Sustaining Earth

The Earth is not ours to possess:
We belong to the Earth, who provides
life to sustain us and wisdom to save us.
Listen to poems that Nature grows
from the ground of our being.

The wind roars across Stringer’s Ridge
through the Tennessee River canyon
raising the spirit of the Cherokees.

On the great prairie plains, the indigenous
winds that spoke to the Lakota Sioux turn
blades: wings churning, the gift of energy.

The sun pours across the land with a voice of Light:
Solar farms lift palms and panels, growing power
that surrounds continents with sustaining hope.

The sacred muse of water seeps into the soul
with a reflection pure: streams running with salmon,
pools floating with your face mirrored in grace

Before coal ash, sewage, chemicals, and fracking
poisoned the waters, bathed with our weeping
tears drowning from the heavy weight of greed.

We are losing the ability to sustain life on this
shrouded earth, mined and stripped naked to the core
for the Babel cities that cover soil with asphalt.

The carbon thief of oil, coal, and shale rock
hides behind lies that eat away
truth for wealth, war, waste, and smog.

Find a conversation with wind and wild geese,
learn the vocabulary of boundless Light,
find the syllables of waters that cleanse the mind

thirsty for the sound of ancient springs
where families drew life from Willow Springs,
where sojourners washed in stone troughs at Delphi.

Now a new generation has learned the language
of earth, the Euclidean proof that circles a world
without borders and division of power.

Listen to the air we breathe: Justice spells
the elements of sun, fire, wind, and water
with a freedom beyond ownership and boundary.

Nature calls us home from this prodigal journey
that polluted the map of Liberty and the voice
of the Great Spirit who hovers over the water.

Kemmer Anderson walks his dog along the Trail of Tears in Chattanooga, Tennessee and has walked the streets of East Jerusalem in 1971, '83, 98, and 2015. Read other articles by Kemmer.