Monday, July 17, 2017

Imagining Backwards

I imagine a changing earth
had governments and populations
begun to address climate change
in 1970, in 1980,
or had we always lived sustainably,
with concern for future generations.

I imagine no holes in the ozone,
no HAARP, no fracking,
no nuclear reactors, no radioactive waste,
no addiction to oil,  to bigger and bigger cars,
to the Myth of More.
I imagine sustainable forestry,
preservation of and reverence for 
the trees we need to breathe.
I imagine no pesticides, no hormones, no chemicals
in domestic food sources.
I imagine a world friendly to bees.
Humane treatment of animals, 
both domestic and wild.
Humane treatment of people
no Other, just Us.
No wars, just social justice, 
respect and care for all.

I imagine a world of small, local businesses,
no corporations allowed to swallow up
our resources and dictate methods and price.
Give me a government who works for the people,
not the corporate bottom line.

I imagine a world of wind and water 
and solar energy -
clean, sufficient, abundant, affordable.
Much cheaper to switch to clean energy
than clean up after climate catastrophe.
I imagine no melting polar icecaps.
I imagine a living ocean.

I imagine a planet
that survives.

We have already changed the world.
We know what we need to do 
to change it back.
Tell your congressmen: he works for you.
We are many; government is few.

For Brendan's Imagining a Changing Earth at Real Toads. I don't have to imagine. I have watched it happening, with enormous angst at the slowness with which governments respond to the increasing threat. Power means more to them than the survival of the planet. This is criminal abuse of power, in my opinion.

The other day on facebook I saw a video of two horses, walking across a burned landscape - with burned hooves - fleeing the forest fires in the Interior. That charred, blackened landscape, dead and smoldering, the horses, heads down, having lived through such terror, plodding across it because they must, replays, over and over, in my mind. The earth has already changed. We know what must be done to change it back. There is  corporate and governmental unwillingness to do what it is imperative to do, and a very small window of time remaining. This is when the people must rise. Our survival is at stake.


  1. I too imagine such a world but I am afraid it is too late.

    1. In my heart of hearts, I do, too......the willingness just isnt there. The corporations have a stranglehold. And capitalism works too well - for the rich. But only the rich.

  2. yes - we are many - and we do have a voice and we can make a change for better

  3. We live in hope, Claudia, because we cannot live without it.

  4. I like to be positive and this is something we should all address. The rumors of extinction (can they be true).

  5. Joanna Macy taught me that if we can imagine it we can make it so. I hope your piece goes out to help others imagine it. I'm not sure we can go back, but we could move forward to find out how to make what we have healthy and learn how to live within our means, sharing resources, building right relationship. So may it be.

  6. This poem is so full of heart.

  7. Perfect topic for you and you killed it as usual. I wish we did things differently and do thing differently. Somehow that urgency is not there amongst ppl. Many of us are still in denial

  8. Thanks so much Sherry -- this is a wonderful gift, showing that imagining backward shows a way forward: to have accomplished a response is the act of naming one. Jedediah Purdy writes in "After Nature" that all of the imaginative energy in dealing with climate change must be grounded in political and legislative action. I sure hope and act so. Thanks again for joining in.


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