Empty Earth

He stood, sentry like, part of the desertified

landscape, and watched a small cloud

on the horizon, willing the curving shape 

to bring salvation to his people and then

saw it melt away.  The moment gone. Still,

he stood in the shade of the hostile sun.


She watched the food plants lovingly sown

shoot to life and then shrivel, becoming dust,

and still she watched to see in the distance 

a sign, any sign of the black boiling clouds 

that amass and spill, washing away the fear

of another month or year stealing their hope.


They too watched black clouds turn away,

and another day comes and goes and still

the rain, promised by a weatherman  fails

to arrive. Instead, a few drops that dry before

a thirsty land can feel its moisture, then still

more days and clouds break their promises.


and hope shrivels like the desiccated roots.

Every morning they look out at the barrenness,

cheered by a cloud or two, too soon dissipated,

depression returns and tears are the only wet

as the green landscape has been seared by

a drought and for the first time they feel


the true aching for teeming rain for weeks,

and to understand another’s need is not 

just for a storm to bring back the grass but 

to feed their weakened children, who are

sufferers of the injustice of the changing

nature of climate absorbing killing carbon.

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margins are a great place sometimes because it is where change happens fastest but it is also a horrible place when we are stuck in them and grace is the moment when we can see that someone cares.

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