Wind rustles the leaves,
frogs and birds call,
but a sharp engine cuts
across the background –
a plane in the distance filled
with people on their way
to somewhere.

The sounds
of man invade even the
sacred space of the woods.
There is no escape –
no places left untouched
by our destructive greed.

I have tracked the bird calls
and frog eggs, tree buds and
flower blooms for seasons
upon seasons; my life
mapped out in careful
phenological notes,
nature a concept far more
entwined with our fate
than the economy
will ever admit.

The past few years
have destroyed the
careful pattern
unfolding in my
records to map
out the sudden
and erratic
changes in our climate,
building more evidence
for concern
each passing day.

I walk the forests,
as I always have,
past clear cuts
now filled with maples
and sycamores,
pawpaws and sassafras,
absent the giants of
old growth sacrificed
in the name of dollars.

We leave scars across
the land for progress
and money,
burning out what’s
not valuable to the
capitalist eye
and harvesting
the rest for profit.

We leave litter cascading
over protected areas where
we go to “soak in nature,”
cameras snapping perfect
moments for followers online,
and we cry out in horror
because the world
collapses around us,
and we just
can’t figure out why.