The Green Man



Just because it’s green doesn’t mean
we can eat it. Nor will it provide
respite from the hammer of weather.

Pressing a bill beneath the soil
will not bear fruit – or
vegetable, nut, seed.

A green suit, if we’re handy,
may parry the elements for
a short day;

maybe, too, a crude pillow can
be fashioned from our pile, but
without shelter,

weather will pilfer and harry,
until our heads rest again
on the dulled Earth.

The boiling wind will boister, as
we fail to sleep, that
the punishment

for the chaotic, systematic gang-rape
of our own Mother, on whose
dry, misshapen breast we still lie,

is death.

I wrote the first line of this in English Class at about 13 years old. I didn’t discover till some years later the famous Cree Native American Prophecy, which says pretty much the same thing in different words.

About Luke Prater

I am thirty-five, and live in England. They say a picture paints a thousand words, but I'd argue the opposite.
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13 Responses to The Green Man

  1. Beth Winter says:

    Pilfering earth for profit. The fracking bit hit close considering an earthquake that rocked us in Kansas that we are confident was the result of fracking but officials deny. It isn’t all about money, at least not for me anymore, else I would still be working 70 hour weeks. Good one, Luke. xx

  2. claudia says:

    ha…a green suit can look good but doesn’t really mean the one who wears it does really something for our environment…it takes a green heart me thinks…and honest action…well penned sir

  3. brian miller says:

    money does not make everything…and def not happiness…or new life…for what is bought can be just as easily lost….i like the enviro-message in this as well luke…i was intrigued by the lack of things for earth day this year…it seems to run cyclic like most things…and we distracted…or unwilling to watch the rape

  4. mummurgie says:

    We may not want to look because the deep down truth horrifies us. And still the bright Spring greenness pops through the muddy earth. There is always the hope. Beautifully penned Luke.

  5. Luke Prater says:

    Thanks all – the Cree Prophecy says (which my poem above says less directly) –

    “When all the trees have been cut down,
    when all the animals have been hunted,
    when all the waters are polluted,
    when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
    only then will you discover you cannot eat money.”

  6. Anna :o] says:

    A green suit is never enough Luke – but enough for many. So many refuse to believe (what I consider to be) the irrefutable…

    I accept that this Earth appears to have natural cyclical events – but we cannot deny we are adding to the problem – but I guess many see the problem as that of beyond their lifetime – so why worry?

    And of course there are the bees…

    We will be the death of us.

    Anna :o[

  7. wonderful words of wisdom Luke…
    hopefully the world of humans will realize true green is living and breathing next to them
    every moment…not the green that never dries they put in there pocket
    Take Care…

  8. Dark Angel says:

    My daughter said she thought green should be a primary color because it is so important. We discussed all the growing things that we love. Eventually she said, “oh and money is green too.” Which brought the whole conversation to a screeching halt. Hopefully her generation will take better care of Gaia than mine is.

  9. henna ink says:

    Wow. What an awesome ending:

    “the punishment

    for gang-raping our own Mother,
    on whose dry, misshapen
    breast we still lie,

    is death.”

    Always go for the shock-language; that’s what makes people want to keep reading. “Gang-raping our own Mother” did it for me. Excellent, brother. ~S

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