I Sentence You (an Apocalyptic Dystopian Poem)

Future Dystopian World
Future Dystopian World | Source
Nagasaki Bombing Aftermath
Nagasaki Bombing Aftermath | Source

I Sentence You ..

Can I distance myself

From the wrongs

Of decades past?

Accused,

Fairly or unfairly,

Do you even care?

It doesn't matter

To anyone but the victims,

The psychologically damaged

And physically abused.

Take the stand,

The court is in session.

Guilty or not guilty,

How do you plead?

Not guilty!

I wasn't yet born.

That's no defence

Against the crimes of the father,

Or the mother for that matter,

Or the father's father,

Or the mother's mother.

Source

What's done is done,

What's broken can't be fixed.

A prostitute cannot become a virgin again,

A sunken unsalvageable wreck

Cannot be refloated.

All the extinct species

Cannot live again.

If this planet dies for your sins,

It can't be resurrected.

Again, I ask,

How do you plead,

On behalf of mankind?

Guilty or innocent?

≈Shamed silence ≈

The jury has reached a verdict.

You have been charged

With crimes against the world.

I sentence you ..

To life..

On a dead planet.

Source

Before you go! Please watch this amazing speech by none other than Charlie Chaplin. It is still as relevant today as when he orated it. (thank you to Surabhi Ka

© 2015 John Hansen

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Comments 77 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Very apocalyptic. Kind of a scary poem that reaches down deep. I sure like it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Eric, I'm not sure what even prompted me to write this. It just kind of materialized on the page. Must have been something at work in my subconscious. I must admit it is rather scary.


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

That is so cool to know. It just came to you. That actually is quite heavy. Thanks


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 12 months ago from Florida

I love how you put this one in order. It was really brilliant. I agree with your friend Ericdierker, it was a little scary. I think it was scary, because this is exactly where we are heading. The end of this world as we know it!! And who is the guilty ones???? It's just sad isn't it??


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I'm glad you liked this rather dark poem Missy. I do care deeply about this planet and although I try my best to leave a light footprint ecologically and be kind to my fellow man, I worry is it enough? Could I do more to try and stop the decline? If we all got together with the common goal of saving the Earth, I know we could do it...but do enough of us care? Time will tell. Thank you for your much appreciated comment.


annart profile image

annart 12 months ago from SW England

Hard-hitting and scary - it shocks us into thinking that we should do more, that we are responsible for doing something to save this planet from the poisons we throw at it. It is polluting itself in many ways but that doesn't mean we should add to it, nor sit back and wait for destruction. It's apathy that helps the rot.

Great poem. Funny how these thoughts just appear sometimes, isn't it? I know what you mean.

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for stopping by Ann. I am glad this poem seems to be stirring the reactions and emotions I hoped for. Yes we are responsible as the guardians of the planet. If we don't all collectively do something proactive to save it, who will? Sometimes the things you write randomly with no planning turn out the most satisfying.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 12 months ago from Southern Illinois

Mankind continues to destroy our world daily. Filling the soil with deadly chemicals. Oil spills and pollution are killing the water creatures and people. If that's not enough terrorist are destroying our homes all over the world. Your poem and the pictures, especially the old man sitting among the ruins tells it all. Great and timely poetry. Thank you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Ruby, your word ring true to me. We may be preaching to the converted but we have to do something. Glad you like the poem and pictures. Take care, and thanks for reading.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Ruby, your word ring true to me. We may be preaching to the converted but we have to do something. Glad you like the poem and pictures. Take care, and thanks for reading.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 12 months ago from Taos, NM

John, I love this poem. This is exactly what is going to happen to our planet unless we change our ways. You express this sentiment quite well.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Suzette. The planet is a constant worry the way things are at the moment. I appreciate your kind comment.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 12 months ago from Olympia, WA

I like scary, John, and like Missy said in one of her articles, there is a dark side to us all, and I think the really good writers understand that and tap into it....you did here.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 12 months ago from Nibiru

the thing is that we are all guilty for the world's sins. While the leaders destroy out physical, mental and moral world we sit here eating corn. Nice one


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 12 months ago

John, this is how some New Ager interpreted the biblical "sins of the father" being foisted on the children. I think you were inspired to write this, and it's a wonderful poem. Your photos are scary,too.

I just got out of the hospital-major surgery-so it's great to come home and read your work.


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 12 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very interesting read. It's a good question - How do you plead? Guilty or innocent? But, not only our forefathers. All of us are guilty of destroying our planet. It is like life on a dead planet even from now.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Bill. I wasn't sure what the outcome would be when I started writing this but glad it worked. Yes Missy's words do ring true. Most of us have to release our dark side now and then..as you do with Billy the Kid etc.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good point Clive, thanks for commenting.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Firstly I am glad you are home from hospital MsB and I wish you a speedy recovery. It does seem I was inspired to write this, and thanks for your kind and inspiring comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

You are right Venkat. We can't simply blame our forefathers, the present generation are probably the most guilty of all. Time to,turn it around.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 12 months ago from Potter County, Pa.

Sins of the father? Good questions as there's not much of a choice as to how we get out of this mess. The sad part is we are not much wiser by what our ancestor's taught us with their mistakes. We have only managed to add many more to the chaos. Lucky for us the baby boom generation used cloth diapers. How many years did they make the disposables before they opened their eyes to the fact that they needed to be biodegradable? And that's only one dilemma facing our world today. Good poem and a good topic, too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for your discerning comment Diana. You make some very good observations. Yes, we are fortunate our generation, the Baby Boomers used cloth nappies/diapers. These days they wouldn't think of it. We never used one disposable nappy/diaper, even though they were available. My wife made her own using recycled towels with ribbon ties instead of safety pins. We need to take the good things from the past as well as learning from the mistakes.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 12 months ago from The Caribbean

This is a scary judgement scene and has a scent of predestination. The thought of a dead planet brings home the fear. A different kind of poem, but you're good at all types, Jodah.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi MsDora, probably not the kind of message I should be spreading just before Christmas, but I had to write it while it was in my mind. It is a scary premonition because it isn't far from reality. Thanks for reading and your kind comment as always.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 12 months ago from london

Funny! A bit of realism there too. Nice take, Bro. Excellent poem!


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 12 months ago from United States

Yes there has to be an end to it all one day. Perhaps those of us who really care may find a way to prolong the inevitable. Each day we have is a true blessing and some of us understand it in its meaning to the core. Thank you for a wake up call to some who think we can keep abusing our homes and still have a life here on this planet. Well done. whonu


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Funny?..the first comment describing it as such Manatita, but thanks for the generous comment. Much appreciated.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

We writers have to do our bit to bring these important issues to the fore, whonu. I know you do as well. It is too easy for many people to become complacent and say I'll change my ways..next year.


shprd74 profile image

shprd74 12 months ago from Bangalore

Inspired by indian hindu mythology, I am inspired to reciprocate and find reasons for us humans, in being mean and destructive in nature. Here it goes...

every now and then,

the world is destroyed and rebuilt again,

by his divine intervention.

We are probably part of his game,

letting him redesign his invention,

By being, mean, human being.

http://www.inannareturns.com/gita/krisna21.htm


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Hari, I have actually considered that the creator may actually have no choice but to destroy the flawed sinful world to cleanse it an start again. Like the ancient flood. Some have suggested that diseases like Ebola and AIDS/HIV occur as nature's attempt to reduce the overpopulation and poverty problem. You may be right, perhaps we are all part of the game...even ISIS.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 12 months ago from Shelton

disturbingly wonderful Jodah.. sins of our father.. Loved it :


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Frank. Sometimes "disturbing" is the perfect comment. This is one of those times.


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 12 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Oh – I missed your writes, Jodah! How refreshing it is revisiting HubPages!

This was an interesting poem, yes. Very powerful, and yet makes the humanity to ponder. Only you could write with such elegance and creativity. Let's all unite and become one voice to fight against the atrocities being inflicted on our Mother Earth.

Hats off to this wonderful hub! Praise be.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 12 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Well, I could not ask for a better comment Surabhi, It is good to hear that my writing is missed and appreciated :)

If we all unite in a common cause to save the Earth..everything will work out well. If not...I hate to think, but this poem could come to pass.

Thank you for reading and your encouragement.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 11 months ago from london

I read it again Bro. No, not funny in a literal sense. It is a serious Hub. It reads like a dialogue and with some interesting bits like:

"The court is in session.

Guilty or not guilty,

How do you plead?

Not guilty!" - Jodah.

