Saturday, June 4, 2016

ELEGY TO THE WILDLANDS





Mother Earth,
your clearcut slopes bleed mud and tears.
Down into the valley wander
displaced bear and wolf,
who are shot for intruding
into "our" territory,
though their perplexing plight is
how far we have encroached 
into theirs.

My heart hangs heavy
with how badly we have
ravaged you,
razed the beauty of your wild lands,
hunted to extinction
your beautiful wild creatures.
We have even endangered 
the inoffensive butterfly.
What manner of species are we?

I listen to the loons' peaceful song
and try not to think about
the poisoning of your lakes and rivers
and oceans,
which still sing so beautifully.
The trees still hopefully
bring forth their buds 
and miraculous bounties,
the animals still try so hard to live,
no matter how badly
we have husbanded
the bountiful earth 
that was given to us
with more than enough
to share.

I can find no acceptance in the desecration.
Our souls know
we should be much better than we are.
The planet spins,
strangling in our emmissions.
Our hearts grow as polluted
as the coral reefs, the fish in the sea,
the hunted whales,
the sky above the billowing 
industrial smokestacks.
Even as I watch the beauty of the loons
at Narrow Hills,
hear their beautiful song,
in my heart, with pain,
I am already
waving goodbye.


for Gayle's very cool prompt at dVerse: to write an elegy, which is supposed to contain sorrow, admiration and acceptance. I stumbled over the acceptance part for, when it comes to the wild lands, the current situation must change, if planetary life is to survive at all. The clock is ticking.

also posting this for Poets United's Poetry Pantry, where you will find good reading on a Sunday morning.

33 comments:

  1. I share your feelings about what is happening to the environment. So many effects of pollution;and so many things that we do contribute to global warming. Is it no wonder that we are seeing the effects of climate change world wide?And this, I fear, is only the beginning.

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  2. Sherry, the tears stain my face, as I read this, knowing, the worse has yet, to come, for all, who inhabit this planet, we call, Earth.

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  3. I loved that "our". It brings everything else in your poem into perspective. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  4. Sometimes I do feel sorrow, but I have actually come to realize that nature will outlive us in many ways... this could be seen as good, we have realized so many times how harmful it is, and have managed to overcome some hurdles in the past... I think and hope we will manage to live together in the end...

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  5. I feel sorrow and sadness as well Sherry ~ May be always be reminded that we share earth's bountiful blessings with other creatures ~ Happy weekend ~

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  6. Clock is definitely ticking. Thanks for being part of alarm. K.

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  7. The futurists, since we were children, warned us that man could rape & pillage & despoil the earth only so far, & pollute the oceans, before it will no longer sustain human life--and yet, here we are. Yours is a powerful & touching elegy. I like your lines /our souls know/we should be much better than we are/.

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  8. "Our hearts grow as polluted
    as the coral reefs, the fish in the sea,
    the hunted whales,
    the sky above the billowing
    industrial smokestacks."

    Always, the harm we do also harms us, though it may take longer. I expect earth to recover--to become better--when we are gone. Too bad we take so much with us.

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  9. A plaintive cry they have – as well they might. I'm afraid I too am already waving goodbye – not to the loons which we don't have here, but to our planet. I think that it will survive us but many of its inhabitants won't – and that we won't survive ourselves.

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  10. "we should be much better than we are." there is a saying in my mother tongue that thieves won't listen to the scriptures..so are these humans..sigh...however I believe that Nature will live and thrive by eliminating the humans if necessary...so infinitely patient is our Mother Earth but we won't learn...sigh...a unique take on the prompt Sherry...

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  11. Truly we prove every day that as a species we did not deserve to inherit this earth...

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  12. A species who can endanger even a butterfly - speaks volumes - this poem so deftly conveys sorrow, admiration and acceptance - a peaceful Sunday to you Sherry xo

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  13. There seems to be such a lack of understanding how precious the natural world is but we are hell bent on destroying it. This is particularly true in Australia where so much habitat is being lost on land and in the seas around us. We just have to keep on shouting No!

