A Fragile View

Peeking through my window at 32k feet,
the Earth is a majestic carpet
of pale sages and burnt siennas.
Drapes and folds pile together
into towering mounds of rock and ice
or recede into valleys and endless plains
on which I leave no shadow.
Glaciers crest ridges
and cascade into creeks and rivers
that carve the canyon below.
From here, the lakes are pristine
fonts of life in the wilderness.

And yet, from here, the splendor of the earth disappears;
civilization encroaches.
The scars of progress mar the gentle contours
and rugged, haphazard prominence of the Earth.
Harsh geometries:
perfect emerald circles of irrigation
against the dusty desert backdrop,
the parceled lots of ownership,
all monochromatic, each a monoculture,
regimented like a battlefield.

The Earth weeps for her wounds:
the loss of her prairies, her bleached corals,
her alpine meadows, her beloved animals;
she weeps for her scars:
the endless stretch of asphalt and pipelines,
the clear-cut forests, the open-pit mines,
all for the suburban sprawl of lonely plastic palaces,
all meaningless,
against such loss
against such majesty.

How odd a moment to witness,
to see Earth as God sees it,
to marvel at the divine spark in its creation
and to mourn how it has all come for naught.


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