Silent Summer

(For M.R.C. and dedicated to Rachel Carson)


The noise of our suburbia is driving me insane,

Every kind of motor is cutting through my brain,

Everybody’s mowing, blowing, and tending to a lawn,

Instead of stopping to enjoy the leaves before they’re gone.

Why they’re spraying toxic pesticides,

Obsessed with the luxury of an artificial green,

Unaware of all the living things, many so small they lie unseen.

In our backyards, in our fields, and in our seas,

We are met with ever more scarcity

And each day people across the world face ever more adversity,

And no concern for our only ally; Biological diversity!

Are we impacting our health? Well, I can tell you that for sure,

Here we are creating cancer to make money on a cure.

Yeah they all seem to want to game, lame, and shame their little wild,

But I don’t want to tame you,

Nature’s only child.


So let the leaves fall where they may

And where they will remain in May,

And let the summer season claim this Indian day

On which I will plant a pollinator garden

In the fertile soil of your composted chest,

And we will watch it grow to the North, South, East, and West,

And among the towering flowers, hummingbirds and bees,

In the sacred circle of yellow, red, black, and white,

Where we will watch our autumn day become a winter night.


But before I take the longest walk, let me please just ask of you,

Can we put an end to our pollution and pesticide use too?

Can we do it for our children? They are counting on us too.

Can we lock every gas-powered leaf blower into every last shed,

And start to pay attention to what we are being fed!

And above all, can we join together to make peace our priority,

It’s trumpets heard over the blah blah blah of military authority.


I will ask again, this time for the men with belching toys

I implore you, over the smell of burning oil and boastfully bellowing noise,

Can we be silent for a moment?…

And can we listen to the calling of cicadas, frogs, and little birds,

For there is much ancient wisdom 

In their softly spoken words.