I was a very bright law student. Indeed I came second in college, and practised as a policeman for some three and a half years. Still, I can easily see your point. Happy Christmas!


swalia profile image

swalia 11 months ago

The scary reality presented brilliantly in your poem. We all are guilty for not raising our voices, for not taking a stand, for doing nothing to save our Mother Earth. We forget that every little effort makes a difference!


drbj profile image

drbj 11 months ago from south Florida

Seriously devastating, Jodah. And a very thought-provoking statement in one of your comments. Who knows? Perhaps Isis IS part of the game!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I am sure you would have made a great lawyer Manatita.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Swalia, you summed it up in a few words. Exactly! Thanks for reading.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes drbj. I was reluctant to actually put those thoughts out there, but they have been running around in my head for awhile.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 11 months ago from Central Florida

What have we done? And continue to do? It's shameful, sad, and so unnecessary. What was the point? Did we achieve our goals by destroying the Earth?

Both videos you chose to accompany your thought-provoking poem are very powerful, John. The question is: is it too late?


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Shauna, The problem is that the things Charlie Chaplin recognised as being wrong with the world and recommended we change so many years ago are still being debated...all talk..no action. I feel we have had so much warning there must come a time when it will be too late. I hope there is still time to change but I am worried.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 11 months ago from Central Florida

Me too, John.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 11 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello John. Your poem is quite powerful. The folks over at the Climate Summits in Paris should see it. Charlie Chaplin did a nice job also. You continue to raise the bar.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Mike. Yes, I feel like I am preaching to the converted. I have shared it on Social Media but not had many likes or comments unfortunately. We do have to keep challenging ourselves and trying to better our previous efforts don't we?


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 11 months ago from Oklahoma

Very powerful. My take on things is the impotence one feels in trying to protect the world when so many haven't and don't.

There's a tremendous amount of guilt in caring and having a conscience, even when you aren't directly contributing to the destruction.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your comment Larry. We can only do as much as we are personally capable of and fel satisfied that at least we tried. Then we may still feel frustrated but shouldn't feel guilty for other's failures.


Eric Flynn profile image

Eric Flynn 11 months ago from Providence, Rhode Island

Hey Jodah, we are on a sinking ship, due to all these acts done in the name of progress and the greatness of man. We've celebrated the innovators and geniuses of the world as they continuously defy nature. I appreciate your daily works as an eco friendly advocate; even though you (and I) feel that it is too far gone, we mustn't give up; and what a soul devouring challenge that can be.

EWF


shprd74 profile image

shprd74 11 months ago from Bangalore

We need to do very simple things, to save our earth.

No extravagance,

no wastage,

Recycle,

De-compose,

no plastic usage

Walk, use public vehicles

plan and not be instinctive.

Can add to this ....

- hari


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Exactly Eric. It is a sinking ship but we need to keep baling. While those who care keep trying there is always hope, despite the ever growing challenge.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Hari, we can do those things and others to slow the decline. The problem is many people prefer the easy life and don't want to think of the consequences. Thanks for reading.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 11 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

This is so powerful, John...and a must read for everyone. This planet -- this beautiful blue -- if the way life ends, it may begin again but not here. I shudder to think about the heritage we are leaving our grandchildren, and their children. This may sound absurd, but we have no right to do what we have been doing for generations. None whatsoever.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

You said it all Genna. We have raped and pillaged this land with total disregard for much too long. We have to do something..yesterday. Thank you for the kind comment.


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 11 months ago

Strong words makes you think.

May the people learn to love the world and help each other to heal it.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I certainly wish that we could learn from our mistakes and join together as one human race to heal and protect the planet. Thank you for reading and commenting ignugent17.


DDE profile image

DDE 11 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A powerful read and with such great depth. Life and events are just so unpredictable.


lollyj lm profile image

lollyj lm 11 months ago from Washington KS

Very well done but distressing because it's true. I'd like to plead innocent but can't. I bask in my air conditioned house in summer, drive my car here and there, use my modern washing machine for laundry -- wasting fresh water sources -- and heat my home in winter. I'm guilty.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Devika, yes life is unpredictable but we have to be aware of the effects of all we do on the planet.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Lollyj, at least you admit it. We are all guilty to some extent..some more so than others. Every little improvement we can make, recycling, repairing items instead of replacing etc. thanks for commenting.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 11 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

