The Opaque Gospel
New York, NY
2021, Junior, Performing Arts
Borne from the womb of a mother’s strength,
We know nothing but that strength until brackish waters
Silently submerge us under their dark bounds.
I saw a child once, sitting in the sky at the edge of the sea
She too was born from the womb of a mother’s strength.
it stroked her cheek with soft salty breezes.
But tears of polluted waters stained her mother’s ancient eyes.
and I saw them rush down her skin in ever growing waves of demise
Crashing over her daughter.
A planetary ship whose sail blows in the northern winds.
an intermediary between sun and earth.
Each tear an emblem of loss
Contaminated with the bitter salt of spurned truth,
absorbed into shadows hidden from their own oblivion.
A guise of unchanging nothing.
From her airy peak the child saw what the mother could not.
And in the
of each tear
I saw our presidents and prime ministers, our majesties, comrades and dictators
our humble servants who uphold the legacy of sovereign prerogatives
Liberty to catch all the rain in a jar, sell it to own the sky.
and the pursuit of happiness.
they amalgamate behind their arms.
and build forts of capital.
They’ll realize too late that waterboarding someone else to save yourself
only presses the sea towards the sky in
eternal mocking condemnation.
Her majesty will not be bullied for long.
She rises like the youth.
We the people flood the atmosphere,
The sail- the intermediary between sun and earth,
with ancient wells of carbon,
sew ourselves into a cocoon of peril.
Corrupt a system that preserved life on earth
so that the same system kills life on earth.
We watch as smoldering embers from the trail of our carbon footprint,
silently hit the water’s surface and plunge into its depths.
Now Hestia must tend to this growing hearth.
Watch as it melts, expands, and spills
over smaller hearths of smaller homes.
We watch as this hearth envelops glaciers
into its furnace.
And they rush to join the sea.
The return signal of a radar pulse, directed at the ocean
returns faster and stronger each time.
Like each inhale the sea takes
as storms brew beneath the surface.
In a capitalist world the radar pulse would
It would be
Because it was
But the radar pulse sends signals back to a
A world, soon to be inundated by its propriety of
injustices and inequalities.
Until the homes,
namely of those with less, are
into the abyss of more.
Each fossil burned is another remnant of the past forced into caprices of future climate systems.
That future is
The tears of spurned truth crash in mounting waves over the child in the sky at the edge of the sea.
Because sea level is rising.
It has been rising.
It will be rising.
The child will fight to keep her head above the rising water
But she can’t fight 2 feet of
an army of footprints.
Acidic salt will sting her eyes.
And her mother will be there
to swaddle the earth in her warmth.
Suffocate her own child
with the prerogatives they held closer than life.
My interest and knowledge in sea level rise actually originated from an article I wrote called “Will Earth’s Surface Sink Beneath Waves?” for my column in my school's Green Zine. What I found was terrifying, yet inspiring. My concern inspired me to write this poem and eventually choreograph to it. I envisioned this piece long before I created it. When I see dances choreographed to a poem rather than music, they leave me touched deeply and more personally. I wanted to do the same for others and have the opportunity to combine two art forms I am extremely passionate about. I hope that my message of tender love for the earth and trepidation for its fall inspires others to educate themselves and do whatever they can to help nurse our wounded home back to health.