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Walk Softly on the Earth

Earth Day, 2021

earth, with its myriad oceans and lakes reflecting scintillating moonlight

its forests, green and profuse, chockfull of delight

of humming insects, swooshing snakes, and birds of turquoise plumage in flight

nature with its endless array does fill our sight

with iridescence and movement, subtle and great, during the day and the still of the night

this turning world brims with mystery and generosity

from the benign resident to those beasts of prey known for their ferocity

a speck of dust in this universe spanning space beyond imagining

it is nonetheless a dear, dear home to those of us who share this earthly destiny

give thanks to this sweet Mother who upholds our days and nights

give thanks to her who understands our each and every plight

for she feels our joys and sorrows down to her very core.

yet she responds not in kind for she but offers us more and more

she offers us fields replete with our daily bread

she offers us a ground on which to rest our head

she offers us streams and rivers filled with the nectar of that liquid, rushing and flowing

she offers us coolness in the shade of the redwood, majestic and soaring

she gives us deserts, infinite in spareness and grace

and the oasis, in response, teeming with life in its fructifying space

she gives us shorelines, absorbing waves of great might

she allows for the tundra, frozen in endless whiteness, a lulling hypnosis to the sight

who can pretend to understand this great event

this world of genetic complexity filled with wonder and unfathomable intent

this beauty that has never failed to amaze and inspire

each generation, each wave of humanity, whose sight does never tire

to behold this green-blue globe from ancient canyon to distant shore

far from ennui, we wish to see more and more

but, it is not only the visual beauty that begs our attention

it is the consciousness of this benign sweet globe that gives us a direction

for she exemplifies giving, she knows no other agenda

we would do well to understand and thank her for her selflessness and protection

this turning sphere, this place profound and dear

do not neglect her, she is a gift for all

filled with love and respect, let her feel this in our very footfall

Annie Kiyonaga

In honour of Earth Day, 1999

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