Poems: "The Earth is Us" and "gifts"

Mary Ann Iyer and Cai Quirk
Leaf on stone by Kathy Barnhart

The Earth is Us
By Mary Ann Iyer

The cells of this earth
are our cells.
The wind that blows
across its surface is
the self same air that
we breathe.

Our life blood courses
through our veins
with no less certainty than
the rivers cascading to
the sea.

And what are we to make
of this?

Whether
we are of the earth
is not the question.
Rather, we should ask
what part we play.

Our capacity to choose
sets us apart from
the other beings here.

Choice implies
responsibility.

Not in the self
serving way
of subduing the earth,
Rather, we must make decisions
firmly based in
the sustenance of life.

Not just longevity
for our selves,
but for the ongoing life
of the planet, herself.

The fouling of her air
is the pollution of
our lungs.
Her filthy waters
will percolate through
the tributaries of
our veins
soon enough.

To fundamentally alter
the very DNA of her structures
is to mess with
our own.

How far will we go in
the name of “progress”
before we
stop
to appreciate what is
here?

Will we destroy
it All
with the “knowledge” we have
before we realize
that the earth
is us?

Mary Ann (MD) is a physician who leads workshops and provides individual counseling, facilitating individuals’ choices for well-being within the rich contextual interplay of their lives.

gifts
By Cai Quirk

when the earth is in pain.
from so many
taking. taking. taking.
without a backward glance.
what can I give?

the caress of a fern leaf,
water to a parched garden,
joy at the sight of the moon.

food scraps to compost,
compost to earth,
renew, refresh, relive.

notice the dew,
give thanks to the stars,
jewels in the sky
bringing jewels to
the ground.

go to the garden
just to be with the plants,
in thanks for their gifts
yesterday and tomorrow.
reciprocity with the land;
give give give and a little take,
walking lightly on the earth.

what can we give
she who has so much?
humans have gifts of gratitude,
love, fixing past wrongs,
and so much more
if we only imagine.

Cai (Leo) is an artist from Ithaca, New York and is co-clerk of NY Yearly Meetings’ Witness Coordinating Committee.