April is so chuck-a-bluck full of significant days, the ones with the fine print in the calendar blocks. Yesterday was John Muir’s birthday and today is Earth Day. That is an environmentalist’s version of a double-header! As much as I would like to write some lovely poem extolling the beauty of the natural world, today, I’m worried. Actually, every day I’m worried. I think many of us are. So, I’ve written a little warning to our nearest planetary neighbor.
I’m writing to you from a tiny patch
of solid land on planet
I realize you probably have your own name
for my planet –
“My Blue Twin” or
“That Bloke Always Blocking My View of the Sun” or
“The Unfortunate Watery One”.
For the sake of our discussion
let’s call my home planet
I wanted to let you know
in case you haven’t already figured it out
we’ve been watching you for a
We ruminate on your moods
track your movements
calculate how and how long
it will take
to get to you.
it was all fairly innocuous stuff.
We trained telescopes on you
searched for water
no biggie – just getting to know
our celestial neighbor.
I’m writing to warn you –
those days are over.
You may have noticed
a ticking sensation
roving your backside
up your spine
some pesky bug burrowing
under your skin –
yeah, that’s us.
Well, not me.
Not even a human
but a machine we built
and landed on you.
Oh, I’m sure you think it’s nothing
to worry about
no more harmful than a baby’s hand
exploring the planes, curves, and divots
of its mother’s face.
People on this planet
have big plans for you.
Before you know it, they’ll land
They will blast your formations
like they’re some mountain top in West Virginia
drill through you like convicts
looking for a way out
and if they find anything of
well, I guess you may as well be
a Native American meeting Europeans.
I know this must be hard to hear
but I thought you should know the truth.
If I were you
I’d be a little less accommodating
a little more
because, believe me,
these aliens do not come in peace.
Yours in caution,
A Human of a Slowly Dying Planet
For the record – I don’t want to live on Mars. I don’t want humans to live on Mars (well, maybe we can ship a select few in that direction). I want us, here on Earth, to love the planet we’ve been given and to marvel at it like a baby marveling at its mother face. Let’s try that today. And tomorrow. And the day after.
Happy Earth Day!