Virtual Community Art Gallery
The Earth Action Committee Presents:
Earth Day Poetry
The Earth Action Committee is happy to present this collection of entries, sent with the Earth and our evolving future in mind. When we are able to return to church in person we hope to feature these in the Community Art Gallery. Thanks to all who submitted writings.
(bad news/good news)
P… is for the Peaceful new World round us
A …is for the Air we can not see
N …is for the gift of Nature, found and lost
D …is for the Drawdown of greenhouse gasses
E …for Earth Day’s fifty years Celebration , and
M other Earth exclaims “Hear What I Say”
I …for youth’s Inspiring voice of protestation,
C …for Climate Change around us … (Currently)
Put them all together they spell pandemic…. A time out for all to consider choices while counting casualties.
With all the people in the world so terribly effected
We need to look for some new ways for us to stay connected!!
Write a snail–mail letter to your aunt to just check in…
Tell her what your doing and where you haven’t been !
Dial up your old boyfriend,… say your calling from your yacht.
Tell your dental person of the teeth you haven’t got !!!
Watch your grandkids frolic on the screen from their back yard.
Zoom and text your brains out…. or maybe send a card???
We’re all in this together … or that is what they say…
So try to keep connected… each and every day!!!
Alice through the Portal
by Keith Oldham
The sun is shining in the sky,
Shining with all its might.
Powering plants and helping circulate,
Wind and waves just right.
But now the weather is extremely odd,
Global weirding is out of sight.
The moon reflected on Alice,
She knew rampant carbon,
From burning fossil fuel was bad.
When all the science is said and done —
It’s like a blanket trapping heat, she said,
That will spoil all the fun.
Glaciers are melting, the Ocean is rising,
Soils are dusty and dry,
This much is true.
We know the reason why,
We know what to do.
Drawdown* carbon in the sky.
Planet Earth is going, going, Gong!
Stop this M.A.D insanity, cried the Hatter,
The Oily Way is not the only way.
To make things better,
Spin a yarn, knit a tale,
Stories and vision matter.
It’s down the rabbit hole,
Into a multiverse, said the fox.
With forethought and hindsight,
We have opened Pandora’s box.
The way out is through
parody, parable and paradox.
Personal and Planetary destiny,
Compressed into a blackhole.
Gravity of a common Global grief,
Opens a wormhole.
With uncommon grace and gratitude,
Chrysalis of compassion heals the hole, holy and whole.
Across seven seas, seven continents,
Seven generations are walking close at hand.
Weaving reverential reciprocity,
With the elemental fabric of the land.
Families laugh for joy to see,
Salmon leap in the old growth forest stand.
Walk the Beauty Way, said the butterfly,
Sing and dance to regenerate and renew.
Time for a picnic, time for tea,
Breath in the atmospheric view.
Celebrate creation, clouds and climates
Heart in the Oceanic blue.
The time has come, the People said,
To keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Divest from dinosaur technology,
Investing in renewables is sound.
Citizens voting, participating in community,
Keeps Democracy around.
Just rapid transition,
Is a slow race, said the hare.
Energized by the green and the sun,
With cradle to grave to cradle care.
A circular economy,
Within a community that shares.
playful curiosity and loving kindness,
Is what we chiefly need.
A kin ethical aesthetic,
Would be very good in deed.
With generosity of spirit,
We can educate, shelter and feed.
With poetic metamorphic imagination,
said the caterpillar, a transformative culture,
Of innovation and wonder emerges,
that nurtures people, place and Nature.
Through the portal of possibility,
Dream-vision blossoms and matures.
Indigenous wisdom, Native knowledge,
Animates ancestral memory meme*.
Catalyzing living generations response-ability,
For future good, great, Granddreams.
Looking forward to looking back, smiling,
remembering, awakening of the Anthropocene*.
*Drawdown – Carbon sequestration. Lowering greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere to reverse climate change.
*Meme – genes carry biological information from one generation to the next. Memes carry cultural ideas from one person to the next.
*Anthropocene – geological period of time, replacing the Holocene, where humans are primary agents of change on a planetary scale.
The Earth is Calling Us, by Cynthius Scanlon
The Earth is calling us
to honor life
to touch the waters
dance with the wind
and to lie upon the soil
The Earth is calling us
to heal the darkness
to fill with the sun’s light
to radiate with its power and
to shine our gifts upon the world
The Earth is calling us
to come together
to birth a future
dream the highest dreams
and to plant these seeds in fertile soil
The Earth is calling us
to rise like a wave
to wash the land
free of the greed
The Earth is calling us.
