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Harry E Gilleland

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Insulated From Nature
by Harry E Gilleland

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Harry E Gilleland
•  Keep Toeing the Line
•  The Specter of Living Too Long
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           >> View all 166

A free-verse poem about modern life with its conveniences versus experiencing Nature.

Today, modern urban Man lives
in a technologically superior
environment. He resides
in controlled air, summer
and winter – no chills
and no sweat. He enjoys
in-door plumbing, electricity
and gas for cooking, bright
lighting all twenty-four hours.
He is entertained by instantly-
available music and movies
on television and Internet.
He lives a convenient life style.
Such is progress.

Modern Man travels
in relative comfort
at amazing speeds.
He drives his car on Interstate
highways at 70 to 78 mph,
traversing five or more
states in a day, with music
and conditioned climate.
Zoom, zoom.
When asked, “Have you
ever been to Montana?”
“I drove through it once.”
“What was your impression?”
“I dunno. It was all a blur.”

In olden days, travelers truly
experienced prairies of grass,
streams to drink or swim in,
hills and valleys. They smelled
the flowers in bloom, heard
the birds sing and the howl
of wolves and coyotes,
and tolerated the heat or cold.
They welcomed as friends
fellow travelers along the way.

Today’s travelers know only
that ribbon of concrete
and rest stops and fast food
outlets with E-Z off and on.
They have road rage, flip
off drivers who cut them off.
But they get there much faster!
Such is progress.

In olden times, Man
went to sea to earn
a living fishing or whaling,
or to move his family
to a new life in a new world.
They felt the wind in the sails,
tasted the salt air, and rolled
with the waves’ swells.
They experienced the sea!

More people cruise
over the seas and oceans
now than ever before.
Today, most people cruise
on vacation for relaxation
on a behemoth ship,
where they are too high up
to experience the sea
except like a postcard.
They expect a smooth ride
in which they hardly ever
feel the roll of the sea below.
They never get to know the
power and majesty of the sea.
Such is progress.

Olden Man slept in pitch-
dark with a dazzling display
of wondrous lights filling
the nighttime sky above.
Modern Man in his cities
and suburbs never see
the true nighttime sky.
He gets merely a pale,
light-bleached, washed-out
view of the stars above.
Such is progress.

Modern Man values
convenience and comfort
over the touch of Nature.
He has a far better life
than in olden times.
Yet, he needs to stop
and reflect every once
in a while on everything
he is missing by his being
so insulated from Nature.

Gilleland Poetry

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Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 8/23/2011
How well you describe all that we left behind through the technological march forward. Much to be said for days past...

Be always safe,
Reviewed by RWE SAYS BYE 8/22/2011
Strong write. At what price comes this progress? Your poem spells out a bottom line whose exorbitance is increasingly becoming untenable, and it does so with an alacrity and wit that makes for worthwhile reading.
Reviewed by Gene Williamson 8/22/2011
With apologies to General Electric, Harry, Progress
is often Our Least Important Product. And the proof
is laid out for us in your powerful poem. -gene.
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 8/22/2011
I very sadly agree with you, especially these sad 'modern' days when even our young children now only know indoor technology, and less and less of them learn to marvel at the wonders of good old Mother Nature. Unlike many today, I long for those Good Old Days when most of us enjoyed The Great Outdoors, and now I always avoid the Interstates and travel the old country roads.
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 8/21/2011
Yes, modern man has comfort beyond compare, but are we really all that comfortable or are we just living beyond our means...we would surely be better living as they did in the past, when time moved slower & it seemed life did longer last...e
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