Hey Humanity, This Is Mother Nature
BY GREGG KLEINER
Giving your species a quick slap
on your collective cheek. Pop!
You’ve been moving too fast, for too long,
chasing cash and consumption, instead of Community,
not Sharing your wealth with the Downtrodden,
ignoring the Indigenous and their Wisdom,
walking past the Homeless, your phones aglow,
believing you’re so connected based on likes instead of Love,
buying more and more, and ever more stuff. Stop! Please! Pop!
Remember, everything you use comes out of me –
mined from the bones of my Mountains and Valleys,
slurped and strained from the veins of my Rivers and warming Seas,
gobbled from my Soiled skin, milled from my felled Trees…
But you’ve been taking so much, so fast, that
I’m getting depleted, drained, diminished.
So I had to do something to get your attention.
Pop! And now, it seems, I have it.
I’m sorry millions will suffer, tens of thousands will die.
But you’ve ignored my prior pleas – floods, fires, droughts,
Katrina, Victoria, Paradise,
so I could wait no longer. Pop!
It’s time to hit pause, people. To reassess, rethink, reimagine,
recalculate, reconsider what’s truly important,
what matters most in this mystery called Life on Earth.
Which is why I enlisted this microscopic organism.
To rein in your runaway stock markets and the scarring of my Skin.
To cut carbon emissions and cleanse my Hair and Lungs.
To slow the flow of plastics and waste into my Womb.
To halt shopping and shipping and all the distractions.
To dissolve your obsession with division, injustice, inequality –
us vs. them, rich over poor, dark below light, left against right.
To put a crack in the system so all of that can bleed away.
To smack you hard into pausing long enough to ponder:
“What the hell are we doing, anyway?”
Pop! Feel the sting burning through the fear and panic?
Stop! Wash your hands and hold them against your moving ribs.
Feel it? So much Potential right there inside each of You,
if you’ll just slow down and focus on that, instead of stuff.
This is your chance, Humanity.
Will you seize or squander this global moment?
I am watching. And I get to bat last.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – GREGG KLEINER
Gregg Kleiner is the author of the novel, Where River Turns To Sky which was a finalist for both the Paterson Fiction Prize and the Oregon Book Award. His first book for kids (and their grownups), Please Don’t Paint Our Planet Pink!, addresses climate change by asking what might happen if we could see CO2 as pink? At age 16, he spent a year as an AFS exchange student in the mountains for northern Thailand, where he lived for a month at a Buddhist monastery under the tutelage of an aged monk. He has worked as a wildlife biologist, journalist, and dairy goat farmer and now resides in Oregon.
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