A Poem by L.J. Williams © 2020
Whatever has the tender earth done to Charlotte Black!?
She used to roam the meadow, soft and green, and
Pick the pristine daisies while the sun was still serene.
It teased her from behind the clouds, which she would scry
It sent its gentle rays to sparkle brightly on the stream
That burbled over friendly rocks, and warbling birds
Would join the chorus with their song, and
Charlotte Black would feel their joy, and sing along.
She felt the soft, brown earth between her toes, and
Asked the bubbling water where it comes from;
Where it goes. She wondered, too,
What mysteries lay in rotted logs,
How long trees lived;
What was hidden in the forests;
What lurked in bogs; and
What turned tadpoles into frogs?
But Charlotte doesn’t go there anymore.
The sun is now a hostile host, the sky is crossed with
Vapor trails and song of birds are thin upon the air,
And as for frogs, well, they’re no longer there.
The buzz of bees is silent and the meadow flowers
Mourn the absence of their suitors; now they’re
Wilted and forlorn. The stream is dry and poisoned
With some run-off undisclosed, and the gentle earth is
Acrid, and it burned poor Charlotte’s toes.
It scalds the tender skins of fragile earth worms
As they toil. The rain that fell so soft upon her face
Is now as acrid as the soil.
And Charlotte said:
“The tender earth laments her woes; and tears her
Grassy hair that’s often dry from lack of rain.
She spews her rage in blackened lava flows.
She throws her rocks around, and screams her pain
In winds of hurricanes and storms. Her insects,
Now unchecked by predators, attack in swarms.
She shakes the earth until it trembles, and it cracks.
She drowns the world in floods; she sheds great tears,
But nothing can assuage her pain, and nothing can
Expunge the gross abuse of countless years.
She vents her rage in wild fires that consume the trees,
And burn her forests black. And Charlotte cried:
“If only the ‘Old Ones’ could return, and
Water poor old Gia with their tears…
If I go there again, I fear, I won’t be coming back.
Maybe I’ll sink into some vast hole in the ground,
Or I’ll be hit by fragments of falling space debris,
Whatever has this harsh world done to trash its home,
And finally bring poor Gia to her knees? ”
But is it all our fault alone? What if the tender earth
Is going through a ‘change of life’ that’s all her own?
Will Gia ‘die’, or will she slip into a long, long
Sleep while her ravaged body casts off any trace
That there ever was a human race?
Perhaps this would have happened anyway,
For earth is old, far older than we know, and
She must go through planetary cycles of her own.
There is much talk of ‘New Earth’ in the
Higher realms, but we will have to ‘slip our
Earthly bonds’ to enter in, and like the lowly
Snake that sheds its skin, we’ll have to grow
Beyond the mind-set that we’re in.
And search for what our hearts already know.
This planet is our home,
But through our heartless greed and
Lack of love and gratitude, we have increased
Her Pain, and therefore, ours, of course.
Through lack of loving husbandry.
The Earth is ruined, and drained of all her
Vast fecundity; her rich life force.
No longer can she bear our weight.
She’s had enough, and like a burnt-out wife,
She’s seeking a divorce.”
So, this is what the tender earth is driven to,
And it may be some many thousand years,
Or more, before she makes it back.
How sad for you; how sad for me
How sad for Charlotte Black.