Growing the Collection of Poetic Responses to Planetary Emergency

Poetry seems to be stalking me right now. As the news worsens and spreads in the planetary emergency, the only words I can muster at times are those that take this more numinous form. The experience of living in the paradox of these times of destruction, uprising, heart, and grief is one of the core challenges right nowThis is the third of a series of poems I've written lately in response. More of my works of poetry and prose are available on



The monk in me
the one who
peers at the embered world
with growing dread and awe
sits in restless quietude
unsure, in the best way,
of the path through 

Breath rises with oceans
Lungs burn with forests
holy and mournful songs
arise from within
unfettered landscapes of change 

no one emotion
no one tissue of trauma
or tenderness
rule in this moment

Even as I might move through
the world with earthly dedication
quiet intention
a vision for justice
for the faltering world 

there are frozen cascades of grief
which can halt any trust
in the labor
or the possibility of mending 

only the heart’s cadence
urging fresh warm streams of love
can thaw this fierce moment of stillness. 

Only the memories of a ginkgo leaf
a fawn, a kiss, a steady gaze,
a warbling wren symphony,
can lift the notes of breath again
to join the voices
rushing through the trees. 

the shifting winds
compose the landscapes
of the emerging world 

and our witness
that is the accompanying drone
the steady note of presence
the refusal of denial the promise to stay 
and heal what we can 

fending off
the coda
the final passage
the last sigh of the universe