Monday, August 27, 2007

Surely you did something?


Went to a benefit the other day. I'm just a hiker. Pretty selfish - get a lot of pleasure from using the wilderness but don't participate in it's preservation other than paying dues to some environmental organizations. Anyway, good friends were sponsoring this event for earthlight.org , so we went to hear Drew Dellinger read his environmental poetry. There was an opening act by Mary Ellen Hill "History of the Universe in Fifteen Minutes", which I recommend anyone to see if they get the opportunity. Her website is mehstories.com , but the reason I'm blogging about this event is that one of Drew's poems has been sticking with me, even though I try to ignore it:

hieroglyphic stairway

it's 3:23 in the morning
and I'm awake
because my great great grandchildren
won't let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?

surely you did something
when the seasons started failing?

as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?
did you fill the streets with protest
when democracy was stolen?

what did you do
once
you
knew?

His website is www.drewdellinger.com

1 comment:

  1. Ouch! The poem instantly penetrated my protective smokescreen of good intentions. Its message has the flavor of the John Ruskin quote that goes something like, "In the end it is of little consequence what you say or what you think or what you believe. All that matters is what you do." Unlike the quote, the poem has that quality of, "sticking with me, even though I try to ignore it:"

    I'm passing it on. If I'm going to be compelled, (inspired? flogged?) into action I might as well infect a few other hapless souls. If Mom could do it with measles, surely the health of the entire planet is good enough reason to toss out informed consent!

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