Song for Species

A Poem in Honor of Endangered Species Day

By 

© karen kayser from Unsplash

i am the Kaui-o-o bird
singing heartily from treetops
desperately trying to lure a mate
but there are none
i am the only one left
and my heart is broken

i am a school of angel fish
pecking day by day at the coral
looking for signs of life
but there are none
i swim in a sea of skeletons
that was once my coral home

i am a small tired nightingale
i migrate great distances across Africa
into the green plains of Europe
in search of spring shrubbery for food
all i see are rows of wheat and corn
and nowhere suitable to lay my nest

© Eliška Šťastná from Unsplash

i am turtle
my ancestors have swam these seas
for millions of years
but now i lay here on the ocean
tangled in a web of fishing nets
unable to move through water

i am sequoia
my parents lived for three thousand years
but i am young,
i send roots deeper into soil in search of water
but there is none
my bark thin, unable to withstand the fires

i am toad
i live in the moist quagmire of rainforest
now i go long distances between pools
streams i once walked are dry
the canopy above once an immense green
dries before my eyes

© Gábor Hevesi from Pixabay

i am whale, blue, fin back, pilot
i’m known for traveling great distances
now i roam the ocean for krill
and swim farther and farther
in strange waters north and south
moving with a restless hunger

i am gray whale
washed up on the beaches of california
i am disoriented and lost
confused by sonar, shipping
unable now to navigate the song lines
encoded into my dna

i am raven
perched high above sprawling towns
seeing people who have lost their way
i soar into the heavens
and pray the rains will come
cleansing hearts and bring new vision

and i am human
lamenting the species long gone
yet still turning to the wonders still here
so much beauty and yet i grieve
and cherish not to forget
that we protect what we love

Mark Coleman

Mark Coleman

Mark is an inner and outer explorer, who has devotedly studied mindfulness meditation practices for three decades. He is passionate about sharing the power of meditation and has taught mindfulness workshops and meditation retreats in six continents for the past twenty years. Mark is a senior meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and has taught there since 2000. Through his organization Awake in the Wild, he shares his passion for integrating meditation and nature.
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