“Quieter Now” (Earth Day 2020)

It’s quieter now.

The chainsaws have ceased their ripping, chewing, slashing.
Our forests have at last been left in peace.
The exploitation of living creatures to feed our countless mouths has ended.
Grazing herds now rest easy in fields and meadows unmolested.
Factories no longer belch their noxious gases into the atmosphere.
The poisons have begun to thin and one day the air may be clean again.
Aircraft no longer soar the skies, polluting even the clouds with their foul discharge.
Birds have taken wing unchallenged, ruling their domain once more.
Gone are the millions of fossil-fueled machines that once choked our planet.

They rust in silence.

The world has moved on.

The ever-present cacophony of sound that once plagued our world,
Mechanical, electrical, digital mayhem.  All of it is gone.
Schoolhouses lie in ruins; our sacred temples have turned to dust.
Pillars of steel and glass, once tall and proud, peek timidly above the waves.
Only the soft whispering of the wind among the leaves can be heard
In trees where children once laughed and played.
Gone are the halls of government, vanished are the edifices of art and culture.
And of all mankind’s achievements,

Only ashes remain.

Earth has bled herself dry for us.
She has transfused her lifeblood into us, giving freely of her bounty.
And all she asked for in return was respect.  Compassion.  Care.
For far too long, she writhed and choked and wept, yet we heeded her not.
And as our final chances were squandered by our pride and greed and vanity,
Our children looked on in horror.
But now, in this space of silence, our Mother begins to heal.
The sun soothes her wounds by day, the moon watches over her by night.
And seasons pass as they have always done.

But it’s quieter now.