On this Perfect Spring Day

 

We didn’t listen

when she whispered.

The plants heard.

The animals too.

The checkerspot butterfly moved up the mountain.

White oaks, sugar maples, and hollies headed north and west.

The nine-banded armadillo found its way from Texas to South Carolina.

But we kept drilling and fracking, driving and flying.

So she cried a little louder.

Glaciers and polar ice melted.

Sea levels rose.

Massive swaths of the Great Barrier Reef turned white.

A Colorado of pines and aspens in the Rocky Mountains died.

But we kept drilling and fracking and burning.

And so she roared.

Harvey sat over Houston for days,

delivering a once-in-a-lifetime rain.

Lucifer swept across Europe,

with its once-in-a-lifetime heat.

Drought pushed Cape Town within sight

of the day there would be no water.

The Earth is speaking, even now

on this perfect spring day,

wisteria and red bud blooming fully,

weeks before they used to.

 

© Elizabeth Steinglass 2019, all rights reserved

 

(With thanks to Gabe Seiden at Connect4Consulting for my new website design.)

14 replies
  1. Michelle Schaub
    Michelle Schaub says:

    Wow, Elizabeth. This is a powerful poem. My brother and his family, who live on Kauai and are reeling from the effects of hurricane after hurricane, can definitely hear the earth screaming. Even though she might just be whispering around us with early spring blooms, we still need to listen. Thanks for this reminder.

    Reply
  2. cheriee weichel
    cheriee weichel says:

    I too am terrified that we keep “drilling and fracking and burning.” I worry about the world my children and grandchildren will inherit. Sometimes I feel we are in the middle of the apocalypse, only because it’s not the biblical version, people just ignore it. I wrote a poem last week along these lines, but I think most people don’t want to be disturbed.

    Reply
  3. Carol Varsalona
    Carol Varsalona says:

    Liz, your poem is a reflective one with a message for all as evidenced by the last lines: The Earth is speaking, even now.on this perfect spring day,/wisteria and red bud blooming fully,/weeks before they used to. What are we doing to our planet Earth? Do we not hear its cry for help before it is too late? There is power in your poem. You bring the reader in thinking it is an inspirational nature poem with your title and then you start the call to action.

    Reply
  4. Kathryn Apel
    Kathryn Apel says:

    The worst thing of it all, is that much of it is for needless extravagance that keeps us on such a merry-go-round of activity that we forget to breathe and miss the pure and simple natural pleasures. Such waste! A beautiful, stirring poem, Liz. (Love your uncluttered Poetry for Children and the Grown-Ups.👍)

    Reply
  5. Michelle Kogan
    Michelle Kogan says:

    Thanks for this powerful poem Liz. Yes,
    “The Earth is speaking, even now
    on this perfect spring day,”
    I think every small action we can individually or communally make are important to help our small planet.
    I took a spin around your site, looks lovely!

    Reply
  6. Linda Mitchell
    Linda Mitchell says:

    This poem is witness and as witness holds power. I am so ashamed of how we treat our home. The line that gets me … “A Colorado of pines”
    We must do choose better. do better. now.

    Reply
  7. Mary Lee Hahn
    Mary Lee Hahn says:

    The problem is so huge and the ones in ultimate control of changing things have so little incentive to do a single thing because it all goes back to money. Sigh. I guess those of us who can hear her need to keep amplifying her voice…like you did here…SO masterfully!

    Reply

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