Anthropocene Labyrinth

Anthropocene Labyrinth

Which way to turn, and what to do
What steps to take to puzzle through
The ills inflicted on this Earth
Each one diminishing its worth

Resources stripped until they’re gone
With waning hope each breaking dawn
Rain forests stripped of all that’s green
Incorporated greed, obscene

Pollutants pumped into the skies
We choke the seas, yet still they rise
Vile toxins dumped into our streams
Descending darkness in our dreams

When each new dawn reveals new blight
There seems no end to this long night
The darkness here within this maze
Increases with each passing day


This poem is my response to earthweal weekly challenge: ANTHROPOCENE LABYRINTH, where Ingrid says, “For this week’s challenge, let’s examine the possibility of rhyming, or perhaps even dancing our way out of the Anthropocene labyrinth.” I actually wrote this in iambic tetrameter, and we all know I’m not all that fond of rhyme or meter.

Shared with Open Link Night #300 September Live

Image source: Denver Museum of Nature and Science

43 thoughts on “Anthropocene Labyrinth

  1. Ken, very good poetically – the rhyming is so smooth, seems to’ve come naturally! And I like your emphasis … “this long night” indeed … A couple months back I was in a museum that showed a full-wall-size chart of the different eras of planet earth. Humans are relative new-comers, and at the rate we’re going, our era will not be one of the longest!
    As a Labyrinth advocate, I have to point out: you are referring to a maze (as reflected near end) not a labyrinth. Labyrinths have a single path with lots of turns and twists, but zero dead-ends or puzzles – the whole point of walking a labyrinth is to suspend thinking whereas a maze is designed to engage/test/strengthen thinking. Many use the terms interchangeably, and when following a prompt …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is incredibly potent, Ken! It feels like the earth is spiraling backwards with each passing day, sigh .. we can only hope that its inhabitants come to their senses and take action before it’s too late. I loved hearing you read this on OLN Live tonight. 💝💝

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is certainly a sense in the Anthropocene that the maze has become a Gordian knot. There are clues but none of the paths have much appeal. We may not have any choice. Thanks for bringin’ it to earthweal – b

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the rhyme scheme works very well, a sort of echo of the labyrinthine downward spiral we are in at the moment.

    ‘Rain forests stripped of all that’s green
    Incorporated greed, obscene’

    These lines sum up how we got here, really. Let’s hope it’s not too late to find a way out. Thank you for sharing this, Ken!


  5. Writing is wonderful, and the rhyme is strong — excellent piece Ken! And I enjoyed hearing you read it. Even through some of the technical challenges, I so appreciate Bjorn for undertaking the endeavor to go “live”. I would love it once a week, but I understand the task that would represent..

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s