Wednesday, April 22, 2020

CELEBRATE EARTH DAY AT HOME; READ A POEM

How to celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary while following stay-at-home orders:

•Go for a walk
•Listen to online talks about environmental justice
•Learn about renewable energy
•Make art/craft a nature collage
•Watch nature videos
•Bird watch
•Plant a garden that helps support bees
•Build a birdhouse and/or bird feeder
•Brainstorm energy-friendly ideas for around the house

The Earth Speaks and We Listen, Finally

April 17, 2020
Wendy B. Rosen ©2020

The Earth has The Talking Stick now.
Grabbed it back in an epic, feverish fury
And she is not speaking softly, or gently,
Or in a whisper.
No,
She is screaming at the top of her lungs.
And we have no choice but to listen,
If we want to live,
If we want to consciously choose life.

We had it all, or so we thought.
Convenience, access
To anything we wanted,
From everywhere,
Whenever we wanted it.
Overnight, even.

Until overnight,
We almost lost it all.
Convenience, access
To all that we wanted,
From anywhere.
And now we must ask the question –

Did we really have it all?

We did, once.
#Past Tense.
Once, there was
The cleanest air,
The purest water,
The richest soil
Teeming with all the nutrients we need
To live and to grow
The cleanest,
The purest,
The richest
Of bodies
In which hearts and souls
Could thrive.

Everyone had their space.
The beautiful creatures with
Fur and scales and spikes and tails,
Stripes and dots and coats of spots,
Horns and paws and beaks and claws…
Each had their nook in which to live
Their creature lives,
Simply because
They are.

At least, that’s the way it once was,
Until this species of skin and hair –
Magnificent skin in all shades,
And glorious hair in all colors and textures –
Caved into fear
Of the power
And omnipotence
And the mystery
Of it all,
And silenced a sense
Of wonder
And awe
And humility,
And replaced it with
Control
And dominance
Over all that was.

Where sustenance once nourished and nurtured
Our unique and limitless
Creative human potential,
Arrogance and greed has taken hold.
Aside from the workings of the food chain,
What other species do you know of
That intentionally destroys
That which sustains
Its own life?

If we were meant to move to places
Far from where we were planted,
Might we have been given
Wings and fins of our own?
What is it, then,
To be human
And have such wanderlust rooted deep
In the psyche and soul of our species
If moving about the cabin of Spaceship Earth
Is destroying that which sustains it,
And us?
Were we meant to wander
Far from where we were born,
Or were we meant to grow
Where we are planted?

We will argue this.
It’s what we do.
But no matter how loud we get,
We must talk amongst ourselves
With words,
Always,
And not with weapons.
Please not with weapons,
Anymore.
When we can’t hear each other
Over the cacophony of desperate cries of
Trying, of vying,
To have our say
And be heard,
We must learn how to listen
To each other.

Our Earth-home
Has been talking, too,
In her own language
That we don’t seem to speak
Or understand.
Over time
Her sky changed from a deep, beautiful blue
To a sullen, dismal gray.
Her clear water has turned colors
It is not supposed to be.
Her soil has grown dry and lifeless
From all the poison
We fed it,
Unable to grow all the living things that help us
To live.

But we didn’t hear.
So, she spoke louder.
In fact, she raged
Out of desperation
As she grew ill from it all.
She shrieked in pain as fever flared and ravaged
Her overheated body,
Scorching it
And leaving everything in its path
Ablaze and stunned.
She cried torrents of tears
That rained down on us
Like never before.
And as she purged,
She breathed heavily,
Her wind wailing in our ears
As waves of grief
Crashed down on upon us
While we clamored to take shelter
From her stormy tantrum.

Who could blame her?
She has been abused,
Neglected,
And violated.
And it has caught up with her.

And so, we stopped
But for a moment,
Gathered ourselves and
Our precious belongings,
And then went on—shaken,
But unchanged.
And the Earth went on too,
Though changed.
And unheard.
Still.

Until now,
Because it has caught up with us, too,
Because we haven’t heard
What she has spoken before.
And she has finally won
Our attention.
The Earth will always have
The last word.
We have fractured the integrity of a
Beautifully balanced,
Delicately designed
Mosaic of habitat.
We have breached the boundaries
Which protect and enable life
Everywhere,
And this has stopped us in our human tracks,
Everywhere,
Like nothing in our collective memory
Has before.

Will we remember to keep listening
To the voice of the Earth?

Will we learn to finally listen
To the voices of each other?

And will we especially listen
To our own voices
Silently crying out
In fear,
In awe,
In wonder,
In humility,
In hope
For a chance
To live,
As we were meant to live?

Will we finally live
In harmony with the Earth that sustains us
And all the creatures
Who we share it with,
Simply because
We are?

Will we finally live
In harmony with each other
Because we need each other,
And because, truly,
We sustain each other?

Will we finally live
In harmony with ourselves
In all our imperfect humanness,
Fearful and vulnerable,
Yes,
But resilient, strong and courageous
For sure,
Creative and capable,
Caring and kind,
Inhabiting
Pure
Clean
Bodies,
Rich with
Loving hearts and souls?