Earth Day brings to mind vividly

a day from the distant past,

when the sky seemed bluer and the clouds whiter

the air was intoxicatingly fresh,

the water in the streams crystal clear.

The tall grass was greener

with its white toppings of flowers

dancing in the breeze.

Paddy fields smelt so yummy,

mixed with the heady fragrance of soil.

I seemed to fly

as my feet skipped on the red earth,

And my heart raced joyfully

As we laboured up a hill.

Sitting on an edge atop

and looking down on the blurry ground,

an immense joy broke out of every pore and cell,

sending cascading tears

as I felt my connection to the planet,

and knew I was its child.


Today, some three decades since,

I find it so difficult to feel the joy.

Fear has flooded in from all around

And I can’t seem to find a place to hide.

The water is coloured and cluttered

with strewn garbage and run-offs.

The air is smoky and the stench

of chemicals overpowering.

The trees look shrivelled and starving,

the soil insipid and dying.

Hill and mountain tops

have been claimed,

forests devoured,

and grey the colour of future.

How could I have done this,

Or any child to a parent,

what we humans have done to the Earth.

The connection is now stifled

with guilt.

By Jaya