Unnoticed Theft, from "A Full Life, poems by Sue Edmonds” | Functional Fertiliser

Unnoticed Theft, from “A Full Life, poems by Sue Edmonds”


They are stealing soil carbon while nobody cares

By the grain, like sand, or a tonne a hectare a year

So the pasture grows less and they use more urea.

They are stealing the net which holds the moisture

And the minerals, and feeds the inhabitants

Who feed the plants, which feed the animals.

They are stealing the deep black crumbly stuff

Which Nature has created over millennia

And pretending that their chemicals work the same.

Farmers are buying more urea each year

And told they can’t grow grass without it

Not good grass but quick grass they tell me.

They blame the cows for our dirtying streams

Graze too hard and then spread chemicals

Thus humus doesn’t stand a chance of forming.

No humus, no carbon made, just more gases

As climate warms from excess carbon rising

Times roll on and still no one takes action.

While commerce scores big profits from urea

Soil carbon dwindles unnoticed and unseen

Our safety net to worldwide food produced.

Someone is stealing soil carbon and I’m scared

With less each year, how many seasons left

Of pasture growth and food to feed us all.

Will we ignore till there is naught to nourish

Our plants and animals, what will humans do

When all carbon in our soil has leached and gassed away.

Sue Edmonds (Jan 2017)

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