To Be Human is to Bear Witness
Spiral milkweed pushes up green shoots And dirt is blowing And turbines are spinning Oak flowers dream of acorns And glaciers are melting And panels are absorbing Dandelions spread rampant joy And wildfires are raging And coal plants are shuttering Hummingbirds return all abuzz And extinctions are accelerating And bald eagles are rebounding This world within a world within the world And all the excruciating truths And every glimmer of hope To be human is to bear witness.
“Addressing climate change
begins by actually talking about it.”
All We Can Save, p. 106
when i say addressing i don’t mean an envelope. but if we did send climate a letter, what could we possibly say to change our damaged relationship? a letter typically begins with Dear, but is that being honest? it ends by saying Love, but we don’t actually live that truth. maybe instead of writing we should be talking to climate, giving an honest confession about all we’ve done wrong, and what we will do to repair it
Witnessing the Insect Apocalypse
The windshield, once coated with bug bodies and cleaned at every gas stop on cross country drives; The grasshoppers, now rare, cupped in small hands and dropped when they spit tobacco juice; The sparrows on Main Street no longer cleaning the grills of farm trucks. No fireworks of green flashes pulsing above wet ditches at forest’s edge; No swallows following the mower on the soccer field scooping lunch out of thin air; No parsley reduced to stems by black swallowtail caterpillars. Fewer bees, lumbering flower to flower weighed down by gold in their back pockets; Fewer dragonfly, mayfly, stonefly, caddis fly nymphs growing up underwater in fast-moving rivers; Fewer trout in the same rivers flashing speckled glory. The abundance of the natural world fading so slowly that most do not notice.
These three poems are a part of Mary Lee Hahn’s 2022 National Poetry Month Project, “Hope In a Time of Climate Crisis,” and can be found, along with the other 27 poems, at Poetrepository.
©2022 Mary Lee Hahn
All rights reserved
Mary Lee Hahn…
…was a teacher of 4th and 5th graders for 37 years. She currently works at finding the best words for her poems, the best stitches for her embroidery, the best native perennials for her garden, and the best ways to serve her community.