opening ourselves with the hinging daylight hours

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Earth Lament

From the Shalom Center



an ecological adaptation to the book of lamentations:

1. Eichah / Lament for the Earth: Tisha B’Av 2010
By Tamara Cohen

(Barbara Bick Memorial Fellow of The Shalom Center)

Gone from Appalachia -
her mountaintop glory;
mined by Massey Energy
without compassion.
Children sick from air and water,
stumble weak before King Coal.

All that was precious in the days of our youth,
Earth recalls in woe and sorrow.

Her creatures die with none to help them,
at the hands of Exxon, now BP.
World leaders shrug
and look on helpless.

We have sinned greatly,
and so are ailing.
Our people who respected life,
have come to defile it.
We have stripped Earth naked,
she shrinks back.

Oily waves slap the sand like a soiled hem;
we were heedless of the cost of our appetite.
We have sunk appallingly, there is no comfort.
See, Breath of Life, this misery; how our avarice jeers!

Greed has laid hands on all dear to us.
Your sanctuary plundered by multinationals
full of contempt for Your holy community.

The Earth’s poor cry out as they search for nourishment;
indigenous communities trade resources for food,
to keep themselves alive.

>>> Hashivenu Yahh elecha v’nashuva, hadesh yameinu kekedem.
>>> Let us return, help us repent,
>>> You Who Breathe all Life;
>>> Breathe us, Breathe us,
>>> Breathe us into a new path--


2. Between the Fires
(By Rabbi Arthur Waskow)

We are the generation that stands
between the fires:
Behind us the flame and smoke
that rose from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima
And from the burning of the Amazon forest;
Before us the nightmare of a Flood of Fire,
The flame and smoke that could consume all earth.

It is our task to make from fire not an all-consuming blaze
But the light in which we see each other fully.
All of us different, All of us bearing
One Spark.

[Light a candle, or a torch, or clump of sage]

We light these fires to see more clearly
That the earth and all who live as part of it
Are not for burning.
We light these fires to see more clearly
The rainbow in our many-colored faces.
Blessed is the One within the many.
Blessed are the many who make One.

>>> Here! I will send you
>>> Elijah the Prophet
>>> Before the coming
>>> of the great and terrible day
>>> of YAHH, the Breath of Life.
>>> And he shall turn the heart
>>> Of parents to children
>>> And the heart of children to their parents.
>>> Lest I come and
>>> Smite the earth
>>> With utter destruction.
>>> (From Malachi 3)

Here! we ourselves are coming
Before the great and terrible day
of smiting Earth —
For we shall turn the hearts
Of parents to children
And the hearts of children to their parents
So that this day of smiting
Does not fall upon us.


environmental destruction timeline (1960-2004)


women in the environmental movement bios



lament prayers

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