May 3, 2018

“I am not a criminal” a poem by Lizzi Lewis

“I am not a criminal” a poem by Lizzi Lewis

I am not a criminal

I am ducking my responsibility

Before it comes

To telling my grandchildren

(For I shall have none)

That I am the one who did these things;


I am the one who choked the sea

With plastic, wrapped conveniently

Around everything I could ever need

(And some things I didn’t)

To keep them sanitary, clean

Never mind the lungs and eyes

The breaking hearts of those unseen,

Never mind the damaged soil

Pits of poison, smoke’s toxic roil,

Death dripping from the very pores

Of those I never knew, never heard of before.

It was me.


I am the one who chained the men

The women, and the children when

I bought the things which owned their lives

Paid their captors, swallowed the lies,

Ignored the truths I didn’t like

So I could shop, accessorise

Get more stuff, more things, so I

Could plug the holes inside my brain

With gizmos, gadgets, all the same,

All designed to hypnotise –

A smokescreen I would surely buy.

It was me.


I am the one who killed the trees

My carbon footprint running free

A breeze of coughed-up gasoline

And factory smoke, and things unseen

Which leak from gadgets unsafe, un-green

But things I need to keep on up

To pinion life, drink technology’s cup

Of profit-mongering, insistent sheen

To gild the lily of my life, I mean

I need access to all these screens.

It was me.


I am the one who ran the slaves

Existent in this modern day

But hidden, carefully away

From prying eyes and media lens

Just in case we’d have to cleanse

The way we do things – the system works

We use, abuse, discard their lives for perks

For clothes and sweets

With nary a thought

For the ghost in the system

The humans bought, and sold

So we get what we ought .

It was me.


I was the one who tortured and maimed

Sweet animals whose lives were claimed

Destroyed from birth to feed my face

Hidden from the human race

Except for those whose ailing brains

Kill for me, over and over again

Who I’m so quick to vilify

“But it was all for you”

Their cry rings true

And I sit chagrined

Memories of teeth tearing meat

Grease dripping finger-swept down my chin

Not a thought for the lives trapped within

The process of my greed.

It was me.


I am the one who ruined the earth

Who never saw its real worth

Who ignored the wisdoms once bequeathed

To those who followed, too enwreathed

In our own lives, so turned our backs

On what was good, and now we lack

The control, the capability, to undo

What we’ve done, so we

Just bury our heads and close our eyes

We’re not criminals – there’s no crime

We put pennies in the collection pot

And think we’re doing fine

‘Cos we’re contributing;

Assuaging our conscience

Deliberately misconstruing

Our place in all this,

And our responsibility.

When will we stand up?

Own up.

It was me.

* * *

About Lizzi Lewis:

Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things, committed to living life in Silver Linings. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible. She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her – building community wherever possible. She’s absolutely certain that #LoveWins.

Find her writing at Considerings and The Well Tempered Bards.


About theMike Rochester
  • Roger McKnight says:

    Touching poem about a horrible topic.

  • JW James says:

    Brava!! This is the most compelling and well-written poem I’ve ever read on this subject. You are a poet who takes risk and we are all the better for it. Thank you.

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