The Last Rites

As we speed past, the shredded desolation becomes starkly apparent. There are bodies everywhere, piled one on top of the other like refuse in some crosstown garbage tip.

Each life lived with an all to quiet and stoic dignity like sentinels languidly filtering the light and air all around. Keeping vigil and bearing witness to countless others like me……just passing through.

Professors of their domain. Conglomerate to the eye, yet self evidently and equally diverse. Each a beautifully fashioned piece in a ghostly, shifting whole.

Lives so well lived. In balance and simplicity. Purposeful in essence and without a hint of all too familiar pretense.

I wonder quietly as to the means of your demise. As I do, I envision machinery ripping and tearing. Ending without sense or remorse. Marked with deathly cracks like pistol shots you would have fallen in slow motion and been shredded where you lay.

Now only space remains where you once proudly stood. Space that forms a void, a vacuum deviod of life, replaced by dread in the form of metal and concrete. Products of the exponential expansion of the human disease.

If you are the Earth’s lungs then we are the lung cancer cells, mutating as we go. Some of us still serving the whole, but many, oh so many rotten to the core.

Your absence sickens my heart and leaves me exposed to the bone chilling reality the we will fill the space we evicted you from with obsene speed; like a callous and overbearing landlord.

We have named and categorised you, yet did not make you. No right exists to destroy you without feeling or recompense.

Forgive us for I fear we understand not what we do and have outstayed our welcome. Let your death in the name of progress be not in vain or pass without respect. Let me read you your last rites.

The Last Rites


Sydney, Australia

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 4

Artist's Description

This piece was written quickly whilst in the shadow of sorrow. The moment I write about, I experienced recently when I drove past a patch of eucalypt forest that had been cleared. In the shredded bodies of the trees I saw wasted life and disrespect. I saw death. I felt something I had not felt to that extent before and it made me question the price of progress and whether in an objective sense it is worth paying.

Artwork Comments

  • burntblue
  • IdKid
  • Estelle O'Brien
  • IdKid
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