Two Poems

August 7, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Many thanks to Karen Shragg for this poem, which she wrote on Earth Day.

The Earth Laughing by Karen I. Shragg

I woke up on this beautiful
Earth Day morning and heard
the Earth laughing
Her lilacs were shaking
Her tulips were full of dew from her tears
Dropped of a nervous laugh
Not a joyful one
A laugh that comes from a place
of disbelief
As her soaring eagles observed
The holes drilled into her oceans
The caverns dug into her mountains
The efforts to squeeze the last drop
Of resources out of her
Gave her reason to laugh
The kind of what-are-you-thinking laugh
And she laughed with a shudder of
mourning dove wings at this peculiar species
This two legged creature so smart in some ways
So naïve in others..
“To have conquered flight
To have reached my moon
To tap into my resources and turn them into
Schools and libraries, to hospitals and universities
Speaks to your cleverness”
she said through a whisper of a cloud
“But to behave as if I can keep up with your inventions
To act as if I have enough fuel to fund your
Never ending wars
To ignore the signs of your damage which
Are melting my icecaps drowning my islands and
Killing my polar bears as you
populate my landscapes far beyond their capacity.
My water cycles’ ability to quench your thirst
Is at best naïve and at worst self-destructive
I am exhausted!
Please know I cannot offer what you demand of me
I cannot offer infinite resources that took me
Billions of years to create
I cannot offer you
What you ask of me, by the 9,000 more of you added per hour
For my resources cannot supply
An endless stream of you and your modern ways
And the more of you that get that in your hearts
As well as your heads
The sooner I will heal and be able to sustain
A saner number of you and my other creatures
which aren’t as clever
Or naïve.”

Many thanks to Bernadette Sonefeld for this poem. The animal rime, the author of which is unknown, is said to have been composed in 1883 and to have appeared in the Cincinnati Gazette at that time. The author wrote that he put it together to please his 2 sons, 4 and 6 years old.

Alligator, beetle, porcupine, whale,
Bobolink, panther, dragonfly, snail,
Crocodile, monkey, buffalo, hare,
Dromedary, leopard, mud turtle, bear,
Elephant, badger, pelican, ox,
Flying fish, reindeer, anaconda, fox,
Guinea pig, dolphin, antelope, goose,
Hummingbird, weasel, pickerel, moose,
Ibex, rhinoceros, owl, kangaroo,
Jackal, opossum, toad, cockatoo,
Kingfisher, peacock, anteater, bat
Lizard, ichneumon, honeybee, rat,
Mockingbird, camel, basilisk, mouse,
Nightingale, spider, cuttlefish, grouse,
Ocelot, pheasant, wolverine, auk,
Periwinkle, ermine, katydid, hawk,
Quail, hippopotamus, armadillo, moth,
Rattlesnake, lion, woodpecker, sloth,
Salamander, goldfish, angleworm, dog,
Tiger, flamingo, scorpion, frog,
Unicorn, ostrich, nautilus, mole,
Viper, gorilla, grasshopper, sole,
Whipporwill, beaver, centipede, fawn,
Xantho, canary, polliwog, swan,
Yellowhammer, eagle, hyena, lark,
Zebra, chameleon, butterfly, shark.

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