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Oftentimes — with such a demand in staying updated and in tune with social justice, humanitarian issues, environmental issues and wishing to help the world in every way possible — it can feel very draining not knowing if you’ll ever be doing enough, speaking out enough, being kind enough and wondering if you’re really doing everything you can. Even if I’m doing as much as I can to lend my voice to others, use my voice, speak out, fund raise, raise awareness, protest and stand up for what I believe in, I still wonder if it’ll be enough. These thoughts are human, they’re natural and they’re what inspired this poem based off of environmental justice and injustice, hope(full)less.

It hits me.

It creeps into my mind as I’m

At my most vulnerable.

As I wonder if I’m good enough,

Strong enough,

If I’ll ever help enough.


The snow that may turn into sand

As polar bears walk barefoot

Across our ignorance.

The trees that may shrivel.

The hungry stomachs, as children wonder why

They haven’t eaten in three days,

But mom hasn’t eaten in five.


It hits me,

As I bundle up under the covers,

Comfort in the discovered and


That I sit in a place of such


Not having to face all of these issues






With a gentle gaze,

I glance up at the morning sky.

Tall, shadowy figures sway

In the breeze

Dancing to the 6 a.m. quiet.

Clouds drift by

Just as the thoughts behind

My evergreen eyes.


Letting them glide,

I dwell upon a single idea —

Sifting through my mind

As uncomfortable as

Sticking to a chair on

A scalding summer day.


Realizing the 135 species,


Will never look up

To see that luminous open air

That my gaze so feverently

Rests upon.


Along with the 30,000 acres of

Tropical green


Arrested from their roots

Every 24 hours.


Just enough time for my heart

to beat 115,000 times,

Sending life through my limbs,


Through my mind — evaporating,


And lingering with each




Racking my brain,


How many more will there be

Until we realize

We’re acting in vain?


Why are we only asked to

Switch off our lightbulbs

If the light at the end

Of this tunnel of




Is still never bright enough?


Our planet is not collapsing,

Our idea of importance is.

Because no matter how much

We try to feed the hungry, their mouths

Will still be empty if

Our knowledge of agricultural


Is still starving.


I wonder if we’ll ever truly find.


Our compassion,

Our empathy.



Just as another cloud passes by,

I sigh.

I let go,

I move forward.


I breathe in more hope,

More generosity,

More motivation,

To change what I may,

And change what I will.

And never stop engaging in what I can’t.


Because with every breath,

Every heartbeat,

There is a decision made:


Stay silent

Be complacent


Speak out

Adjacent to action,


The power to change.

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