Be happy

We try to tell them
but their ears are blocked
with the cotton wool of consumer dreams,
their children and their children’s children forgotten.
Images of a drowned tropical village flicker across the plasma screen.
Sodden walls and tumbled chimneys
strive vainly to keep above the rising tropical sea.
A child’s thin awkward naked body,
drifts past face down on an uncaring oily current,
that carries the forgotten plastic flotsam of her pauper’s world.
But earlier TV pictures of that new Audi,
the stylish fast one,
surrounded by admiring well-groomed, sleek women,
slide with opiate ease into his mind
as he presses the remote off button.
“Fuck off little brown girl,
I don’t want to see.”

~ David Reid

David Reid was born in Belfast in 1940, was awarded a PH.D. at Queen’s University of Belfast in 1967, and emigrated to Canada with his wife in 1968 to take a position in the Department of Biology. In 1976 he became a Professor of Botany (and a Canadian) at the University of Calgary and Head of the Department of Biological Sciences 1999-2005. His teaching, research and publications (about 160 published papers published in international refereed scientific journals) dealt with matters pertaining to plants and in particular how they survive nasty and ever changing environments. In 2009, David wrote three 900-word op-ed pieces for the Calgary Herald on global warming.

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