The town hall was filled to capacity. Although invitations had gone out weeks ago, they were not expecting a mammoth number. The guest speaker was invited to the podium. His speech was the last item on the list. The icing on the cake. Looking at the audience, he could see anxiety on their faces. He could feel the tension in the atmosphere. He cleared his throat.

“Good day ladies and gentlemen,” he said.

He paused for a while and continued, “It’s my honest pleasure to have a capacity crowd grace this occasion. I have a piece I would like to read to you. It is titled, ‘Clarion Call”. 

They cry for help,
They are at our mercies.
We’ve killed and maimed,
We’ve soiled
pristine beauty.
We’ve hunted to extinction,
We’ve exploited to
a remnant few,
We’ve rent the
forest bare,
We’ve tuned down their
numbers in
exponential sequence.
They go in search of
food and substance,
They come back to meet
a home ripped bare.
The flowing bodies have
lost their splendour,
Their inhabitants cut
down in large quantities.
The flora and fauna are in
need of loving
tender care.
Activities that hamper the
ecosystem should be
reduced to the barest,
The atmosphere kept
free and clean.
As we decorate our
homes in
dazzling colours,
Let’s not rid nature
of its beauty.
For rich colourful display,
Nature brings to the fore,
And a bulwark it is to us.

“Thank you,” he said with a trembling voice.

He bowed and left the podium. There was grave silence. The people were stuck to their seats for some minutes. Some left the hall with tears. The majority of them became ambassadors of change. Harbingers of a new world.

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1 year ago

I wonder what topic the audience was expecting? The Agenda title and the town hall environment suggest that perhaps they might have expected something more business-like: the usual facts and figures approach. Instead they get an almost poetic plea from the “flora and fauna” and from Nature herself. Much more personal, intense and urgent. Good concept, Thompson, and good writing.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

It’s a great concept for the theme, Thompson. And I wonder what the occasion is? Why did you mention “the icing on the cake”? Is it a birthday, a wedding, a debut? But it can’t be because the speech is about flora and fauna. Hopefully, there will also be a CLARION CALL all over the world so that everyone can be ambassadors of change or harbingers. Nicely done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Thompson Emate
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Thompson. I see. Thank you for the new learning.

Reply to  Lotchie Carmelo
1 year ago

Hello Lotchie – You asked about “icing on the cake” – here’s some more information that might help people for whom English is a second language (ESL). In English, an “idiom” is a group of words that means something very different than the individual words would mean. For example, we might say it is “raining cats and dogs” which sounds very weird but just means it is pouring rain. Another idiom is… Read more »

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Fuji
1 year ago

Oh, thank you for all of those idioms, Fuji. It can help me a lot in the near future.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

I like the deliberate use of poetic form of the speech that increases the impact and aesthetic appeal of ‘The Agenda.’

Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
1 year ago

Thompson, sometimes I read stories on where there is so much to be said, but all one could do is just sit in silence and ponder over what you have just read. Your story created that image in my mind. I can picture the crowd not knowing how to react to such an unexpected, yet powerful message. Well done.

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