Eleven-year-old McKenna Marino will be in attendance this weekend at Northern Arizona University's Climate Summit and Youth Town Hall. She took part in September’s global climate march and is confused about why humanity is not working together to solve the climate crisis when there are so many easy and effective ways to reduce pollution, carbon emissions and single-use plastics. In this week’s Poetry Friday segment, McKenna shares her original poem, Sunrise. She says it’s a metaphor for a new era of thinking about our impact on the planet.
MM: I am confused at why people are still doing something that we know the consequences. We know what is happening. We can’t deny it. And there’s some action, but there’s not enough. I feel like we need to work harder and we need to take more action.
When we go to the grocery stores we always make sure that we bring reusable bags instead of taking the single use plastic bags that they offer at check-out. At home, we collect our shower water when the water is heating up – in a bucket – and then, when it’s full, we use it to flush the toilet sometimes. And not every morning, but most mornings when we can, we bike to school and bike around town, or we take the bus.
Ever since I was a toddler, we’ve been hiking in the woods, and biking, and doing all sorts of things in the woods, and it really makes me love this earth and it makes me really sad to see people hurting it.
Before writing my poem Sunrise, I looked at many poems that others had written, and I loved them all, but none of them seemed quite right. So I decided to write my own. I knew that I wanted to write about something having to do with the sunrise. I think the sunrise – and sunset, for that matter – are both really beautiful things. It’s just really beautiful to look up and see the clouds. Also – I didn’t think of this until I was done writing it – but it also has a metaphor kind of like a new era of taking better care of the earth and lightening our footprint and our impact on the earth.
So, today I’m going to read my poem called Sunrise:
golds, pinks, and oranges,
smog, smoke, and dust,
this land, once beautiful,
ill treated, abused,
together we will solve,
uniting our voices, marching together,
towards a goal one and the same,
each one of us a tiny ray of hope,
together we shine bright,
reaching through the dark
to the light.
Poetry Friday is produced by KNAU's Gillian Ferris. If you have an idea for a segment, drop her an email at Gillian.Ferris@nau.edu.