'I this the way to Heaven, I wonder?'

Geoff Swannell gives us some words to ponder, just in time for Earth Day

Perhaps no other art form stirs the soul quite like poetry.

Stanza or sonnet, lyrical or narrative, we love the poetic arrangement of words - so, it goes without saying, our Spotlight department was delighted when Kamloops resident Geoff Swannell asked if we would print a timely poem for Earth Day.

"Writing and some poetry have turned out to be a kind of a hobby, among others things, in retirement," said Swannell, whose poem Oh Sweet Growth is printed here in its entirety.

Swannell is a former teacher, who also spent 27 years working in wildlife conservation.

His poem, Oh, Sweet Growth, emerged from a dream and was inspired by a film Swannell watched in the early 1970s, entitled Limits to Growth.

"Its theme is basically growth - ours - in a finite system," said Swannell of the documentary.

"After seeing the film 40 years ago, I decided then to watch world events and see for myself. I did and the film message still applies. Unfortunately, nothing else has changed either. Is this the way to Heaven I wonder?"

A question to ponder as Monday's Earth Day approaches.

* * *


By Geoff Swannell

It came to mind while I was dreaming.

Oh sweet growth it is us deceiving.

It's time we left its blind believing.

Reality now is not what we're seeing.

Oh the end will come, with rolling thunder!

Drown the earth. Rend it asunder!

Will we then turn together or plunder?

Is this the way to heaven I wonder, oh?

Soon overtaken by fire and flood,

our histories written in the mud.

Do you think just of your own worth, or

what you can do and live on Earth?

Oh reap the whirlwind, sow the seed!

Mothers for sons and daughters plead.

Who'd have thought, both fire and ice,

when surely either one will not be nice.

The signs are written even for the blind.

Tho' there is still hope for every kind.

You, the last one standing, going and

not demanding, care due our Mother Earth.

Will memories be of awesome things;

like ancient stars beyond the sky,

their fire's embers bound to die, or

on which side our true leaders lie?

Oh reap the whirlwind, the seed is growing.

Let no one say you never saw the sowing.

But yes now, it's the way we're going.

Is this the way to heaven I wonder, oh?

Yes, the end will come, with rolling thunder!

Oh sweet growth our biggest blunder!

We must turn now, together, not plunder.

Could that be the way to heaven I wonder, oh?

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