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  • Wendy B. Rosen ©2020

The Earth Speaks and We Listen, Finally

The Earth has The Talking Stick now.

Grabbed it back in an epic, feverish fury

And she is not speaking softly, or gently,

Or in a whisper.


She is screaming at the top of her lungs.

And we have no choice but to listen,

If we want to live,

If we want to consciously choose life.

We had it all, or so we thought.

Convenience, access

To anything we wanted,

From everywhere,

Whenever we wanted it.

Overnight, even.

Until overnight,

We almost lost it all.

Convenience, access

To all that we wanted,

From anywhere.

And now we must ask the question –

Did we really have it all?

We did, once.

#Past Tense.

Once, there was

The cleanest air,

The purest water,

The richest soil

Teeming with all the nutrients we need

To live and to grow

The cleanest,

The purest,

The richest

Of bodies

In which hearts and souls

Could thrive.

Everyone had their space.

The beautiful creatures with

Fur and scales and spikes and tails,

Stripes and dots and coats of spots,

Horns and paws and beaks and claws…

Each had their nook in which to live

Their creature lives,

Simply because

They are.

At least, that’s the way it once was,

Until this species of skin and hair –

Magnificent skin in all shades,

And glorious hair in all colors and textures –

Caved into fear

Of the power

And omnipotence

And the mystery

Of it all,

And silenced a sense

Of wonder

And awe

And humility,

And replaced it with


And dominance

Over all that was.

Where sustenance once nourished and nurtured

Our unique and limitless

Creative human potential,

Arrogance and greed has taken hold.

Aside from the workings of the food chain,

What other species do you know of

That intentionally destroys

That which sustains

Its own life?

If we were meant to move to places

Far from where we were planted,

Might we have been given

Wings and fins of our own?

What is it, then,

To be human

And have such wanderlust rooted deep

In the psyche and soul of our species

If moving about the cabin of Spaceship Earth

Is destroying that which sustains it,

And us?

Were we meant to wander

Far from where we were born,

Or were we meant to grow

Where we are planted?

We will argue this.

It’s what we do.

But no matter how loud we get,

We must talk amongst ourselves

With words,


And not with weapons.

Please not with weapons,


When we can’t hear each other

Over the cacophony of desperate cries of

Trying, of vying,

To have our say

And be heard,

We must learn how to listen

To each other.

Our Earth-home

Has been talking, too,

In her own language

That we don’t seem to speak

Or understand.

Over time

Her sky changed from a deep, beautiful blue

To a sullen, dismal gray.

Her clear water has turned colors

It is not supposed to be.

Her soil has grown dry and lifeless

From all the poison

We fed it,

Unable to grow all the living things that help us

To live.

But we didn’t hear.

So, she spoke louder.

In fact, she raged

Out of desperation

As she grew ill from it all.

She shrieked in pain as fever flared and ravaged

Her overheated body,

Scorching it

And leaving everything in its path

Ablaze and stunned.

She cried torrents of tears

That rained down on us

Like never before.

And as she purged,

She breathed heavily,

Her wind wailing in our ears

As waves of grief

Crashed down on upon us

While we clamored to take shelter

From her stormy tantrum.

Who could blame her?

She has been abused,


And violated.

And it has caught up with her.

And so, we stopped

But for a moment,

Gathered ourselves and

Our precious belongings,

And then went on - shaken,

But unchanged.

And the Earth went on too,

Though changed.

And unheard.


Until now,

Because it has caught up with us, too,

Because we haven’t heard

What she has spoken before.

And she has finally won

Our attention.

The Earth will always have

The last word.

We have fractured the integrity of a

Beautifully balanced,

Delicately designed

Mosaic of habitat.

We have breached the boundaries

Which protect and enable life


And this has stopped us in our human tracks,


Like nothing in our collective memory

Has before.

Will we remember to keep listening

To the voice of the Earth?

Will we learn to finally listen

To the voices of each other?

And will we especially listen

To our own voices

Silently crying out

In fear,

In awe,

In wonder,

In humility,

In hope

For a chance

To live,

As we were meant to live?

Will we finally live

In harmony with the Earth that sustains us

And all the creatures

Who we share it with,

Simply because

We are?

Will we finally live

In harmony with each other

Because we need each other,

And because, truly,

We sustain each other?

Will we finally live

In harmony with ourselves

In all our imperfect humanness,

Fearful and vulnerable,


But resilient, strong and courageous

For sure,

Creative and capable,

Caring and kind,





Rich with

Loving hearts and souls?

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