TCS: A Call for Change from Nigeria

.  Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


Mother Earth has been abused, the powers have been abused,
and this cannot go on forever. No theory can alter that simple fact.
Mother Earth will retaliate, the whole environment will retaliate,
and the abusers will be eliminated.

– Russell Means


I got a message last week from Irene Fowler, who lives in Nigeria:

“I belong to the passionate, eclectic, family of poetry aficionados.
My work is published in ‘The Guardian, Nigeria’ as well as other
international news outlets. I would like to know if you would be
interested in publishing my latest poem? . . .”

Of course I said Yes!

I asked for a biography to include with the poem:

“I am a Nigerian International lawyer (LL.M Harvard), writer and poet, based in Lagos, Nigeria. My career background spans the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland (WHO, UNHCR), Energy sector (Shell Petroleum, Conoco), Human Rights and Education (secondary/tertiary).

I am an accomplished opinion writer for the ‘Guardian Nigeria’ newspaper. My work has appeared in several international publications, including ‘The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs’ UK, ‘Women in Leadership’ UK, ‘The  Hill’ Washington DC, USA and the ‘European Network Against Racism’  Brussels, Belgium. I have also been a regular contributor to the Global Policy Institute Blog, Loyola Marymount University, LA, USA.

I started writing poetry at the beginning of the global Covid-19 lockdown. I channeled my fears, frustrations and loneliness, into writing poetry, as another form of self-expression. My poetry is featured in the ‘Guardian Nigeria’ newspaper and on Op-Ed News, a US-based (progressive) online platform.”

This is the poem which she sent:

The Rose Garden

by Irene Fowler

Awaken to the sweet, heady, erotic scents of colourful rose gardens in full bloom
Damask, nasturtium, orris, violets, apple, clove and lemon
Life’s intoxicating pursuits, busyness, gains, pleasures, mimic the seductive aromas
Masking the miasma of bitter, burnt, sacrificial offerings
Served-up by a topsy-turvy world, in throes of grave, existential threats
Betrayed by faithless, soulless, incendiary global leadership
Mankind, at their wits’ end, left adrift
in roiling seas of despair and desperation.

Awaken to manufactured, divisive, sinister chaos
Diabolical, dangerous, dark lies, fly with the speed of light
Germinate, percolate, dislocate honour, truth, reason
Defy, denigrate human compassion, dignity and unity.
Amoral, aggressive forces of ignorance, greed, hate
Flout machiavellian schemes of regression and poisoned discourse
High priests of bacchanalian revelry, feast on plebeian angst, misery
Banqueting, gorging on plunder, upheaval and mayhem, yet eternally unsated.

Awaken to life-giving golden sunlight and the tidal force of the silver moon
Planetary existence reliant on a single energising, dynamic, cosmic heartbeat
Proclaiming the sacred synergy and delicate balance of the universe
Increasingly, frightening cacophonies drown-out symphonies of creation
Majestic Mother-Earth violated, diminished, sapped, brought to her knees
Prostrate, she emits a fiery lamentation of fast-approaching calamities
Still not done chiding, messaging; in protest she rents her protective garments.

Awaken, empower the sleeping giant, your sovereign universal soul
Ruin rains down giving rise to floods of brutality, cruelty, gratuitous violence
Conditioned consumerism, binge lifestyles, comfort zones, nor denial, provide safe harbour
Escape the melee and mundane, journey within, to parts yet unknown
Discover the true keys to life – wisdom, understanding and healing love
Of a certainty, roses lose their ethereal, perfumed bloom, hence, cease to captivate
Signaling the season for cultivation and flowering, of inner grace, beauty and truth.

“The Rose Garden” © 2021 by Irene Fowler

Irene, thank you so much for sharing your poem with us, which is both lyrical and an impassioned plea for humankind to stop our assaults on the only planet we can call ‘Home.’




  • On cup – Rainbow Roses (yes, they are real)
  • The Rose Garden at Descanso Gardens, La Cañada, California

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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