Polluted air is seen over Los Angeles during a streak in ozone pollution in Southern California that began on June 19, 2018 and didn’t relent until Sept. 14, 2018. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
YULA Girls High School

Poem: Painting the Earth

Painting the Earth

First, there was nothing

and then God said let there be light.

                        or molecules came together 

                           to form stars above.

So there was light on the earth,

and there was also something unsaid

only looked at in the darkest of dreams

where there are no stoves or cigarettes

or any relics reeking of humanity. 

Then there was hunting, war, and lust

by the humans

God created from dust

               or who evolved from years before,

and they coated the Earth in their own bloodshed;

cut down the forests that lined light-brushed lakeshore

with their crude tools. 

Humans threw empty shadows into dirt 

and tainted soil with red blood of soldiers.

God created color for the earth

                   humans saturated earth with careless destruction. 

They left black where the shadow of death knelt

and swam in white rivers

to cleanse from bad omens. 

Now, their Earth is painted dark blue

as ocean rises to kneecaps.

     And scientists say it’s our fault,

because God didn’t build factories 

or breathe ghastly gasses into Earth’s air.

He only held his lips clasped, and watched

as people took Earth’s vivid canvas

and painted it a desolate brown.