Photo by Candia Dixon-Stuart
The harbingers of the highway, strange men –
pistoleros? – murdered his tribe. Alone,
he raises maize and yams. He is the last
to roam 4,000 hectares; to survive
sarampion, flu, smallpox and the loss
of relationships, family and friends.
The agribusinesses have been no friends
to Amazonian rainforests. Men
decimate the land; their gain is loss.
This man has lived for twenty years alone.
With four, or five, some other tribes survive,
but human diversity will not last.
When the illegal loggers have, at last,
razed every tree to the forest floor, friends
of the indigenous will not survive.
Stripping rare plants that might have healed men
will leave us with dilemmas, all alone,
to face health crises; scientific loss.
In today’s world we experience loss –
loss of our souls; our languages. The last
man to roam North Rondonia alone
at least felt what it was once to have friends.
He knew the co-operation of men
was vital for tribe members to survive.
Without his wisdom, how can we survive?
No man is an island. All sense the loss.
Our planet is affected – even men
who murdered his kin. The effects will last,
impacting their families and their friends.
Doubtless their guilt should not be borne alone.
Corporations do not erode alone.
Immunity itself will not survive.
Time’s arrow can pierce foes and even friends.
The Man of the Hole, who suffered great loss,
knows his breath will be surrendered at last,
but he holds that in common with all men.
Friends of our earth, how shall we survive loss
of habitats and species? Fellow men,
look at this last man. He’s not alone.
A post of the poem I already published in February 2021.
‘The Man in the Hole’ was found outside his straw hut, dead in a hammock
and covered with Macaw feathers. He was aged about 60 and no foul play
is suspected at this time.