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  14. Such a solemn poem....knowing if we continue all that we love will be gone....I was especially touched by,

    'Our souls know
    we should be much better than we are.'

    If we could but connect and listen to our souls...to our ancestors cries and the cries of the earth and her creatures.....but I fear our hunger for other worldly things will keep us selfishly slaughtering the earth until it is too late.

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  15. My heart hangs heavy
    with how badly we have
    ravaged you,
    razed the beauty of your wild lands,
    hunted to extinction

    Such a powerful and emotive write Sherry, this one tugs at the heart.

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  16. As a species, we are so short sighted. I fear that it is too late for us, but after the earth finds a way to spit us out, she will replenish herself as always.

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  17. I think that one of the most difficult things is that "our souls know", but still... so little is done.

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  18. We know, and yet we continue in our ways, polluting, eating away at our own Mother Earth! Such a powerful write! We need to wake up and mend our ways before all is lost!

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  19. you spell it out so profoundly Sherry - "Our hearts grow as polluted
    as the coral reefs"

    -makes me angry how we humans are literally taking up too much room to the detriment of all else and still believe we can call ourselves environmentalists

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  20. With saddness i read your beautiful write. Thank you Sherry, for your eyes that see, and the words with which you tell the tale.

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  21. "The planet spins,
    strangling in our emmissions."

    Really powerful, Sherry.

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  22. When you write like this, with such passion and sorrow, my heart bleeds, my eyes turn to water. Sherry, this is bound to be a classic of yours. It is a painting of your heart. Thank you for the beautiful accompanying song.

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  23. A tender and powerful elegy, Sherry. Haunting lines of poetry, that really: SHOULD and MUST haunt readers ... for these are the kind of words that stir action!

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  24. Some really nice lines here, Sherry, and I mainly like how the sadness is a celebration too... of the beautiful life that is so dangerously threatened.

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  25. Yes our environmental disdain, needs to be checked, to preserve our beautiful planet, or there will be no hope of future generations

    This is a beautiful , loving, caring poem

    Thanks for dropping in at my Sunday Lime today Sherry

    much love...

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  26. Such grace and reverence in your words, Sherry. I know that much damage has been done but somehow I think that perhaps this Earth is stronger than what we can dish out. I believe that much can be overcome...shifted and changed perhaps but not irreparably damaged. I'm hoping anyway...

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  27. Clear cut slopes bleed mud ... I once saw a clear cut of trees and felt like I was viewing a holocaust of piled up bodies.

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  28. You convey an image most would prefer to ignore. Such sorrow and sadness for all the beauty we destroy without thought. If only we could learn to walk on butterfly feet, sucking up all that sweetness,

    Elizabeth

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  29. Some of what you wrote speaks to so many places. Butte, Montana.

    But I always take heed in this. What we do to our planet...we are not only killing other living things, we are killing ourselves. In the end it is more likely we will drive ourselves to extinction, while mother nature finds a way to move on.

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  30. Glad to see you have published a book Sherry, that's really a big WOW!
    Wish a larger fraction of the population shared your concern for Mother Earth, for the sake of sustainable development at least, if not out of love and reverence, exercising restraint and control ...

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  31. You have said it better than I've ever heard it said before Sherry and what a sad song you sing! On my bike rides I can't help but "see" the truth in this as I try to enjoy what is left. I see a woman on a bike emptying a bottle of water and throwing it in the bushes as she rides by a trash can sitting right there. What is it that these people can't see? That they can't take the time to stop and use a trash can or be a better person so that we can try and stem this insanity? It makes me very sad that around the edges of the beauty I see that there are signs of encroachment that will only get worse. Lovely and sad!

    You have a book out? I am still learning so much about everyone! Congrats! I hope to so so someday.

    I have not been writing with dVerse in awhile I need to get back to it.

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  32. For all that is happening to the environment the awareness and the obligation to act are not in tandem. So much being said but so little acted upon. Thanks for highlighting it Sherry!

    Hank

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  33. So sad but true, my heart to aches for days past and innocence remembered for our creatures and planet....good to connect again...bkm

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I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!