One first becomes aware of the silence.
No bird calls or creature rustlings.
Acid scent of burnt peat smothers
the clean, moist air of the rain forest.
The Amazon is burning.
The lungs of the planet beg for relief.
The protectors of the forest have been
overwhelmed by greedy farmers
who, encouraged by the government,
set fires to clear the land.
Money blinds them to the truth of
the murder they are committing…
murder of plants that may hold the key
to cures for disease and suffering;
murder of wildlife that cannot escape;
murder of native peoples’ homeland.
Thousands of acres are imperiled.
Hundreds of miles away, cities are
plunged into darkness by stifling smoke
which can be seen from space.
This destruction of one of the most
diverse habitats on the planet, provider
of 20% of the world’s oxygen,
goes largely unchecked and unlamented.
Apathy is killing the rain forest.
All humanity will pay the price.
SHARON CANFIELD DORSEY is an award-winning poet and author of four children’s books, Herman the Hermit Crab and the Mystery of the Big, Black, Shiny Thing; Revolt of the Teacups; Buddy and Ballerina Save the Library; Buddy the Bookworm Rescues the Doomed Books; a memoir, Daughter of the Mountains; and two books of poetry, Tapestry and Captured Moments. WATCH FOR A BEAUTIFUL, NEW TRAVEL BOOK, OUT IN THE FALL OF 2019.