What if?

It’s dark.
Or at least the sun has long slipped past the horizon,
journeying on to light lands further west.
But here in the city’s night, it is still bright, and
a bird is singing. Confused perhaps
by the illumination of the street lights.
Or is it his plaintive plea to
“Turn the darn lights off,
I’m trying to sleep.”?

The human engineered world is certainly not kind
to those of the non-human persuasion.
I recall reading about the fungal networks
that link trees in a forest.
So that a forest is more than isolated trees
It is a community, communicating and sharing.
Our street trees then –
stranded between bars of concrete –
are like orphans,
deprived of their forest family.

So as I walk past I offer a silent apology
to the trees lining the footpath,
and to that singing bird
for what we so thoughtlessly enforce
on those without a human voice.

Still, despite our inhospitable terrain
the bird is here,
the trees are putting forth there spring attire
and somewhere beyond these bright, bright lights of neon
the innumerable stars swirl in patterns
that have long been plotted by human beings
as a way to read the seasons.

And this Earth so troubled, in so much pain,
still heaves with life in forms
as multitudinous as those stars.
And in this desire of life for life
lies the hope for our one Earth home.
So thanks to the bird that sings,
the trees that find a way to survive
around concrete and through electricity wires.
Showing us the will of life to exist.

If we showed just a little kindness and respect
to the more-than-human world,
imagine how they could flourish.

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