Ghosts in a Darkened World

The world is inhabited by people.
Different climates
Different habitats
And different cultures

Yet people everywhere
all want the same things
To love,
To raise their children,
To celebrate life and
To build a comfortable home.

When the definition of comfort
Becomes an obsession
Is it possible to have too much?
Can you enjoy what you already have
If you are constantly wanting more?

If what you are striving for
conflicts with what you love
Is it worth the effort?

Unbridled Capitalism gives
Agency to industry to corrupt
and destroy the planet
That sustains us.
Resources are not endless
And side effects must be considered.

Humanities eternal optimism
And need to consume
Is struggling to maintain itself,
And the planet is in a course correction.
It knows what it needs to survive.

Industry and unchecked
Urban growth creates ghosts
Of its inhabitants that live
In a shadowy and dark
World of anxiety.

When we cultivate only
Concrete and metal landscapes
Artificial visions become our only escape.
And there is no room to breathe

It’s hard to put down roots
In a concrete jungle.

Can we find our way back
To balance before it’s too late?
Or are we all destined to be ghosts
Who dance in the darkness.

Cheryl McDonald 2023©

If you would like to hear me read this poem, click below.

Todays pencil painting is called Ghosts in a Darkened World (the full painting is on the website), and it was created back in the late ’90s after a month long stay in Taipei, Taiwan. Much of the city was very dark. Of course it was in the winter also, so that might of had something to do with it. The building in the painting with the giant screen was a newly opened shopping center skyscraper with floors and floors of shopping.

I loved all of the gardens, museums, and temples. The people were warm and the food was fantastic. One of the most fascinating parts of the city were the markets in the alley ways. They were bright and colorful, full of life, and there were many people coming in from the countryside with their wares, dressed like they were from the last century. The countryside was pretty and green and we enjoyed traveling outside the city very much.

It was so dark in the city and it really made me think about what we are doing to our world. Even back then, I worried about the planet and our health as a culture.

I wrote the poem this week, and I wanted to convey a sense of urgency about the danger we are in from the changing climate and our fixation with consumerism.

We all know that we need to make big changes. It’s kind of like knowing you need to lose weight and hoping a magic pill will arise so you don’t have to go on a diet and get more exercise!

We are running out of time and we need to do everything we can to be part of the solution. Even making small changes, like buying only what we need or even making do without, finding ways to recycle things we no longer need, driving less and living simpler. All of this makes a difference. Of course electing representatives that take the problems seriously and who are interested in finding and supporting solutions would help also. We really need to commit to change and that is hard, but if we want to survive in the world, we need to.

I personally think the world will evolve and continue on. The question is will it be a place humans can inhabit?

Have a Happy Day


Published by cherylmcdonald

Thank you for taking a little time to get to know me. Making art has been my life, I love to tell stories through words and pictures. I am a multi-media artist working in photography, watercolor, various drawing media, and sometimes digital art.

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