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Friday, April 22, 2022


by Pepper Trail

Let us give thanks
In gatherings or on our own
Stepping carefully upon the earth
Looking closely, bending to the flowers
Lifting our eyes to the swallows and the soaring hawk
Listening to the wind combing the grass and
Carrying birdsong across the creek
Scenting the richness of the soil
Mindfully opening every gift
Let us give thanks
Let us grieve
Remembering all that once was given
Meadows bright with butterflies
Daily chorusing of the birds
Far forest-clad horizons
Silent wilderness
Mighty rivers of ice
Blue whales and elephants
Coral reefs in dazzling splendor
Let us grieve
Let us protest
Lest we surrender to the drowsy sun
In our multitudes, cry Enough!
Name the destroyers
Corporate greed
Oil addiction
Political cowardice
Denial of nature’s rights
Willful blindness to all we do
Let us protest
Let us plant
Let us fall to our knees
Prepare the waiting earth
With our soft and ignorant hands
Plant a tree native to this damaged place
A testament to our desperate hopes
Flourishing past our little lives
A lasting gift of breath 
For our survivors 
Let us plant

Pepper Trail is a poet and naturalist based in Ashland, Oregon. His poetry has appeared in Rattle, Atlanta Review, Spillway, Kyoto Journal, Cascadia Review, and other publications, and has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards. His collection Cascade-Siskiyou was a finalist for the 2016 Oregon Book Award in Poetry.