Unsustainable Growth

Poem by Patrick Hooton

Illustration by Charlotte Franks


An unnatural haze hangs lazily around the roots of the distant glass and concrete canopy.

The skyline, once a single solitary monolith, has continued to grow ever upwards, more sprouting further away from the centre.

Invading neon flora and four-wheeled fauna chasing out those who once resided there to a few small refuges in smaller parks where they have become unwelcome pests.

In the cool pre-dawn, cascading light shimmers down from the heights of the urban jungle falling to the shrubbery of waking life below.

So used to the ever-presence of artificial light in this modern bush that its inhabitants barely recognise the traditional hours of the day.

Uncomfortable are those old creatures, now dwindling, with such light they too struggle with the recognition of their normal waking.

Nocturnal animals roam till late morning, daytime colonists stumble until night, the two often crossing paths both being reminded of the other’s unwelcome place in their lands.

Stretching outwards, this invasive sprawl continues its spread across the landscape, dominating the horizon with a crown of buildings in front of an open sky.

Nothing which is old shall remain, as even the older versions of the city itself must be torn down and built anew, lacking nostalgia in the pursuit of unrelenting growth.

Soft pink and orange hues break across the clouds above and around, swirling about the heads of buildings and enclosing the caps of sleeping penthouses on the tops of spires.

The golden glow, the signal of a new day, missed by the unaware and lonely mammal trudging through the concrete below.

Missing the simple majesty of the morning sunrise, skyrises blocking an outlook beyond the maze of our city.

We wish to see further out past ourselves and rediscover the bush that once was, but our view is blocked and our paths ever growing, as we search for a natural world that no longer exists.

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