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Saturday, February 25, 2017


by Buff Whitman-Bradley

As we stand outside the bank
Holding signs
To protest profiteering
From the ravaging of our environment
Three egrets fly past just above us
And over the maniacal traffic
Of the freeway
Heading to a small marshy area
By the frontage road on the other side.
Three egrets that remind us in this moment
Of our immutable interdependence –
Animal plant stone
Earth water air.
Three egrets
Whose cells, like our own, thrum
With the ancient music of all that is.
Three egrets that know nothing
About carbon emissions and methane plumes
About melting glaciers and dying oceans.
Three egrets that know nothing
About parts per million and tipping points
And the dire predictions
Of climate scientists.
Three egrets that know nothing
About mass mobilizations
To resist the slashers and gougers and despoilers
Nothing about blockades and lock downs
And urgent uproarious disobedience
To disrupt business as usual –
But that is not the egrets' work,
It is ours.

Buff Whitman-Bradley's poetry has appeared in many print and online journals, including Atlanta Review, Bryant Literary Review, Concho River Review, Crannog, december, Hawai'i Review, Pinyon, Rockhurst Review, Solstice, Third Wednesdayand others. He has published several collections of poems, most recently, To Get Our Bearings in this Wheeling World. His interviews with soldiers who refused to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan became the book About Face: Military Resisters Turn Against War. He lives in northern California with his wife Cynthia.