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School Years 3 – 4 Pollution By Avi Hassan

Smog covered the sky

I wasn't quite sure why.

Gloopy water filled the streams

The rivers, and the once-blue sea.

The greenery was dry and dead

I just stood there and stared

Everywhere I looked, every place I stood

Not one piece of happiness

The survival rate was much much less.

I tried to make it much better,

Some green or a little redder

Then I realized the smog in the sky

the gloop in the stream

the colourless grass

It was all just a dream.

I can't let the world go that way

I have to do something, from today!

45 years later:

I remember the future

From my dream

The smog in the sky

The colourless grass

The gloop in the stream

But now everything changed, it seems

No smog in the sky

Bright green grass

And no gloop in the streams

Because just one human being can change the world.

Judge Charles Durante comments:

School Years 3 – 4 Runner-Up: Avi Hassan with Pollution. This poem reflects our concern with the survival of our planet. Smog has darkened the sky-during lockdown the skies above Delhi and Beijing were sparkling and translucent-waters have become stagnant and filthy-‘gloopy’ is the word in the poem.

With the degrading of nature, come the rise of human mortality, the spread of disease, famine, poverty, drought and raging fires. This terrifying picture is brushed aside as a ‘dream,’ but it is more like a nightmare.

However, it inspires the speaker to take action to reverse the process, to foster nature and renew the earth.

Then, forty-five years later, the dream has become a reality. This could be seen as mere wish fulfilment but, as we know, if enough people share the dream (witness Greta Thunberg), politicians might then heed them and the earth might still have another chance to flourish.

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