How it might’ve been…

The  sky
shiny blue Thai silk -
you would rip a portion
and hang it
       like a Mantra
curtains leading into the day.

Step into the sun
the subtle hum of traffic
melding with the bees
petrol fumes forgotten.

Floral scents unfurl
rosemary from your herb garden
the kalistamon next door
a giant Cootamundra wattle
on the corner

Your solar panel inverter
ticks quietly on the wall,
you check the tram schedule
5 minutes
you walk briskly
the 300 metres to the stop

You’re attired for work -
second hand silk/cotton suit
patched in the elbows
- your neat stitching
  for proud inspection
around the board room table
your Fair Trade shoes...

You don’t know
the parallel universe
where being CEO
would earn you 
3 million dollars a year
You would laugh if you did.
What would you do
with that money?
Perhaps use it as toilet paper
for that pandemic
the government keeps 
updating plans for.

Your colleagues gathered
    stitches wowed
you inspect
the environmental impact statement
         a planned development site
the environment advisor
shakes a worried head
           “three kinds of frog
             a rare bird
             a little known lizard
             two kinds of protected gum”

Talk turns to parks instead of hotels -
             there are other ways to invest...

Later, at home, 
              you pull a vegetarian meal
               (your own zucchinis and pumpkins!)
              from the freezer

and settle down
to watch the news.

You've never heard of fake news.

Written for Earthweal – Sherry Marr’s “THE WORLD THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN”

19 thoughts on “How it might’ve been…

  1. It’s eerie you brought trams into it. I was out for a coffee the other day, in the cafe at the centre of my village. We sat outside (because the UK is such a glorious place!) and I remarked at all the single-occupant cars driving past, how we should have built a tramway fifty years ago.

    It’s interesting to me because out transport systems have largely just evolved. We need more space, we build a new road etc.
    But to build something like a tramway would require something visionary. Which we tend not to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Canberra has recently started a light rail. So controversial. Expensive and so far serving less than half the population. But it’s a beginning. As you say it’s visionary. And that’s hard for politicians to get through in democracy because they have such limited time frames and (in Australia) the constant ear bashing from the opposition simply trying to earn voting points.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Public transport has to be the way to go, I think. If we can get people using it, then we can worry about making sure we have clean electricity to power it…
        But I think these things need a critical mass. London, the system is so good that a car is a liability. But outside of there…

        What you say, I often thought that instead of voting for Joe Bloggs for the next five years, we should be voting on something like “Do we need a railway?”, deciding, then using that as a mandate that government is required to follow, whichever person is in charge.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think we need to be very smart when we define the questions.
        When we had Brexit, our them PM asked a very simple question, essentially in or out. We then spent the next 5 years arguing what exactly that meant. In such-and-such an organisation but not in the EU as a whole? Out of everything? And so on.

        Because the EU has done some very good things, such as introducing standards for goods, standards for medicines etc. which it seems crazy to walk away from.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Brilliant response to the challenge, woven like that shiny blue Thai silk and savoring all such ilk. Who wouldn’t want to live in that alternate future, especially now when the hemispheres trade blistering blasts of summer. You present that alternate history in a satisfying entirety … what I can’t wrap my head around in this challenge is what changed us so radically 20 or 30 or 50 years ago to set us on this track. Back then I was rocking and roiling in a self-obsesed inferno, like the deep end of a TV commercial.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Brendan. It’s a wish we all have. Most of the history I learned at school is some form of a lie. And of course there were bits of truth too. But my point is history happens behind closed doors. Deliberately. Cunningly. It’s the voice of the one percenters. If they are going to lose money under the truth, then let lies be the norm. That’s the fossil fuel industry. That’s cigarettes. That’s white man and the Australian Aborigines. That’s crime in the Catholic Church. It’s no accident that all this happened and the likes of us never knew. Anyway, I rant. But it’s true. Big business is big money. Not big future.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, I want to LIVE there! Your opening stanza is breathtaking, that sky like Thai silk curtains…… All of the alternatives you list to what is happening now would create that alternate world. I only wish world leaders were as wise and were implementing every one. This was such a deep pleasure to read and envision……….I especially love the personal choices: transit, fair trade shoes, second hand clothes, vegetarian diet. It feels good to help the planet in those ways. I am so happy you wrote this poem. It makes my day!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have spent a two-week holiday using public transport as I couldn’t get insurance to drive my dad’s car. We decided not to take a hire car and to use the buses and trains instead. I must say, in the UK they are overpriced and poorly timetabled, but there was something wonderful about it all nevertheless. Imagining how good it could be if it were all joined up and subsidised. Barcelona is a great example of where this has actually happened.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. I was in Hong Kong in 2002. That was amazing. But it’s a small island. Big sprawling cities… especially where everything has to be retro-fitted – tend to be quite complex. Sydney ran like a dream for the 2000 Olympics but never before or since 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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