Ten Thousand Feet Up

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Ten thousand feet up
Walking along an alpine stream
warm to touch.
Heaviness like a blanket,
no relief the further I walk.

Trees weep with open sores
My spirits sink.
Witnessing the suffering of the forest of spruce,
lodgepole pines,
The sorrow of an entire ecosystem
failing.

Bright growth along the stream,
life would go on.
The warming days threaten fish
but not all the flowers.
These trees may disappear, someday,
but others may take their place.

And for now, in my lifetime,
to see all the beauty that once was
now fading
now collapsing
for what one species has done
to alter the courses of others.

In this time of dying
the shadows cast are growing longer
still beauty, still standing, and
still, the time comes.

My eyes search for one who isn’t afflicted
and am left only to hope, one is out there,
somehow resilient
and wish for evolution and adaptation
to speed up, just a little
for not losing
everything.

Leaving this place,
the marmots rumble along the road
like fat squirrels, living their lives
by the meadow.
I wonder if they know.

Stands of white aspen,
leaves fluttering in a wave goodbye,
cheery and so welcome, leaves so green
next to stands of white bark, stripped and dry.

There is great beauty here, yet.

— © Mardi Storm August 14, 2018 after visiting Grand Mesa, CO

 



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