Turn the Tide
A pile of plastic floats in the ocean,
Human garbage collecting in the water.
We only contributed an iota–it was minuscule what we shed–
But the tide will roll over us all.
Coronavirus–we didn’t start it.
But it’s been churning,
And as we’re learning,
Its waves will wash over us all.
Is it too much to hope that a society racked by coronavirus–
That economies toppled–could be rebuilt in a way
Where we don’t have to sell each other as many “disposable” goods?
Where renewable energy sources reduce our carbon footprint from a polar bear’s to a kitten’s paw?
A Green New Deal has already been written
by skies that choke on emissions
by waterways that gag on waste
by fish that eat our plastic bit by bit
by trees that have been fell
by forests that have burned due to extreme temperatures
by humans who have died during heatwaves
by coral reefs that sit silent as cemeteries
by species that are endangered or extinct
by land animals who’ve been displaced
by humans who’ve been forced to migrate
by conflicts that will escalate as temperatures rise.
I’ve never heard it called “the happy ending of the commons,”
But maybe it could be
If we can turn the tide for us all.
A new coronavirus poem–this one in honor of Earth Day.
When the outbreak started, I hoped it might provide an opportunity for humanity to come together and unite not only against coronavirus but also in the fight against climate change. I’ve hesitated to express this opinion because of the toll that coronavirus is taking both economically and in lives lost.
But if I’ve learned anything from history, it’s that ruthless ideologies can take hold in the wake of devastation and declaring these ideologies inhumane is not enough to stop their spread.
For those of us who want to ensure the future of the planet and who are concerned with the inequalities that climate change will aggravate further, we have to know: What are the ideas that we will rally behind? What changes to society will we champion? What sacrifices are we willing to make in a time where so much is already being sacrificed?