2020, Junior, Poetry & Spoken Word
Standing on the two legs Mother Nature bestowed,
wading to the ocean she formed.
The tide licked my legs,
not unlike familiar warm embraces.
I walk these barren paths,
worn down, littered with footprints.
Here, I listen to the ocean’s heart beat,
admired the iridescent sea foaming.
Drops of caffeine filled my kettle—
my morning hourglass.
A newspaper flutters in the wind,
like green kelp leaves, drifting in the sea.
Words blister my eyes,
Sea Level Rise Forecasts Were Wrong by 80 Percent
Climate Change is Altering the Color of the Ocean
The last drop falls,
Sipping my coffee, I watch
the ocean—if it waves, it must also be
telling us something.
As any person would,
I feared that we dug too deep,
with the ocean manifesting
its cuts and wounds.
We indulge on industrial goods,
greed blinding us from the cries of the sea.
Shrinking of the ice caps.
Death of cephalopods.
The ozone depletes.
My fingers returned to paper,
damp from the sea salt.
What is Wrong with the Climate
We indulge on problems,
write words of despair.
Should we not examine deeply
for the solution that lies within?
Kettley, Sebastian. “Climate change SHOCK: Sea level rise forecasts were wrong by 80 percent, scientists warn.” EXPRESS, Daily Express, 21 June 2019, www.express.co.uk/news/science/1142872/
Climate-change-news-seal-level-rise-Greenland-melting-glacier-global-warming. Accessed 11 June 2020.
Moran, Barbara. “Climate Change Is Altering The Color Of The Ocean.” wbur, Feb. 2019, www.wbur.org/news/2019/02/04/climate-change-ocean-color-phytoplankton. Accessed 11 June 2020.
I grew up around water in Maryland near the Chesapeake Bay, where I not only fished but also loved the sound of water and everything it entailed. Every summer, I looked forward to the solitary of nature, easy drawing of the line, and brief spurts of excitement. In summer 2008, I moved to Michigan, another state surrounded by water and life. Through my own eyes, I saw the significance and impact of climate change. Due to the increased acidity in the water, dead fish littered the Detroit River. Meanwhile, the Flint water crisis hit close to home as I saw first-hand how people drank from bottled water instead of from the tap—not to mention the horrific aftermath of the event. I wrote this poem in reflection of how America’s carbon footprint is growing at the detriment of nature. There are things I can see like the waters getting muddier, the fish no longer coming back; and also things I cannot see, like the ice caps melting faster. I firmly believe with education and intention, small actions such as recycling can have a large impact. From this poem, I want to send this message: keep the ocean beautiful for the next generation, so its sight can be admired from generation to generation!