Friday 24 January 2020


I was going through some of my old writing and I came across this poem which I wrote back in 1987. I'm not really a poet, but I had seen a film called Koyaanisqatsi, which was made in 1982, showing how humans are gradually changing the world in ways that we can't control, and I felt the need to put pen to paper.. The title itself is a word from the native American language, Hopi, and means "a life out of balance".  Given what's happening to the world today, I think it has a certain relevance. Try to see the film if you can, and remember that we've come almost forty years since it was made - and how accurate it was!

The poem is reproduced with some small changes from the original. Feel free to disseminate, but please acknowledge.


A land so parched, so drenched in sun,

Fashioned by rivers where no rivers run,

Clouds roll and boil, blue foaming white,

Red screams the sky at the onset of night.

Hostile to humans, yet this is our home,

Living as always with death on the roam,

Countless years back, unknown years more,

Immutable, changing, the earth at our core.

Civilised, pure, destructive and wild,

Gutting earth’s past to better our child,

Scouring deep down, rising up high,

Giving our reasons without knowing why.

Koyaanisqatsi, a life out of tune,

A past slowly dying, a future too soon, 

A life full of reasons, where reason is lost,

The drive to accomplish, whatever the cost.

Thus do we live, and must surely die,

Heedless of Demeter’s desperate cry,

Destroying not only the fruits of our pains,

The very same fruits will destroy all our gains.

Marc Loewenthal, Mykonos, Greece, 9 July 1987