Pause For Poetry:
Wanda Potrykus

Humans Are The Greatest Show On Earth

A poem by Wanda Potrykus

April 23, 2021 – In Memory of Earth Day 2021

It has been said… humans are
“the greatest show on earth”
Is that because there is a dearth
Of all the other animals?
We, the humans, are the cannibals
We only know how to grow
and propagate ourselves

We, in all reality, are the hells
We create for ourselves…
But also for them as we tell them
We are the masters
The devastators… but no, no, no
You… we are the bastards
of the natural world

In our concrete jungles
We bungle things
We hurl platitudes
About caring for the environment
But we are bent and tormented
With our desire to rule and school
All other entities in our twisted ways

Can you say otherwise?

So at times like this
it fits as Nature finally tries
to fight back
Smacks us hard to see reason
Time to end our treasonous ways
Divert us from our ideas and
Instill fears into humankind,
Blinded, befuddled, muddled
silly creatures that we are

For we can only devour, destroy
and crow about how great we are
We want to take ourselves to the stars
So we can harm and mutilate
them too?
‘Screw you humanity’
I don’t agree
With your current modus operandi

Me, myself and I
We will try and goad you into
seeing the error,
terror of your ways
Although it’s not enough to just say it
We have to teach… nay preach
an alternate view too…

Can I do it all alone?

I hear the groans of the natural world
moaning, curled up in so many
defensive positions, crying
Dying in their millions from
our gazillion interferences
and our ‘humanity knows best’ attitude
Puffing out our chests,
What hubris this all is

Truth, reality, fact is
Humanity should be cringeing
Whingeing our apologies
for the apogee of our
ignorance and thoughtlessness…
I guess every revolt and revolution
has to begin with just one brief resolution…


End note: Written and composed as part of the Atwater Writers Exhibition Music and Mood workshop with musician Janet Lumb and poet K.B. Thors – one of Westmount’s Atwater Library many COVID-19 online program offerings and funded with a grant from the Department of Heritage Canada among others. Support all our libraries. They and others are striving diligently to help preserve our sanity and keep us occupied during these difficult times for all of earth’s creatures. Long may you all read, write, compose and play on!

Feature image: Nils Ally, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia CommonsBouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre –

Other articles by Wanda Potrykus


Wanda Potrykus is a writer, editor, translator and poet. A graduate of McGill, she has spent most of her career in marketing communications, PR, event and media relations specializing in international aviation, telecommunications, education and the marketing of the arts.

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  1. Jean Le Marquand

    This poem is for our time…we cannot have too many reminders of just how deeply our
    species has brought us all to the brink; I like this poem for telling it like it is. We modern humans
    are sorely in need of showing respect for the natural world which we depend on. Older
    non-industrialized cultures realize this.

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