Monday, February 21, 2022

I Ask the Unlistening Ear


quote by Margaret Millar

I ask the Unlistening Ear of world leaders:
can you hear the cries of the wild ones
who have lost their forest homes?
or the humans, now climate refugees,
on the move after war, and famine,
floods and wildfire?
Did your heart ache when you saw
kangaroos and koalas with burning skin,
running to we humans for help?
Do you understand that
the beyond-human realm
has feelings too?

I live midway between
despair and hope,
between a cackle and a howl.
My heart paces falling forests,
swims with the whales
in warming, rising and
polluted seas.

Five years left to lower emissions,
they say, yet nothing changes.

Leaders set ten year goals
in a five year crisis,
so someone else can deal
with this thorny problem.

(Slow down all the clocks.
Speed up our evolution,
transform our environmental consciousness.)

She asked me where I see myself
in ten years. I live by rising seas,
in an old growth forest that is being clearcut,
with summer heat domes and the threat
of wildfire in a rainforest.

In ten years I will most certainly
be underground. My grave, it seems,
will be floating underwater.
I will be one with the sea at last.
I will be One with Everything.

For today my sad refrain is
Nothing changes.
Nothing changes.
Nothing changes.

for Ingrid at earthweal: The Global Assembly, our concerns about the climate crisis, and how we are impacted where we live. 

Impacting life in B.C.:

*Only 1% left of old growth in B.C., and it is still being clearcut. Locally, trees are coming down for housing because we are too many. Provincially, it is coming down for corporate greed, aided and abetted by talk and log politicians.

*I live on a coastline, with the threat of tsunamis, and rising sea levels.

*In summer, we now experience heat domes and the threat of wildfire - in a rainforest! The climate has changed drastically in the last 30 years.

*B.C. already has climate refugees from several towns laid waste first, by wildfires and then flooding.

*Climate refugees are struggling to survive across the globe.

And nothing changes. Nothing changes. Nothing changes.


  1. I hear your frustrations loud and clear, Sherry. You are really on the frontline of all these changes. We have been battered by storms three times this week, and the floods won't be far behind. We are all on the front line. Things will change once it is too late to put things right!

  2. A depressing reality...we have left it too late.Wood is not needed to build can build them from strong recycled plastics and other recyclables.You are right . It's greed and corruption from those who are in charge which continues to cause these problems

  3. This is very moving, Sherry. I feel your anguish.

  4. Between a cackle and a howl, my friend! between a cackle and a howl.

  5. Nothing changes...over and over again. It is beyond frustration, beyond comprehension.

  6. I hear such despair in your words, Sherry. I don't think world leaders do have hearts, unfortunately. You don't get to the top of the heap by being loving and compassionate. Ruthless and determined is more their style. They'll be dead too, so they don't care.

  7. "My heart paces falling forests,
    swims with the whales
    in warming, rising and
    polluted seas."

    Tears, Sherry, simply tears. I don't want to live to see how it will all end--unless I live long enough to know the incurious, uneducated, unlistening HAVE changed. I fear "nothing changes"--but Olivia Butler wrote truly "God is change"! Thank you for speaking so directly and taking us on your journey in this poem. I bow to you.


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