Still here

Lying in bed
On a hot August night
Listening to the crickets sing
Through the open window.
I feel profoundly relieved
At hearing them again
In our midst
Because as climate chaos increases —
Killer heat waves, dried-up rivers,
Melting glaciers –
I realize I am always
Holding my breath
Expecting the next bad news
The next disaster
The next species gone extinct.
Sea levels are rising
Reservoirs are shrinking
Songbirds are disappearing
Climate refugees
Are desperately seeking new homes.
So to have the crickets back onstage
For their annual marathon performance
Gives me a reason to exhale
Momentarily at least
And allow myself
To be thrilled all over again
By their timeless ballads of longing and love
And just maybe
To scrounge up a little hope.

About the Poem

In these very disturbing times, it is sometimes difficult to find reasons for hope. But when the cycles of the natural world continue to do their job, despite all the stress on the biome, I allow myself to be thrilled at their ancient repetition, and to feel some hope for our future as a species.

About the Author

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s poems have been published widely in print and online journals. His most recent books are “At the Driveway Guitar Sale: Poems on Aging, Memory, Mortality” (Main Street Rag Publishing),”The Heron Could Be Lost” (Finishing Line Press), and “And What Will We Sing?” (Kelsay Books). He podcasts at thirdactpoems.podbean.com and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California.

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