Tag Archives: Alaska

EARTH FIRST! 

GWP encourages our writers, artists, freelance staff, readers, and interns to send us their writing so we can put it out on our blog and publish it there for all the world to see (and our legions of followers!) Here is a powerful poem by GWP author, Irene Skyriver:

Irene Skyriver and her daughter Summer Moon at the kayactivism in Seattle.

 

EARTH FIRST!
(I named this poem after one of the few modern movements that made sense to me)

What will we do for the love of our Mother Earth?
I say it is not the time for silent retreats and meditations
Did, or do the victims of:
Climate change
Vietnam
Wounded Knee
The Klu Klux Klan
Did they have time to meditate on ensuing chaos or demise?
Did they have time to understand
Just before they were swinging from the limb of a tree?
Or just before their children were gunned-down or forced to cross barren deserts
Did they have time to contemplate
those “leaders”, or soldiers, or white supremacists
as perhaps being their miss-guided but lovable brothers?
Our Earth Mother is Black, she is Wounded Knee, she is a child gunned down in Viet Nam
She is a rape victim
Now is not the time to tread gently or to tippy toe
Now is not the time to try to understand the Hitler’s or the orange ones of our species
We need to be as unapologetic and powerful as the Earth herself
We need to be as relentless as the grind of a glacier
We need to be an earthquake to tumble the fortresses of greed
We need hurricane force winds of change
We need to be flooded with purpose
We need to be like the blaze of an incoming comet to turn this tide of suicide
We will recharge in the serenity of the Sun’s dip and rise
We will carry on with the knowing that others are dying for rhinos, elephants, butterflies, trees…
And by knowing there is too little time for meditation and silent retreats  

~~~

Irene Skyriver, Pacific NW Coast author/grandmother/farmer/activist
Because of the good life I live on my farm in the San Juan Islands, I must convince myself as much as anyone, to leave the comforts of our homes, families and life as we know it, to RIZE UP and fight for the Earth and Sky. Even our children know, we humans have our heads in the sand, as we blithely carry on in our consumptive, unsustainable lifestyles, leaving them to the wreckage of our defeatist inaction.
Although I am not a hardcore activist, I’ve taken action at important events and I’m readying myself for deeper involvement in our local environmental issues (which are profound) as we prepare to fight huge increases of Canadian tar-sand tanker shipments through our already decimated Salish Seas. With our local Orca whale population on the brink of extinction and salmon runs failing catastrophically, I see my life as a grandmother, best spent fighting, and dying if needed, for the dream that perhaps a sea swelling of hearts and minds will awaken and turn the tide. We need to step out of our comfort zones and fight for the environmental health of every biome of this planet and sky. •

You can order Irene’s book at your favorite, local independent bookstore, or here at Indieboud!