“Blank Verse for a Blank Earth” by Rimas Uzgiris

Rimas Uzgiris


What little is left of life in coming years
may be enough for us to thrive, but who
will take the chance of leaving dust for those
who follow after us? The earth will spin
in cold abyss: eternity, to limited eyes.
The blue of skies may dim, go brown, like shit,
and insects may find that they have won.
Still, some make fun of Greta T. who spoke
with raw autistic fire of dreams destroyed,
and some of those belong to my poetic world:
I cringe. I cry. I want to die. An implacable
sea of plastic floods our veins, yet children laugh
as children do, and cry, and do we want to be
the cause of why they die? I’m sick as well
of greed that sounds the bell of market death.
She’s right, the girl. And right not to play coy,
or nice. Who’ll pay? The young. Who’ll pay? The ones
who play with fate should, but so little power flows
through public hands. They need a girl to make
them understand, yet mock the thing they want
to most forget. I put my fate, Greta, in your hands.
Though I should do much more. I cry, I cry
out with you. I pray the light we pass from eye
to eye can still slice through this will to die.

from Poets Respond
September 29, 2019


Rimas Uzgiris: “This poem was written in response to Greta Thunberg’s UN speech, though even more, one might say, it was triggered by the mocking response to it (and her) by all too many people. In particular, there were some (too many) in the Lithuanian literary community who mocked her. I had originally planned to write a blank verse poem to submit to a metrical poetry contest, but my disgust at what was happening in the wake of her speech caused my thoughts to always circle back to this theme.” (web)

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