Authors for #ClimateVisionaries project

Dorothea Lasky on our Climate in Crisis

A Poem for the #ClimateVisionaries Artists' Project for Greenpeace

by Dorothea Lasky

What’s the difference between the precious And saving the ephemeral

Dorothea Lasky, Poet and contributor to our #ClimateVisionaries Artists' Series

The Power Tree


Be one with the future, is what they said to me

So I sat under a tree


I couldn’t see past the mountain

Which hung to the side of it


If I could I’d see all the lilacs and prunes

Souping under the weight of temperature


If I could see past the sky

I’d know the planets were whispering


The tree itself was purple and grey

And very bright chartreuse in the thick of it


An eternal song of tree

That gave me a strength, unparalleled


I’d been here before it said, in my youth

Not even youth I was very young


Its power was nothing then

But lightning and the afternoon, the little lemons


My power was the same though

Except quicker


What’s the difference between the precious

And saving the ephemeral


Another trillion years we will wait again

The power tree knew all of this, and waited


As we begin this critical new year in the fight against climate change, Greenpeace is giving over space on our channels to authors and artists working within the climate crisis. Acclaimed author Lauren Groff prompted artists and thinkers to write essays and art about climate change for us, and so every day this month we’ll have a new piece from that project that addresses, in some form, what it means to create in the midst of this crisis. The forces fueling climate change have the most powerful networks in history pumping out their devastating propaganda at unimaginable scale. It’s going to take everything we have from all of us – imagination equal to the task – to create the climate we’ll need to stop the crisis.

We need these voices and these visions, but they won’t be enough. We need you, too. We encourage you to check back on the Climate Visionaries Artists’ Project every day to see what’s new, and to join the conversation by sharing your work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and tagging it #ClimateVisionaries.

Dorothea Lasky

By Dorothea Lasky

Dorothea Lasky is the author of six books of poetry and prose, most recently Animal (Wave Books). She currently is an Associate Professor of Poetry at Columbia University School of the Arts and lives in New York City.

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