The Multinational Monitor



To the editor:

Important issues do not always cease to exist when mass entertainment media eventually give them less or no attention. The destruction of the Brazilian rain forests by multinational corporations and others is such an issue. Multinational Monitor has admirably covered key aspects of this subject in the recent past. Please accept the following poem of mine just as a reminder that the horrendous ruination of these precious lands continues.

The Forests of Brazil

The forests of Brazil have harnessed Time,
Through seasons in their millions come and gone
And bounty prime.
These live to form the world's pure waters, drawn
Through filters come of steady rains.
Their rarities of beast and plant
May give humane research essential gains
Where hope is scant.

The thousand thousand species of these lands
Survived in symbiotic damp and wild
With primal bands.
What now of trees ablaze and streams defiled;
Of regal jaguar, tapir, boar;
Mahogony and red macaw;
Of sylvan innocents at death's own door;
Of Nature's law?

They come in westward floods of needy souls,
Traversing, biking, driving: mules and loads
Of sacks and bowls.
They disappear down ruddy scrapes of roads.
The boomtown, sluice, and parcelled wood
Bring would-be miners, planters, hands
All there to make their mark where Eden stood,
But Babel stands.

Deforestation by the slash and burn
Ensures that all the varied good that was
Won't soon return.
It seems that man is only as it does
Within a newly lawless clime:
Some kill for trespass, kill for gold.
When few police in vastness miss its crime,
It takes a hold.

The wrong was not in widening frontiers,
But in a chronic failure here to lead
The pioneers.
The hopes are that as ravages proceed,
Reserve grounds grow with full patrol,
And that despite persuasion's arts,
Should it be clear that we're to lose the whole,
We save all parts.

In leafy canopies, in faunal cries,
In green Para, Rondonia, Acre, now,
A wonder dies.
Its ancient soils soon prove no good to plow.
We must not reap with wanton will
And lose at once what eons bore.
We must not lose the forests of Brazil,
To reap no more!

-Kevin Goldbarth
Tallahassee, Florida

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