Grief’s Power by Cynthius Scanlon
We don’t get over it
We don’t get through it
We move forward
with its power
To` the dream of the life
we believe in
The life we reflect
in our daily choices
our daily actions
and our time
Grief’s power sees clearly
what is truly valued
and what is worth
claiming and honoring
in life and survival
Guardians by Cynthius Scanlon
Be the healers
Be the workers
Be the actions we need
Heal the Earth
Heal the waters
Heal the air we breathe
Feed the soil
Feed the trees
Feed the creatures
Sing the prayer song
Dance the prayer song
Color out the GREED
We are the Guardians
of tomorrow’s children
for every species, every creed
We are the hope
We are the nexus
We are they ones they need
ACT NOW by Anonymous
1. Quit Beefing
Eat chicken or fish.
That’s what we wish
for climate relief-ing.
2. Break the Habit
Something breaks in your house?
Quit being a mouse; no time to grouse.
Just don’t buy something new
be a fix-it-yourself guru.
3. Turning into a Couch Potato?
Now that’s enough;
get off your duff…
take a hike.
Carpool; that’s cool.
Ride a bus or try a bike.
4. Buy Less
Just think, pioneers lived
right here in Eugene.
They knew how to be thrifty,
resourceful and lean.
Ignore all the ads,
why spend your time
chasing down fads?
Don’t buy so much stuff!
So advertisers lose?
Well, that’s really tough!
5. Shop Smarter
Need a new shawl?
Try St Vincent de Paul.
If you’re after sartorial intrigue,
check out the Assistance League.
No matter what your odd physique
You’ll love their darling, chic boutique.
But any thrift store fills the bill
with plain or fancy or what you will.
That’s it for now…
I’m out of rhymes.
But you can face
these challenging times
with wit and courage,
mind and heart,
knowing that you’ve
done your part.
Papatūānuku – by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Rest now, e Papatūānuku
Breathe easy and settle
Right here where you are
We’ll not move upon you
We’ll stop, we’ll cease
We’ll slow down and stay home
Draw each other close and be kind
Kinder than we’ve ever been.
I wish we could say we were doing it for you
as much as ourselves
But hei aha
We’re doing it anyway
It’s right. It’s time.
Time to return
Time to remember
Time to listen and forgive
Time to withhold judgment
Time to cry
Time to think
Remove our shoes
Press hands to soil
Sift grains between fingers
Time to plant
Time to wait
Time to notice
To whom we belong
For now it’s just you
And the wind
And the forests and the oceans and the sky full
Finally, it’s raining!
Ka turuturu te wai kamo o Rangi ki runga i a
This sacrifice of solitude we have carved out
He iti noaiho – a small offering
People always said it wasn’t possible
To ground flights and stay home and stop our
habits of consumption
But it was
It always was.
We were just afraid of how much it was going to
– and it IS hurting and it will hurt and
continue to hurt
But not as much as you have been hurt.
So be still now
Wrap your hills around our absence
Loosen the concrete belt cinched tight at your
And we will do the same.
*Papatūānuku = Mother Earth in Maori
Note from the Author:
Thank you for the amazing response to this poem! I never expected it to travel so far and wide. Many people have asked who the author is so I wanted to clarify that I wrote this poem on the train home after the announcement of total lockdown was made here in Aotearoa, New Zealand. I felt like I could hear Papatūānuku exhaling in relief as we all began our journeys home. In truth, one month of lockdown is not enough. Even six months would not be enough! We need a total and sustained change of habit, globally and within our own communities. I hope so much we take our time to reflect on the fact that if we can do it to save ourselves for a month, we ought to be able to make similar habit changes for Mother Earth for the long term. The most telling thing for me was how empty our veggie plant aisles were after lockdown was announced – in a crisis, we will turn back to our mother to provide (and of course she will!).
Lots of people have asked for translations…
Papatūānuku – Mother Earth (the addition of the “e” in front signals the words are addressed or spoken directly to her.)
Ka turuturu te wai kamo o Rangi ki runga i a koe – means something like, “tears from the eyes of Ranginui drip down on you” (Ranginui is our sky father, it is common to refer to rain as the tears of Rangi for his beloved, from whom he was separated at the beginning of time in order that there could be light in the world). Not long after the announcement we were moving to level 3, it poured with rain in Porirua after many months of hot and dry weather. I could feel my garden rejoicing.
Hei aha – This can be translated in many ways, but I meant it like the English “oh well, whatever”
He iti noaiho – “something small”. Because our sacrifice feels enormous but in reality I think it is not sufficient to truly see Papatūānuku recover. However, in Māori, we often talk about the significance of small actions or gestures. We say “ahakoa he iti, he pounamu.” Although it is small, it is a treasure.