Rhythms for a Broken World


Hear the heartbeat of the world

resounding in the Shaman’s drum.

New religion cannot save us.

Call the ancestors to come!

Bring the old ways; ancient wisdom.

Children have the clearer view.

Broken is the gift we give them

of the old life that we knew.


In the boardrooms and the Summits,

ecology was just a word,

protest was the bane of profit,

wisdom, science, went unheard.

Rich men’s pockets chinked with laughter

through the opening stable door.

“Best before, not deadly after,”

sang the ever-starving poor.


Shamans and warriors tell your tales!

Survivors of famines sing to the drum!

Sing for a future reflecting the sun,

or the end of the world as we know it will come.


Spell it out! Shout it out!

Reason out new rhymes.

Tell them to the drumbeat

marking out our times.

Tell the late-bloomed flowers.

Tell th’infected trees.

Drum through the ever-falling rain

and the hum of dying bees.

Tell it to the ozone.

Tell it to the snows.

Tell it to the sliding ice

where Arctic land now shows.

Tell it to our children;

to a future not yet born.

“We hardly tried! We lived a lie!

We leave a world … outworn!”


Whisper to the World Drum.

Whisper to its heart,

our shameful, weak, apology,

to a pulse, we can’t, restart.



© Joanna Huckvale 2003

Joanna Huckvale

I have always enjoyed writing and concocting stories and poems and I would like to thank my mother for singing to me when I was young and showing me that it was natural to write things down. Telling impromptu stories to my kids when they were young was also fun.

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