Environment Poetry

Amazon Drift

Once rain was welcome here

falling through a verdant canopy

that was an aerial highway

for the teeming life that tangled the air

with shrieks and howls and padded footfalls.


Once the forest was a fecund cradle

of life and diversity,

of familial allegiances and purposeful play,

of strange alliances and colorful camouflages.


That was before the forest was felled

and the smoke of fires

blackened the once green sky.


Then dry land became sand

drifting in unobstructed wind,

heaping into dunes and desert,

leaving the Amazon bleached of color,

and it’s raucous calls forever silenced.


Except at night

when the sand cools,

and memories wander the dunes,

shuffling through pieces of dreams,

puzzling over the scent of loss.


The earth shudders

and shakes off its burden.


The violators are gone.

The abusers are gone.

The innocent are gone.


Nothing moves on it

that has a plan or a need.


Great shoulders of rock

push against the sky.


Fires in its belly erupt,

and seas boil.


The wind roars across its surface,

and nothing impedes it’s progress.


Nothing scurries across its path.

No voice is carried on its breath.

The Visitor

It isn’t possible to weep for them all,

so I think of only one.


You there lying on the sand,

your dreams diminished

and your stories untold.


Your Earth was once home to

so many inventive ways of being.


Museums teased the imagination

with clues of glorious civilizations

long gone before this final end.


The end that began with unchecked

smokestacks and accelerated

greed and ignorance.


Glaciers melted, oceans rose,

floods and droughts and fires

destroyed all life, all possibilities.


Will some future visitor

unearth the marble hand of David

holding a computer chip?


Or uncover the bones of a

Red Winged Blackbird and

long to hear it’s echoing trill?


Perhaps they will find a

fossilized paw print and hear

the lion roar across time.


And finding them, will they

marvel and mourn the loss?


Or is mine the last testament

to such an unnecessary end?

Sanctioned Death

Blood boils up from the ground.

Sanctioned death all around.


Weep now for the fatherless children,

and laughter lying in the corner

of empty rooms.


Weep now because the arrogance of power

assumed the privilege of judgment.


Weep now because killing is done

in the name of God,


And not in the name of ignorance

and greed.

Environmental War

My land is parched and dry.

I’ll take your green fields.


My land has no water.

I’ll take your wells.


My land has split open.

I’ll take your safe homes.


I’m leaving my land.

I’m coming for yours.


A Young Girl’s Dream

When I was young,

I watched the old travelogues

and dreamed of going abroad,


Of wandering through narrow cobblestone

streets and sitting at a sidewalk cafe

eating glorious French bread,

of lingering over wine for hours as I

watched friends gossiping in the square.


I dreamed of going to Santorini

with its white, round-shouldered houses

trimmed and topped in Aegean blue.

I longed to climb its narrow streets

suited to donkeys and cats, but never cars.


To be in such a place, I would feel Odysseus

in my bones and think of Helen as a sister.


But fate found me in Greece when volcanoes

were erupting, creating a new island

no one would be left to populate.


Some people had refused to leave,

preferring to die where they had lived.

Even amid the ruin, I understood.


Today I try only to remember the dream

of a young girl in a small room sitting

at a computer, watching a gentle sun

kissing blue roofs that mimic the color

of the sea and feeling the languor of

a cat asleep on someone’s lap.

Planet Peace

The sky fills with carbon

from our comforts and profits.


We ignore the science

and the possibilities for change.


We reap floods, and fires, and

drought, and death.


 Centuries cover our footprints,

and caves echo our voices.


The Earth shrugs and remembers

countless millenniums without us.


We arrogant humans have been

but a pimple on the face of the planet.


We must get serious about climate change.