The latest in our series of 350 poems and essays to be read aloud at your rallies, or serve as inspiration in these last days of hard work and final preparation.  An early beat, an honest-to-God hippie, and one hell of a fine American poet. We’re very grateful to Diane di Prima for this poem:

by Diane di Prima

impenetrable as the air we will be
left with, soon the air will be
impenetrable as the ground. The basis or
foundation call it. we think what’s under
our feet dependable. we are too eager
to try it, stand on it, "stand
up, stand up for your rights" we
sang not long ago. now the ground
melts and shifts, it won’t support us,
support our weight. watch earth become mud
spherical mudslide slithering over magma core, see
the green ice flicker, shrink and disappear.
Wish you were here. I do so
wish dodo bird was here, wish orangutan
red man of alchemy was here to
stay, like our love, wish the taiga,
the Siberian tiger, Great Barrier reef and
all the rest of it would hang
around, like those brave desperate warriors of
New Zealand. What is to be done?
as Lenin asked. Image and body can
wake us up—as no number will.
Pitch in. Read poems at rallies. Stand
guard over plover eggs at Daytona Beach.
I keep thinking of sunrise over Greenland
from a plane. I keep thinking of
the aurora borealis. how it fits the
palm of my hand like the spotted
owl. Blue butterflies on San Bruno Mountain.
Anything at all is reason enough to
act. Eyes of your grandchild or some
ten-year-old you never met in the ghetto.
No difference. No way to know either
of them. No way to turn away.
Three hundred and fifty parts per million
of what? We can’t see them, can’t
touch them, don’t have any idea of
what to do with them. They don’t
bare their teeth in my ancient limbic
brain. Or what you call the world’s
information bloodstream. I do know no number
will bring us together, get us moving.
Take home a baby rhino. Undam the
Yellow River. Stop burning rainforests for food.
Dream. Pray to the elements the five
Great Mothers, our universe. Ask more questions.
Build an ice floe for a family
of polar bears. Unplug one day a
week: stay home, tell stories, make love. . .

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