Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Copenhagen, 2009

By Badri Raina

At Copenhagen they met—

Greed and Need.

Greed said, “ cut down your need”;

Need said, “enough of your greed.”

Greed retorted, “the Earth cannot wait

For your need to become greed”;

Need rebutted, “you are a great one

To say so,

Having created all our need.”

Greed, you know,

Of course wished to have the cake

And eat it too;

Need knew if that continued to be done,

There would be no place for Need in the sun.


Swore they would cut down their carbon,

And save the Earth

For a renewed birth,

But not before Capitalism had its full-bull run.

Greed said, “Capitalism is ours; we made it;

Leave it to us; you do that which is fit

For your station.

We shall carry the corporation

To your lands,

And thereby have less emissions on our hands.”

Need said, “emissions anywhere

Will not spare you,

Because the Earth is one;

Thus either all of us Capitalism shun,

Or we all roll down the mountain.”

The Bolivian, the Cuban, the Venezualan

Said, “the Earth cannot be parceled out

Anymore for anyone’s convenience;

The Capitalist lout

Had better see sense,

And recongnize

That the world’s mountains, icebergs,

Rivers and seas, air and fire

Are Socialist:, making no distinction;

Either everyone lives or everyone dies.”

Consternation followed upon

That recognition,

Obliging the chief spokesman of Greed

To exclaim:

“If indeed the Earth is Socialist,

It is best dead;

We shall go build Capitalism anew

In heaven or hell instead.

Come Christmas, we walk away from Jesus,

And walk into the Shade;

We swear upon the blood of the Barons,

We shall never let Capitalism fade.

Having brought down the Berlin Wall,

Wall Street shall stand unbroken,

However the Lehman’s and the others

May have rashly spoken.

Let the fatcats be the fatcats,

And the hungry be in the billions;

We have all the arsenal,

We shall train our guns

On all the world’s ragamuffins

Who have no reason to be;

And, being, who only obstruct

The Market from being free.

War shall be our answer

To that ultimate perfidy.”

Thus at Copenhagen

Did the Earth make up her mind

To put an end to mankind,

And some better species find.

badri.raina@gmail.com December 20, 2009


ML Raina said...

Badri is our very own lightning rod who triggers reverberations across the whole human spectrum. His faith in human agency is what keeps congenital sceptics like me going.

Rajeev Dhavan said...

That's the way to go

Pervez Hoodbhoy said...

Splendid poem. Says it so beautifully.

Pervez Hoodbhoy
Chairman, Department of Physics
Quaid-e-Azam University
Islamabad, Pakistan

Bappa said...

Dear Badri,
I couldnt agree with you more, and thanks for that thoughtfiul message.

Zohra said...

Excellent...so well put.
there is enough for man's need, but never enough for his greed

Anonymous said...


D N Jha

Professor of History (retired)
University of Delhi

S M Shahed said...

What a lovely poem and how sad that it is true. The only thing is that NOT ALL are going to roll down the mountain together. Large numbers of the Needy will drown, other large numbers will die of starvation in drought, yet more will get blown away by hurricanes and floods ... Greed will "adjust" and live a lot longer. I bet it will not feel guilty either. "They had it coming. They did something bad in their previous life. That is why this had to happen to them. It was their fate ... their karma".

Prof. Sabyasaachi Mukerjee said...

Dear Badri,

I couldnt agree with you more, and thanks for that thoughtfiul message.

Prof. Sabyasaachi Mukerjee
Chairman of the ICHR