Love Letter To My Planet Earth
My love affair started when I was about eight and laid upon the green grass and willed the clouds into playmates for my thoughts. I wished, I told my sky, I wished to be wise. I am not sure I knew what wise meant other than just plain smart.
But then I grew and being part of a large family, I learned to work. But I think I knew how when I was born. I loved my brothers and said when I was just five that I would marry them and take care of them and even promised to polish their saddle shoes for a dime. I weeded around the roses my mother rooted in the ground and covered with tipped mason jars for little greenhouses and tried to keep the chickens in the back yard. I kept the junks separated from the garbage and loved the climbing roses papa planted in the alley behind the garage so that the garbage men had a bright spot as they picked up garbage.
And when we left the city to breathe clean air I marveled as a young girl going to the outdoor privy and stopped at the back door before going up to bed and dipped my heart to blend the night sky to drink of a million stars and wondered how rich could a 12 year old be with the night so private housing so many brothers? And the air circled my pajama legs and I gave thanks to the clean air and promised to be a caretaker of a place I loved. I would dip into my bucket of stars and reach for a nugget and it would translate my efforts and keep me fed.
I would teach everyone to take care of our land because it is our home and we live here. It gives us what we need to live and heals us when we ail and loves us as its children. It is our mother and we must help her. And now after a lifetime, I am hampered by bones forgetting to bend, muscles forgetting to stretch and a heart that cannot forget how I have loved this parcel of a universe so generous with this gift.
How Much Better Would It Be?
How much better it would be
for this noble planet
if we cherished her like a lover?
Or loved her as a mother
who adored her child
and wiped the tears away
with a soft linen?
Or as a father whose arms
surrounding the child
are as steel beams supporting
the frame of the tallest building?
Who would not want these
for himself if he could articulate
what would heal
the dichotomy within?
Too few of us around
who love our home so fiercely
we would protect her vital organs.
The sun sometimes is hidden from man
and the moon embarrassed
to see its light dimmed with shame.
When patches of Earth split
from the shock of no rain and dust rises
and rolls across open land,
we wish then not to shake dust
from our boots but to greet
a sunrise in splendor.
Offer me this, the Earth Mother says,
that you will raise your arms
only to surround an Other in love.
Promise me this, again she says,
that the swords will be laid
at the foot of the evergreens now
and a boot will never crush
an Other’s right to live.
And I will forever cherish your children.
photo by John Hallissey