Does the humble snail mourn its pace?
Is there grave concern on the sloth’s face?
That being innately and greatly tardy
Is somehow lazy and foolhardy?
Is the Loris unrushed rather than slow?
Having no particular place to go
Or a need to get there at higher speed
Enough to make your eye-balls bleed?
Does a tortoise blush at its leisurely crawl?
Or is he just happy absorbing it all?
The seahorse is blissfully gallop-free
Unconcerned by its immobility
If you’re the hunter or even the prey
There’s pressure to ‘get!’ or get out of the way
I get that
To fill your own stomach
And not end up in someone else’s
But when unpursued it seems wanton
To destroy Albion
Just to get somewhere quicker
Without even a flicker
We hurtle towards uncertainty
In the name of productivity
But the insane done with efficiency
Merely hastens on the lunacy
Which begs the question
What precisely are we accelerating for?
We’re ungrateful for what we’ve already got
Our fear of down time
Makes true presence a crime
As if stillness was an illness
To be inoculated against
The Lorax ain’t here to speak for the trees
Those ancients we kill with mechanical ease
The hills and the fields will be quiet no more
No buzz of a bee, just a high speed train’s roar
One day perhaps we will look back and see
Our reflection in our own obstinacy
The delusion in which we crowned ourselves Master
Our role in this rapid unfolding disaster
Until then we weep for the things we will lose
The owls and the woodlands that don’t get to choose
When our country succumbs to this rail-road blaster
Scream if you really want to go faster
Ed Gillespie is the author ‘Only Planet’