The Last Stand #poetry #Earthweal

There’s virgin forest in Slovenia:
Kočevje, Lopata
in the former
brown bears still tread
without fear.

It’s a green and pleasant land
protected, revered
clothed in ancient forest
and elsewhere new growth abounds
on former farmland.

In England, where I come from
a once sylvan paradise
has been given over
to commerce, housing,

here is everything a human needs
except the very air
she needs to breathe.
When I walked in a stand 
of virgin woodland

I barely recognised it
for what it was
yet I knew that it was
true paradise:
Troutdale Woods

oak and ash and beach
cloaking the hillside
freeing this child 
of neoliberalism 
back into a true child.

Meanwhile in Fairy Creek
brave defenders of nature
take the last stand
to defend their last stand 
of native woodland. 

We should not only be grateful
for their efforts, but support them
with their flags, banners and tents
they are making a last stand
so we may fill

our lungs with precious oxygen
a while longer
who knows
when humanity will take
its final stand?

If we fail to stand united
then I fear
it won’t be long.
There are those who would not care
to see us stand

but fall down upon them
in masses of peaceful hands
around the world:
take the last stand all for one
at once, for all.

© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved

Written for Earthweal

Sherry is holding this week’s challenge, and she has alerted us to the plight of Vancouver’s last remaining virgin woodland, Fairy Creek, where forest defenders fight to keep logging company Teal Jones off this land:

‘“Worth More Standing” say their signs. “No Jobs on a Dead Planet.” 

Sherry has herself been a forest defender in Clayoquot Sound in 1993. She and other protesters forced the logging companies out, and the area was declared a biosphere, but the threat has not yet been removed. Sherry continues her work raising her voice in protest through her poetry, and it is the least I can do to join in and add my voice.

Submissions for The Anthropocene Hymnal remain open until 31.03.21. Please take a look if you would like to add your voice to these songs of protest.

40 thoughts on “The Last Stand #poetry #Earthweal

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  1. A tree hug for all those that defend the virgin forest
    Our ingenious trees produce the air we breathe
    ….Your poem is purely superb Ingrid…😀

  2. I love the idea of those masses of peaceful hands across the world. Your poem is wonderful. I enjoyed checking out the links. Slovenia forest is BEAUTIFUL……..the article about Fairy Creek is a good one. It sounds like the judge may be on the side of the forest. I do hope so. I cant remember if I sent you a poem for the hymnal or not. I vaguely recall that I may have. If not, please let me know. Smiles. So glad you wrote to my prompt.

    1. Thank you Sherry, you gave me the idea of the joined hands. Was is a UNICEF logo once? I hope the judge will be on the side of the forest too. Don’t worry I received your submission and there are some more of your poems I would like to use. I will be in touch about this 🙏

  3. I’ve enjoyed reading about trees and forests from other parts of the world and would love to know more about Slovenia – I didn’t know there were still bears! It’s good to know that forests are protected and revred, wherever they are. These lines made me smile:
    ‘oak and ash and beech
    cloaking the hillside
    freeing this child
    of neoliberalism
    back into a true child.’

  4. Here in Wisconsin if there is tree harvesting most often the forest is replanted. Most trees, decades ago, were cleared for framing. For the most part we have balance. Loved the ancient feel to your poem.

  5. Slovenia looks and sounds heavenly. What a dream to visit someday. Although the lands from my childhood are quite different from your own, I can relate to the longing for their return. Thank you for your passionate writing and your ongoing poetic expression of our most precious planet.

      1. Yes, I am a native. More common now, less so for my generation and older. I have lived in a few other states, but Arizona is home base. 🌞

      2. I love to see monument valley, which I think was in Forrest Gump? And I like the film Raising Arizona! I believe lots of movies have been filmed there…

      3. Cool! Yes, two great movies. Many westerns too. Although don’t ask me for specific titles… I would have to research those. 😆 I hope you get to visit someday. 🌵 🌞

  6. This is so beautifully and heartfelt written Ingrid!
    Such an important piece to raise awareness of our beautiful mother nature and forrests in general. ! Great lines! “take the last stand
    to defend their last stand”

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