A meditation on climate change, fatherhood, and humanity.

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It’s always easier to tear down the highest wall,
To take the clay from under the supports,
Ripping apart souls who have worked their entire lives
Like cotton from a teddy bear,
Counting everything as nothing.

In tides of great pain and of Great War,
The stars still shine brightest,
Hanging in the heavens like icicles along the rafters,
Like rain clinging to thin leaf about bare branch.

When mountains tremble by the sight of man,
We have gone too far.
When explosions can be heard full-circle around the world,
We must ask ourselves: why do we wish to instill fear?

Oceans exhale with clarity.
Myself eludes itself,
Deep with chilling disparity.
I’ve yet to prove to that I am human.
My absence overwhelms my life.

Sweet gale of the Redwood forests,
Tranquil eyes of the auburn hawks in the sky,
Sincere Pine trees of the North,
Let injustice force you to come forth.

There is always a good fight to be fought.
Blood, if we possess it, will always be shed for the necessary.
I’ve made amends with that.
Trust and respect are the only cures
For man’s need for barbarity.

Here I take two steps forward
And ten steps back.
Cracking open my perception of time and history.
Allowing my soul and all souls before me
To join and see
That time is infinite,
With or without us.
That we, in life, hold the power
Of our continuation.


One morning, a sage took his son for a walk.
The sun was high in the sky
While birds soared below the clouds.
The sage looked down on his son
Proud to have brought life upon the land.

He imagined himself a tree;
His son an acorn.
He imagined his son as pollen
And destiny being the bee
Who would one day carry him away
To a place that would be his son’s future.
He then imagined that all things in this world
Are so desperately similar
That to destroy anything or anyone
Would be destroying an essential part of oneself.

The river runs like our blood does.
The earth rumbles much like our stomachs.
A volcano explodes much like our hearts do in love
And our bodies turn to dust
Like the ash from a tree enflamed turned to embers.

We are:
Like the flower,
Like the rock,
Like the whale washed up on the beach,
Like firsts lights reach.

The sage and his son
Sat upon the edge of the mountain
And observed mad spinning life.

The sage with his son
Thought not about God,
Thought not about Mother Nature,
Thought not about man’s need for conjuring a reason,
The sage with his son simply sat and watched.

As the sun dropped behind the end of the World,
He imagined himself a clam
And his son
A shining pearl.

Mitchell Duran is a freelance writer. He earned a Master’s in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University in 2019. Find more work at Mitchellduran.com

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