Ideas to Postpone the End of the World

Ideas to Postpone the End of the World

This poem is part of an ecopoetry project by San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto made possible by The Academy of American Poets with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation



“The Earth is speaking, she tells us that we have no more time.”
It sounds like cars going by, like a cat chasing her feathered toy, 
a dog barking, a murder of crows cawing, a buzzing. 
“It's time to look at the bigger picture.”
See the overcast sky and the still unlighted tree, 
watch the bird feeder that lies a few feet from the cat perch.					

“We cannot eat coal, we cannot drink oil.”

But we can feel the curved edge of the table, 
a pen’s pointed nib, how light the empty mug.

“We are not drowning, we are fighting.”	

We can smell the fresh laundry 
but the apple doesn’t smell like an apple at all		
“We have ideas to postpone the end of the world.”

We’ve swallowed the bitter fruit.		
Part cento, part five senses poem, “Ideas to Postpone the End of the World” developed from an ecopoetry workshop led by San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto. The title was inspired by a speech by youth activist Txai Surui during the COP26 Summit. Found lines were quoted from the article, “Generation Climate: How the crisis made young people the adults in the room,” by Rachel Ramirez (CNN, November 5, 2021).

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