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April 15, 2024

A Conservationist's Cough of Concern

By Ndaba Sibanda

A Conservationist's Cough Of Concern

as the environmentalist took
a tour, he thought about green
beauty in relation to the ugliness
of dead beasts, fishes, birds,
insects and leaves -- lost lives;
his name was Jabu Mtshana,
as he caught sight of the debris:
the destroyed homes, he felt
a certain mass of sympathy
and pain pinch, weigh on him,
and he remembered how folks
used to probe, ask him whether
ecosystems shaped and served
as an agent of positive change
and regeneration and titivation,
he thought about prescribed fires
and how they support wildlife
by creating new habitat or
improving existing habitat;
but he looked around and saw
devastation, dismay and death,
wildfires had consumed it all --
wildlife habitat and timber, all gone,
the conservationist visualized
and sensed adverse developments:
an upsurge in air pollution, eye
and respiratory tract irritations,
coughing, nose and throat rage,
a decreased in lung function,
a rise in stress, soil erosion, floods
and landslides, a climate change crisis,
he saw losses of shelter, food ,money,
ashes, hospitalizations, burns, injuries;
and an increase in carbon dioxide
into the sky, into the atmosphere,
and felt the tang, smell of wildfires;
he coughed, coughed, and choked
on the swelling plumes of the smoke

Article © Ndaba Sibanda. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-09-13
Image(s) are public domain.
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