2023, Junior, Poetry & Spoken Word
Climate Hero: Autumn Peltier
Azure streams, dancing their way up the river,
Emerald velvet lies, sheltering pebbles
From discovery of naive reverie.
Handicapped, the frail water seems to trickle
with such elegance.
Glowing rays glide by the everlasting banks,
Thawing the layer of enveloping frost.
Silhouettes of swans among the white fronds
Saunter across the creek, as petrichor emanates
from dewy hemlock.
Lavender lagoons sprout down along the bay,
As a tranquil haze seizes the waterlilies
Weaving within woven splashes of the sun,
Wielding a sword, trespassed by no scorching rays
To shield the living.
Blossoming nubivagant raindrops drifting
Away fringes of Manitoulin Island
Enable enublious, drizzled elixirs
To escort a radiating warmth, shifting
Glowing sage leaves to ones that fray, like seasons,
Summer to Autumn… Peltier.
I chose to examine climate change by way of an expressive, yet lyrical, piece of poetry, hoping such a form may draw the reader toward a deeper awareness of this rising issue. Yet we must not reduce the health of the Earth to a mere “issue.” It is not the most important issue of our time, but perhaps of all time. Climate change risks the lives of billions – or perhaps trillions – as it hardly affects man’s survival alone. To me, poetry is a transcendent art, with the ability to elevate an idea to its highest form. I first heard of Autumn Peltier in English class when the teacher asked us to explore a rising figure in Canadian society. As an individual passionate about bringing awareness to the climate crisis, I had picked Autumn as my subject. She is a member of the First Nations community, and thus views harmony as the basis of man’s relationship to nature. Furthermore, her connection to her Aunt, defined by a common vision and the very blood they share – flowing between generations not unlike the water they have mutually vowed to protect – made her a fully evocative figure to me. Following the lesson in school, I wrote a series of seven essays on Autumn’s story, with each iteration, hoping to put my own unique spin on it. The piece above is my first attempt at a fully creative meditation on Autumn’s story and the water that she protects. When I got the opportunity to mix my love of eco-poetry and Autumn, I jumped at the chance. I hope my piece does justice to Autumn’s story and brings additional needed attention to the issue of climate change.