This poem has emanated from my musings about the oil tar sands in Canada. The extraction of these oil tar sands, in some of the most pristine parts of North America, is the largest single scarring of Mother Earth ever undertaken by human-unkind. It seems that our oil addiction has us scraping the last drops of oil from the planet, squandering nature’s wealth — our children’s children’s inheritance — and polluting Mother Earth which sustains our very life. Greed is the most dangerous enemy of sharing a planet together. I hope that people from locales all over the earth rise up and protect Mother Earth from the many assaults on her. As for my Toledo friends, you can check out and join Occupy Toledo’s resistance to oil tar sands being processed here at the BP refinery. Think globally, act locally — that’s local, not loco!
O Children of Mother Earth, Arise!
Listen, O children of Mother Earth!
Hear, those who have ears
Hear the streams of clean water, our tributaries of life
Hear the streams of cars and trucks dirtying the air we breathe
See, O children of Mother Earth!
See, those who have eyes
See the beauty of fields and forests, mountains and meadows
See the scars of strip mines and cesspools of toxins
Smell, O children of Mother Earth!
Smell, those who have noses
Smell the fragrance of wildflowers and gardens
Smell the stench of oil and coal combustion, and chemical cocktails concocted
Reach out and touch, O children of Mother Earth!
Reach out and touch, those who have hands
Reach out and touch the soil and sun which fuels nature’s bounty
Reach out and touch the concrete and landfills, the Alpha and Omega of so-called “progress”
Taste, O children of Mother Earth!
Taste, those who have mouths
Taste the fruits of her plenty, enough for all
Taste the bitterness of her children’s petty scarcity, robbing brother and sister
Feel, O children of Mother Earth!
Feel, those who have hearts
Feel the call of nature
Feel the greed of those who would of nature relieve themselves
Speak, O children of Mother Earth!
Speak, those who have tongues
Speak of the splendor of a Mother’s care
Speak of the horror of an orphaned race
Arise, every living creature, O children of Mother Earth!
Return to her lap, and breast, and arms
Turn away from her desecration
Take your rightful place, to neither rule from above nor rule from below
Work side by side
For we share the same fate
Whether we share or not
O children of Mother Earth