This poem was inspired by the work of Mike Nickerson, author of Life, Money and Illusion, well-being activist and founder of The Sustainability Project / 7th Generation Initiative, an educational, non-profit organization that exists to collect, study, develop and teach ideas, information, technologies and customs that promote green values and lead toward a sustainable future.

What are you afraid to lose?
I choose the future of our human civilization
The realization that all can be lost
Tossed into oblivion by careless decisions
Visions of suffering cloud my mind
Find a way off of this perilous ride
We bide our time and disaster looms closer

Seven thousand generations
Nations of black, white, yellow and red
Dead but not gone without a trace
I face my ancestors and feel connection
Their resurrection is through me
Genetically and culturally, I am of them
Hemmed in by narrowing options

I feel their cries of desperation
Frustration with our steadfast quest
No rest on our march to consume, consume
Doom on the horizon as we spew
Pollution that seeps throughout the biosphere
Dear Earth struggles to provide
But denied of hope so many are

What are you afraid to lose?
I choose the future of our human civilization
The accumulation, we are, of biological wonders
Genetic blunders, those fortunate flaws
That caused our creation over years in the millions and millions
Now 7 billion and more of us crowd our precious jewel
Needing fuel, cheap and plentiful, to sustain our lives

The ride picks up speed and we head for the drop
Stop, please, stop – I want to get off
A soft landing instead of a monumental crash
That will trash our species, a heap in the dust
We must, I plead, find a way off this train
Plain truth is staring us full in the face
Our race to consume is destroying this place

The time has come to act our age
In a stage of maturity, responsible and wise
The prize of our efforts: hope for our kind
Blind no more to the needs of all people
We pull together in commonality
The frailty of our well being is no longer an illusion
Confusion dissolves in the face of conviction

What course of action do you choose?
I’m a fuse to ignite the transformation
Seven generations to come need my resolve
To solve the challenges we now perceive
Relieve the forces of climate disaster
That faster and faster are chasing after
All that we seek to save