Lay for the Day
the United Nations proclaims Matej Gaspar, born in Zagreb (then Yugoslavia,
now Croatia), to be the Earths five billionth live human being.
In 1990, to commemorate this milestone, 11th July was declared World Population
1999, the global population hit the six billion mark. In March 2012 it
was estimated to have reached seven billion. The
previous billions had been: one in 1800; two in 1930; three in 1960; and
four in 1975. The rate of growth is thought to have peaked, though, and
the subsequent billion-milestones will be passing slightly slower. Still
the world may have a population of 16 billion by the end of this century.
Earth should have shaken when
we put her first
Beneath our feet; trembled in forewarning
Of her current throes; shrunk from the morning
Glare of our eyes; and when the first blade burst
From the flint, shuddered at the beast shed nursed.
Soon the rich, folded robes of her spawning
Would be stripped from her back by these scorning
Offspring of hers, the latest and the worst.
long she laboured to provide the store
waste in twenty thousand years of youth
time-ungrasping minds dare not conceive.
depleted, cracked, earth lies at our door,
hoping that within one voice will grieve
the coins din, brassy and uncouth.
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