Saturday, 17 June 2017

Parás On Parade


The rubber on the end of your sustainable wooden pencil may look harmless but it is the result of an industry which is having a significant negative impact on the environment.

The felling of primary forests to plant plantations has a significant impact on biodiversity and the chemicals and water used to process the latex also damage the surrounding land and watercourses.

Rubber, having been treated with harsh chemicals is toxic and the disposal of it in land fill or as rubber tire marbles on our roads is also cause for concern.

This poem, written for our next open mic which is themed 'rubber', aims to highlight the plight of the trees. As an retired member of the Parachute Regiment I couldn't resist the name which is explained in the footnote.

Parás On Parade*

Like captured soldiers they stand in ranks
Resolute.
Their lifeblood drips from open wounds
carved into their skin,
tapped to small vessels,
collected, processed and turned into
tires, boots, balls and rubber bands.
For thirty years they'll stand;
and then - exhausted
they'll be torn down, replaced.
and their offspring will endure
The same fate; so that we
can erase our mistakes.

John Carré Buchanan
17 June 2017


* The Pará rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is the preferred source of commercially grown natural rubber latex.

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