My Vow: (An Environmentalist’s Anthem)

As long as humans have voices
the song somewhere of the butterfly
shall float its tunes

As long as poets have throats
the story somewhere of the chestnut
shall find its airing

Of the insect, a tongue will speak
in flickers that repeat its movement,
giving birth to flowers of white cactus

Of the bee, of the fly
no sound shall ever die as long as
the poet is dancing

And who else will keep safe
the tree of moths
when the dark brow of production
frowns on forests?

Or the jaundiced eyes of technocrats
lay their useful smiles
against the waterhomes
where damselflies swim?

My lips, committed
to the sacred plant of nature’s allowance,
shall balance its beauty of breath,
shall never cease to blow
for the slanted glance of letting flow
the ones whose safety matters

more than, and ever beyond,
this mere show


(c) J. Celan Smith