It was the cides: 

 

The buzz of the flies,

The whine of the mosquitoes,

The hum of the bees,

The chirp of the crickets,

The silence of the butterflies.

 

So many insects,

So irritating,

So ubiquitous,

Even at the emptiest landscape,  

Thousands, millions,

Maybe billions,

Moving, hiding, preying.

 

A few were beautiful,

Most were useless,

Some very destructive:

Eating our cereals,  

Eating our vegetables,

Eating our fruits,

Stealing our food.

 

The old remedies were too slow,

Cumbersome,

Ineffective.

Victory came with the cides:

Pesticides, insecticides, larvicides,

Herbicides, fungicides, weedicides.

A swift, massive cleanup.

 

When we added fertilizers,

Our production became immense, unstoppable.    

It exploded.

Science and technology were invincible.  

 

Decades passed.

The green revolution fed our planet.

Our domesticated animals multiplied too.

Cereals, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat,  

Everything in abundance.

The land flew with milk and honey.

 

But first the bees,

Next the butterflies,

And then…

All insects started to dwindle,   

Each year less,  

Not just in the cities,

Also in the countryside,  

The dwindling became plummeting.

It was staggering.

The insects of the air,

The insects of the land,

The insects of the underground,

Almost all vanished in about a century.  

 

It could not be.  

They had existed for about 480 million of years.

They had survived everything.

Why could they not survive us?

What have we done!

 

The webs of nature started to fall apart. 

First it was pollination,  

But we coped.

Next frogs, bats, lizards, birds,

They perished.

The bigger animals followed soon.

The food chain imploded from the base.

The kingdom of animals became a county.  

Also the earthworms,

The creators of soil.

And the soil became clay and stones and dust.

 

A few insects remained,  

A few birds and mammals,

Mainly in distant forests.

Still a few of us.

The earth is almost empty.

Life is vanishing.

Insects were so tiny,

So fragile,

So indispensable.  

 

We don´t listen anymore:

The buzz of the flies,

The whine of the mosquitoes,

The hum of the bees,

The chirp of the crickets,

We just listen the silence, 

Silence without butterflies.

 

Pablo Rodas-Martini

 

The science behind the poem: 

"Where have all the insects gone?" May 2017. 

"Germany’s insects are disappearing," October 2017.

Some of the coverage by the media: 

"Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers," October 2017. 

"In Germany, there's a 'wholesale collapse of wild insects' happening," October 2017. 

"‘This is very alarming!’: Flying insects vanish from nature preserves," October 2017.