Poems, Prayers and Quotes
Prayer for the World
In the name of Silence, the ground of our being,
The Word through whom the silence speaks
And the Spirit who unsettles and inspires us, we pray:
May the smell of thyme and lavender greet us,
May the catbird call and dart among the leaves and berries,
May the yarrow gleam and the wellspring burble,
Heralding promise in this microcosm of a larger promise
As we come engulfed with sorrow for degradation of our earth,
Crushed by our inherent racism and white privilege,
Broken by the broken bodies we see afar and feel in our arms,
Send us a new resolve and a renewed purpose.
May we act in bold and harmonious ways to mend the web.
May we give thanks for what we can and resolve to change the rest.
May we receive the gifts we need so that we can be gift to others.
May we make a beginning towards wholeness for shattered hearts and yearning earth.
Shower us with fresh dreams and joy and resolve, O Spirit,
That we may shed corrosive fear and embrace your summons.
Grant us light to walk boldly! Amen.
“EarthRise” by Amanda Gorman
Our Purpose in Poetry: Or, Earthrise. Dedicated to Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project.
On Christmas Eve, 1968, astronaut Bill Anders
Snapped a photo of the earth
As Apollo 8 orbited the moon.
Those three guys
To see from their eyes
Our planet looked like an earthrise
A blue orb hovering over the moon’s gray horizon,
with deep oceans and silver skies.
It was our world’s first glance at itself
Our first chance to see a shared reality,
A declared stance and a commonality;
A glimpse into our planet’s mirror,
And as threats drew nearer,
Our own urgency became clearer,
As we realize that we hold nothing dearer
than this floating body we all call home.
That we’re caught in the throes
Of climactic changes some say
Will just go away,
While some simply pray
To survive another day;
For it is the obscure, the oppressed, the poor,
Who when the disaster
Is declared done,
Still suffer more than anyone.
Climate change is the single greatest challenge of our time,
Of this, you’re certainly aware.
It’s saddening, but I cannot spare you
From knowing an inconvenient fact, because
It’s getting the facts straight that gets us to act and not to wait.
So I tell you this not to scare you,
But to prepare you, to dare you
To dream a different reality,
Where despite disparities
We all care to protect this world,
This riddled blue marble, this little true marvel
To muster the verve and the nerve
To see how we can serve
Our planet. You don’t need to be a politician
To make it your mission to conserve, to protect,
To preserve that one and only home
That is ours,
To use your unique power
To give next generations the planet they deserve.
We are demonstrating, creating, advocating
We heed this inconvenient truth, because we need to be anything but lenient
With the future of our youth.
And while this is a training,
in sustaining the future of our planet,
There is no rehearsal. The time is
Because the reversal of harm,
And protection of a future so universal
Should be anything but controversial.
So, earth, pale blue dot
We will fail you not.
Just as we chose to go to the moon
We know it’s never too soon
To choose hope.
We choose to do more than cope
With climate change
We choose to end it—
We refuse to lose.
Together we do this and more
Not because it’s very easy or nice
But because it is necessary,
Because with every dawn we carry
the weight of the fate of this celestial body orbiting a star.
And as heavy as that weight sounded, it doesn’t hold us down,
But it keeps us grounded, steady, ready,
Because an environmental movement of this size
Is simply another form of an earthrise.
To see it, close your eyes.
Visualize that all of us leaders in this room
and outside of these walls or in the halls, all
of us changemakers are in a spacecraft,
Floating like a silver raft
in space, and we see the face of our planet anew.
We relish the view;
We witness its round green and brilliant blue,
Which inspires us to ask deeply, wholly:
What can we do?
Open your eyes.
Know that the future of
this wise planet
Lies right in sight:
Right in all of us. Trust
this earth uprising.
All of us bring light to exciting solutions never tried before
For it is our hope that implores us, at our uncompromising core,
To keep rising up for an earth more than worth fighting for.
“The Wind” by Bernardine Evaristo’s poem here
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can’t see, can’t hear;
Can’t know except in moments
Steadily growing, and in languages
That aren’t always sound but other
Circles of motion.
Like eagle that Sunday morning
Over Salt River. Circled in blue sky
In wind, swept our hearts clean
With sacred wings.
We see you, see ourselves and know
That we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
We pray that it will be done
We are not asked ...to believe in a perfect world.
We are asked to equip ourselves with courage, hope,
and readiness for hard work,
and to cherish large and generous ideas.
- Emily Balch
“The future depends on what you do today.” (Mahatma Gandhi)
“The greatest danger to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”(Robert Swan)
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead)