cognizance media photo of Ta'Kaiya Blaney,
young First Nations environmental activist
The wild things have gathered in council,
a council for all beings,
to confer about the state of things on the land.
Ms Mountain Goat speaks first.
Those who tromp in heavy boots
through our forest
talk about their rights: human rights,
the right to own what can never be owned,
the rights of the multinationals
to rape and pillage and pay nothing back,
the right to work, the right to hold money
as their God,
as if they are the only ones who have rights.
What about non-human rights?
The animals all nod and murmur.
Mr Bear moves to the center of the circle.
What about our rights? he asks pleasantly,
dipping his paw into a honeypot, then licking.
I have a harder time each winter
finding a quiet spot to rest.
The Mrs has a terrible time
keeping the youngsters safe
Everywhere are the big machines,
the grappleyarders, destroying our habitat,
and the metal creatures on rubber feet
that kill so many -human and non-human alike-
on the highways.
Yes! non-human rights!
how do we make them hear us?
All of the animals are animated, and chattering.
This is when the Standing People,
the Talking Trees, who have been listening,
Our numbers are diminishing and,
along with us, our tree wisdom,
and the ecosystems which help all to live.
The oceans are filling with their garbage.
The air is filling with their polluted smoke.
The earth is warming from
their addiction to fossil fuel.
They do not realize - though it is clear to see -
that they will choke to death, or drown,
alongside the rest of us.
The critters exchange glances.
Tall Tree has spoken truth.
Who will take this message to their leaders?
It will be a child, for only a child has eyes
clear enough to see, replies Tree.
***** ***** ******
Susan's prompt at Mid Week Motif is human rights. This caused me to think about non-human rights, which are rarely considered.