The Ocean Should Have Been Filled with Cockroaches
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2022, Senior, Poetry & Spoken Word
Cockroach came, he had traversed the land
for how many years, it went out of hand.
It is said he lived an eternal life,
seen it all, including total disaster rife.
Some said elephants would live forever,
some fox, for she was oh so clever;
Others held onto the loach,
but in the end, it was the Cockroach.
I asked him how he had lived so long,
He said it was wits, but also being headstrong.
“My adventures are a tale to be told,
but first you must hear the one of cold;
How it slowly disappeared as time ticked,
and the heat with its flaming hands slowly picked
the glaciers apart, dissolving their flesh,
it held the clouds, and gave them a good thresh;
the storms came lashing, the waves
rushed in, the earth cried tears, by tempest blown away;
while my friends, the creatures of the sea
once my brutal enemies, they lived free
sailed the oceans, swam the rivers,
until as life always delivers
the helpless to succumb to force
But not I, as I walked my course,
of strength, will, and not to forget pride
I saw the world, took it astride;
Watched the colours pale, from every reef
black and white—the remains of grief.
As weak humans passed, and animals died,
the oceans filled beyond their brim, I tried
pitying those who had once looked down upon me,
and let those fish whose bellies lay upturned in plea
tell me of my magnanimity.
I chose to forgive them for their transgressions
as humans had left on them deeper impressions,
The earth they once held, it dripped through their fingers,
Fell drop-by-drop, as destruction beneath lingered;
I shook my head in pity, for after all,
I was destined for greatness after their fall.
They spoke in disgust, looked in reproach,
but persist in the end, was me, the cockroach!
Those fools, they trusted man so clever
they gave them their homes, their lives; however,
my mendacious mates, the indulgent brutes,
with appetite voracious, had them wrenched from the roots.
Now the little insect-me, with antennae held high, eyes,
clear, with not a tear left to cry,
look at my fallen fellows, the fools,
those subservient creatures, like witless mules,
as their remains dissipate, in rot and regret,
they look at me, in veneration; and yet,
their eyes ask for survival, my approach,
so that they too could have lived like a cockroach.”
The idea of the cockroach appealed to me as the cockroach is a creature so overlooked that ultimately it is never exploited, like the creatures of the ocean are. I wanted to write the poem from the perspective of one who will survive the disasters that will soon occur if we continue to live the way we do without taking measures. Through my words, I hope readers can look at the pressing topic of climate change and how it greatly affects not only the oceans, but also life in general, while also enjoying the satirical and cynical remarks of the cockroach.