You've written an excellent poem that is also very scary, Jodah. It's scary because it could be about a future reality. Thank you for sharing the poem and its warning.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your comment Alicia. The scary thing is this future reality may not be far away unless we change our way.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 11 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Very powerful, and deadly I might add. Here's to the hopes that the world really will make amends for the sins that we have wrought since the dawn of time.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading Deb, Yes I too hope that mankind makes amends for his sins.


deepaliawasare profile image

deepaliawasare 11 months ago from Vadodara

A very hard hitting poem ... very bleak too! ... but what about hope and solutions to problems.... we all are striving to achieve them... just met at Paris!!.... would have enjoyed a less sad ending


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I agree Deepali, I too would prefer a happier ending and now that the world is beginning to take climate change seriously there is hope. We still have to find solutions to stop war and terrorism and destroying the environment forcing wildlife into extinction. But there is always hope and the solutions are there if enough people take note. I hope I can one day write a more positive poem about the future of our world. Thank you for reading and your optimistic outlook.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 11 months ago from Dubai

A deep, intense poem. We should find ways and means to save humanity and planet earth to survive. Great write.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Vellur. We have to be optimistic and believe that everyone will come together in agreement to save humanity and the planet.


Kylyssa profile image

Kylyssa 11 months ago from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Considering that we are bound to see more and more deadly weather effects, new areas of our planet are already becoming uninhabitable, and the total area of arable land is shrinking even faster, your poem is quite relevant.

If (by some miracle) we live out our normal lifespans, you and I are bound to witness millions of human beings and thousands of plant and animal species dying due to capitalist politics. Valuing money over an inhabitable planet is both insane and unsustainable.

I don't understand why people don't comprehend that even rich people will die from climate change. Certainly poor people and all non-human life will take the brunt of the initial damage, but things like deadly weather effects don't just stick to undesirable living areas.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Kylyssa. You are exactly right. The effects capitalism and greed and ultimately climate change are already clearly evident. The rich seem to think they are immune but that is a fallacy, they will perish like everyone else. The one thing they do have is the ability to save the planet if they start devoting their resources to that instead of making record profits.


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 11 months ago from Texas

Wow! Powerful and attention-grabbing!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Shanmarie. Much appreciated.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 11 months ago from southern USA

Happy New Year, Dear John!

I'm sorry I missed this powerful poem here. I loved listening to the video and was quite surprised that is was done by Charlie Chaplin of all people! Wow!

Yes, that generational sin as we call it, certainly takes its toll on generation after generation, of the sins of the father, and I say this because I know of it and have seen it in action, sadly. However, our sweet Lord and Savior, Jesus, made a way that we can actually break that generational sin, and I did so and have seen witness thereof, when I prayed and laid it all down at the foot of the cross. There is power in the blood, believe me. Also, when you write of a prostitute, actually Jesus tells us when we belong to Him, we become new and beautiful creatures in Christ ...the old has passed away! So, even a prostitute is white as snow, believe it or not! That is how powerful the blood of Jesus is! Of course, the world does not look at it in the same way, but it is His truth, which there is no other.

God bless you and yours in the upcoming New Year and beyond,

Theresa aka Faith Reaper

There is always hope, when we place it in our sweet Jesus.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading and leaving such an uplifting comment Theresa. You are right that our sins and those of our fathers can be washed away through the blood of Jesus Christ, however not all this world believes that. We can however all be optimistic and if we learn from past mistakes and consciously begin to make changes we can turn it all around. Hopefully it will start this New Year. God bless you in 2016.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

John

Thos was an awesome poem, there's no doubt we Humans have a lot to answer for, but I think we're waking up to that fact.

It's messages like this that speak to the individual and challenge whether we are each doing what we can to keep our carbon impact to a minimum.

After all, it's what we're going to pass on to our kids.

Lawrence


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Lawrence, thanks for your generous comment. Most people know the harm that is being done to our planet but they become complacent. One of my sons once said..."What difference can I make? Everyone has to act or it is pointless." He has now changed his attitude, but a lot of people haven't. Each of us has to do our bit and be responsible if we are to reverse the current trend.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 11 months ago from USA

What do we do? Is it too late to care?


Jodah profile image

Jodah 11 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yes Flourish I am afraid it is too late to start caring. We should have done that 30 years ago, but it's never too late to start acting. Thanks for reading.

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    Jodah profile image

    John Hansen (Jodah)699 Followers
    277 Articles

    John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.


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