Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Earth Is Not Flat--A New Poem by Stan Brunn

22 August 2015:    Inspiration from Thomas Friedman. 2005. The Earth Is Flat. New York: Macmillan and Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The Earth Is Not Flat
Stan Brunn
Photo by Mario Gomez.

Whoever wrote or said the earth is flat
Never studied details of human welfare topics on a world map
Or asked victims about an age, race or gender gap
Or someone locked into a marriage, employment or income trap.
Anyone who studies the planet’s human geographies
Knows there are billions of human “hills and valleys”
On all continents and countries and in all cities
Known also to those studying past and present centuries.
Electricity, fiber optics, computers and instant communication
            Shrink time zones and facilitate interaction
            As does a phone card, the Internet, WWW and Skype connection
            Where distance and direction means nothing nor does location.
Some of these gaps are wide and deep creations
            Some are hills, others are mountains
            Some in familiar, others in unfamiliar locations
            All challenging our cartographic perceptions.
The immigrant seeking citizenship knows the world has “legal” gaps
            As does the environmentalist protecting endangered species
            The woman seeking counseling and abortion
            The freedom fighter seeking refuge
            The off-shore investment banker seeking wealth
            The gay couple seeking marriage
            The reporter documenting truth coverage
            The vocal citizen seeking free speech and assembly.
Gaps in rights exist for the disabled and terminally ill
            Those seeking escapes from stereotypes and patriarchy
            Those seeking religious freedom over persecution
            Those seeking privacy, freedom and a new life
            The terminally ill seeking end of life assistance
            Those seeking happiness, protection and security
            Those seeking refuge from hunger and civil strive
            Those seeking to vote and politically participate
Cyberspace, iPads, Twitter and Google have not made the earth flatter
            Or more just, humane, equal or safer
            On the contrary the world’s much more complex and messier
            But also more diverse, beautiful and becoming morally better.
Sadly, there still exists a Flat Earth Society
            With adherents find comfort in some ancient geography
            Who refuse to accept modern science and astronomy
            Satellite images, planetary exploration and earth history.
Globalization makes us aware of differences and similarities
            Of our parochialism and also global sensitivities
            Of our efforts to reduce some existing gaps     
            That should result in some newly-made maps.


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