The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club published one of my poems in the Winter 2015 edition of their newsletter, The Sylvanian. The poem is reprinted below. The Sierra Club does wonderful work on environmental issues. Their motto is "explore, enjoy and protect the planet."
In Wildness is the Preservation of the World
(In Tribute to Thoreau)
An explosion of green.
The silverback emerges from the jungle.
Heart racing from the mock charge,
I spend the next hour entranced by his family
Gentle giants of the highland mists.
Hear the drums of danger beat.
Jungle felled for crops to eat.
Brutal tramp of soldiers’ feet.
Starving villagers hunt bush meat.
The last mountain gorillas in desperate retreat.
Lumbering across the golden savannah,
Mother and child pause to graze.
Delighted at this rare sighting,
We shadow the pair in our vehicle.
Prehistoric beasts of the African plains.
Hear the bells of danger ring.
Poachers kill; the horn’s the thing.
Asian markets clamoring
For the rise it’s said the horn will bring.
The last rhinos at risk of vanishing.
Striding across the frozen tundra,
Massive white bears advance to the ice.
I watch in amazement
When two youngsters stand to tussle.
Kings and queens of the polar north.
Hear the trumpets of danger sound.
Rising temperatures warm the ground.
Later ice, fewer seals found.
In summer, life or death is measured by the pound.
The last polar bears, fated to be starved or drowned?
Joining together across nations,
People can step back from the brink.
I watch, heart filled with hope
At each small measure taken to save our planet
The gorilla, the rhino, the polar bear can survive.
Hear the whispers of hope grow loud.
The last humans can act now to save the wild.
PHOTO by MIKE KNOWLTON, PHOTOJOURNEYS