Poem concerning so-called land ownership by Jim Drescher.
                        It was posted on the internet discussion group left bio.
                        Jim runs an ecoforestry school at Windhorse Farm in
                        Nova Scotia. (Used with permission.)

                           Break the Momentum

                "It's my land;

                I can do whatever I want with it.
                If I want to destroy the forest,
                that's my business, not yours.
                If I want to strip off the topsoil,
                that's my business, not yours.
                If I want to liquidate the homes of a thousand animals,
                that's my business, not yours.
                I own the land;
                the law says I can do whatever I want with it."

                Who owns a forest that took 10,000 years to develop?
                Who owns the soil formed by that forest?
                Who owns the plants and animals?
                How can you own a tree that was already old in this place
                when your grandfather was not yet born?
                How can you own the topsoil which has accumulated naturally
                for thousands of years from the bodies of untold trillions of beings.
                How can you own the animals
                each of whom has been your mother?
                What kind of law says you can?
                Whose law?
                We need legal assistance in this dark age
                if we are to avoid total destruction
                in the name of the law,
                the law that makes legal all manner
                of arrogance, greed, and stupidity
                if you "own the land."

                Perhaps there is a higher law
                based on gentleness, intelligence and fearlessness:
                Gentleness to find one's natural place
                in the community of all other beings;
                intelligence to recognize that we can be sustained by nature
                only if we minimize our impacts on it;
                fearlessness to break the momentum
                of anthropocentric law.
                Is there the possibility of enlightened society?
                Is it legal?

                                                                 (30 May 94)

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 Last updated: February 13, 2006