Earth After Us

Noelle Natividad, Staff Writer

When you roamed,
You were beings of rusted determination,
Of broken things and painted faces.
I was your well-spring.

For ages,
I watched my dominion from above,
An eagle eye upon the lands that I outstretched in hope that you would listen.
I hoped,
That you would see the sweeping majesty of the cliffside,
Search out the regal fluidity of the stream,
Embrace the shining beauty of the sapling among the greatest of these.

I dreamed of serenity,
Unhindered coexistence.

Before there was man,
There was insurmountable beauty.
And I suppose if I had any one wish,
I wish that all of your children might have seen what had been,
My masterpiece of endless wonder.

All creatures cowered before the raging waves,
All creatures rejoiced in the sticky sweet air of the southern lands,
All people lived in the golden age of human existence,
When man valued the earth beneath his feet,
The air he breathed and all that was given him.

There was a time,
And there will be again,
When you look beyond your time-constricted skins,
When you embrace the wild heart of nature as a piece of yourself,
The instinct of your forefathers will call you to kneel in the sand,
Longing only for reconciliation with the breeze.

The world without its scars has become a shell of what you left,
And for the first time,
I breathe,
And the world holds its breath.
They listen for my voice,
The kind soul of the earth.

And their replies trail back like flooded relief on the wind,
I hear the cats of the jungle,
The rocks of the mountain,
And the fish of the sea.

And the disheartening piece of their calls,
Is that they don’t recognize any longer,
Our world without its people.

Graphic courtesy of CASSIDY CHHAY