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Concrete Jungle

Concrete Jungle II, 1990, by Alexis Rockman

The raccoons clinging onto metal trees,

eating from the trash that floats by-

a reality that passes our eyes

but our bodies and minds are seemingly

too slow to react

or maybe it’s the fact

that this blue marbled world

is dying

and we will fall with it.

The water has already

started taking over the metal forests-

the rusted trees half engulfed with murky substance.

It’s no longer a warning,

It's a threat that is being ignored.

The seagull hides

behind the aluminum leaves-

it’s afraid of the sea

and the fish that float belly-up in it-

is it already too late

to help save this planet?

The mosquitos thrive

like racism and poverty and carbon dioxide-

their bodies filled with hot blood-

curdling like volcanoes.

We will explode onto this Earth-

it is human hands

at the core of this disaster.

Our heat

is the thermometer of this universe-

rising each second

as we continue to ignore

the growing problem around us.


Writer's Note

When I first saw this painting, it appeared to me to be a painting of an apocalyptic world, where animals take refuge on metal structures to escape rising water levels. It was when I realized that this painting may be the reality of the future, I decided to write a poem based on it. This painting invokes a lot of emotions; fear about the future and slight anger that we have let this happen. In my poem I wanted to communicate these emotions by explaining how human actions may lead to this apocalyptic world.

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