Betty Roszak
Berkeley, California, United States


“Not knowing, we gave it away.”

Dear Grandchildren:

Having just read Roy Scranton's article "Tourists at the World's End" in the Nation, I took some of his words to tell you my thoughts about what is happening to our planet. The Beaufort Gyre thickening the ice, ice melting into dark water -- the consumer encounters "conquest of nature." Look at what's coming to us.

The will to power knew no bounds, so they held an explorer-themed dance party. We, unwitting agents of our own demise, already gone, one form changing to another: flux, time, change, death, the shift between states. An end and a beginning and another crowd, silver-haired smiling in confusion.

Once you could understand
the roar of the ocean.
You could understand
the tree's patient whispers.
You could understand
the bird's leaping song,
what doors the clouds
and stars opened. Gone now,
all but the desire.
Not knowing, we gave it away.