Monday, November 12, 2012

Earth Grief

image from

"Mother Earth feels your pain.
Let her feel your joy, too."
quote by my friend, Valerie Langer,
environmental activist

When you watch, 
on your tv screen,
Long Island and New Jersey
being swept away,
when earthquakes 
rumble off the west coast,
hurricanes sweep 
the eastern seaboard,
and tsunami warning alarms
echo throughout your town
at midnight,

when you pass logging trucks
hour upon hour
carrying away all the trees
we need to breathe,
and they tell us  
the ice and the tundra 
at the North Pole
is melting,

when you put together 
all the information
and come up with a reality
too frightening for words,

go ahead.
Feel the fear,
feel the terrible grief
that is guilt-based 
at our human assault
on the planet,
our greed,
our ignoring of the needs 
of future generations,
(our children and 
our children's children).

Feel your frustration 
at the multinationals'
Bottom Line,
which dictates 
all the rest,
and of world leaders 
who talk and talk
about the need 
to address global warming,
yet who never legislate 
the tough changes,
because re-election 
matters most.

As you watch the icebergs 
crash into the sea,
the polar bears drowning 
and starving,
the displaced bears 
and hungry wolves
being shot because 
they came too near 
to look for food
for their babies,

as you watch the sea 
climb up over the banks 
and drown the towns,
as you feel Mother Nature's 
terrible dis-ease,
and hear the gray whale's
mournful song,

remember that Mother Earth 
is thanking you
for having the strength
to carry your grief.
Know that you are doing 
a service to mankind,
by helping to inform 
the global consciousness,
by being aware and able to
see clearly what most 
cannot bear 
to understand.

Remember, too, that 
no matter our fears,
we are, at this moment,
living on a planet 
full of beauty, 
mystery, creativity,
and wonder.
Be grateful for this gift.

Feel the joy of Now,
with all of its potential 
for transformation,
for grassroots Change.
Enjoy the daily panorama 
of visual beauty:
geese flying overhead
across a  cerulean canvas,
sun glinting off a metal-hued sea,
babies' Buddha-smiles,
and our beautiful old round 
Grandmother Moon.

Let the beat of your pulse
join the rhythm of the earth's
own heartbeat,
knowing we are part of, 
and intricately connected to,
all of creation. 

Our pain joins the pain of
all of the sea of humanity.
Just so, our joy
carries us forth into tomorrow
on a tide of hope we can never
afford to relinquish.

Be grateful for being alive 
at this time of transition.
We were sent here because
we are strong enough 
to bear it,
strong enough to ride
the tidal wave
that will one day wash 
this planet clean
and allow it to, 
begin again.

Rather bleak, kids, and we must hold onto hope, recognize the grief but also embody the joy of being alive, right now, on Planet Earth. I told my friend Chris about my grief over the recent events along the eastern seaboard, and she asked her friend Susan for some guidance in what to say to me. This poem was born out of both of those conversations, and embodies the positive message Susan sent to me through Chris. It definitely helped me to feel a little less helpless. To know that by loving the earth, we are doing something to help her.


  1. oh sherry...all is our responsibility, our connection and compassion for this planet and all beings that allows us to feel a little less helpless...beautiful poem my friend, just beautiful.

  2. I could give a shit less about any sea of humanity, but nature I do care about, and worry for, and mourn the assaults on her. The animals, too, are important to me, as you know.

  3. It just makes me so upset. And many simply refuse to even think about it! One worries that the crest has already been crossed. Thanks. k.

  4. Beautifully expressed sentiments, Sherry. I pray for the resilience of earth. In the same way that we are resilient when things are done to harm us! Somehow we go on, and I hope the same of earth.

  5. How calmly you pace this poem which ultimately asks us to show our grief, show it as an action that could turn positive. This is powerful indeed.

  6. Sherry, this is one of the most powerful and politically forthright pieces you've ever written. No hold barred. The politics, implicit, as the "pave and waive" policies favor multinationals. (Well, we'll pave over this wetlands before they figure it out. They'll waive the rules for us anyway...)

    Yet there is a call to arms along with a lack of cynicism ... simply a smack upside the head that this MUST NOT CONTINUE. The fracking happening in Pennsylvania (and soon in my hometown in upstate New York) that caused unprecedented earthquakes from Toronto to the Washington Monument... still no link to fracking, because the media won't cover it.

    I am going to mention this poem with a specific link. More people need to read this. You are more than an Earth Mother, you are a Planet Spirit, and I love you for that. Peace, Amy

  7. Fantastically accurate comment on the ills besetting Planet Earth, Sherry! Now that reelection is over strong political will ought to be triggered off not just on trade and commerce but also the environment. Government and business ought not to be distracted by show of power and greed but a genuine awareness to start things moving. It takes time to show results and generations in the meantime slowly suffer. Nicely Ma'am!


  8. Oh Sherry, mi amiga, I think sometimes you write strictly for me and to raise my spirit to heighten level of awareness. For this I thank you and am truly grateful to be linked to you if only through cyberspace. We both know though it is more than that.
    You join many voices many souls and more importantly put a smile upon the face of the spirit of life as we know it with mother earth being the nest and making us incidental humans aware that we are responsible for its keepsake.

    Gracias, mi amiga

  9. Well said Susan, well written Sherry and thanks Chris for the in-between. :)

    Sharp Little Pencil, my sympathies are with you. Fracking was attempting to get established here in Cantabria this past year but thankfully the people banded together and the government of Cantabria denied it. (It's one of the few things that has worked since I've been here.) :D The Pennsylvania fracking was used as part of the education of the people.

  10. I think we've already long gone beyond the point of no return with regard to our beautiful planet. On our news this morning they were showing scenes of Venice under about 2 feet of water. They keep saying there's no global warming, it;s climate change, they can call it what they like but it's here and we (humans) are its prime cause. I know that earth goes though its own changes over the course of thousands of years and perhaps we are preparing to go through another ice age, or, the plant is preparing to reverse poles again. Who knows but, we have certainly done nothing to replace what we have pillaged from this beautiful planet that is our home and, it is the only home we have.
    Beautiful, sad, honest post Sherry, I hope if there is a global catastrophe whomever is left (if any humans) teaches the inheritors how to look after their home in future.

  11. We are a selfish species, thinking all things will last forever because we need them to do so. Thanks for the reminder, I agree with so much you have said here.


  12. Thank you Sherry for saving so much!
    It is hard to absorb all the damage done by us and our ancestors.
    This is beautiful and sad and so reflective of how we need to NOW fight for our home!
    Thank you for being the spirit guide, you are~

  13. This was deeply painful tapping into my own grief. Thank you for being who you are.


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