No limits exist
for enterprising minds
on how many people
may follow their quest
by working to play
in how many vehicles
on how many roads
24 hours a day.

No limit
when buzz saws
rip millions of trees
into tons of lumbermilled
plywood and 2-by-4s,
nailing millions of homes
to lifetimes of debt
on burgeoning hordes
of consumer clones.

No quota set
around the equator
on clear-cut hardwoods
where exotic germs,
ancient jungle bred,
sooner or later
the traveling public
may catch and spread.

Any number of ships
in trade, fun and war
can spill enough waste
on myriad plankton,
converting the oceans
from oxygenation
to seabed warming
compost to methane
to global suffocation,

its toppling threshold
of industrial smog
billions will breathe
for how many years
till lungs and heart clog
with fatal disease,

each slender tolerance
for popular medicines
in promising ads
through painless bodies
whose filtering organs
anemic, defeated,
suffer invasion
of resistant germs
and leukocyte defenders
sue for the terms
of early surrender.

So how many tons
of auto-jet exhaust,
coal fired smoke
and their toxic fallout
turn greenhouse gasses
to the global haze
that gives the human race
and planet Earth a fever
till each tornado-tossed,
bankrupted citizen
turns eco-believer?

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John Talbot Ross