upstate ny robinson
How I Help Heal the Earth from Upstate New York
by Joanne Corey

✔ Install LED lights
✔ Buy solar panels
✔ Drive an electric car
✔ Insulate
✔ Switch on heat pump
✔ Switch off natural gas
✔ Be efficient
✔ Eat less meat
✔ Eat more plants
✔ Grow more plants
✔ Read the science
✔ Educate yourself
✔ Educate others
✔ Vote
✔ Write elected officials
✔ Call elected officials
✔ March
✔ Make noise
✔ Demand action
✔ Boycott climate culprits
✔ Support climate defenders
✔ Assist victims
✔ Honor indigenous peoples
✔ Follow the youth
✔ Keep my head above water
✔ Hope
✔ Breathe

PHOTO: Reflection of fall leaf colors at Barnum Pond at sunrise, Adirondacks, Upstate New York by Diana Robinson (Sept. 22, 2021).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I was heavily involved in the fight against fracking in New York State, which segued more generally into climate activism. My main role has been to write commentary and letters with the occasional opportunity for in-person events. Systemic change is absolutely necessary to heal the world but I also feel personal responsibility in my own use of fossil fuels, so our family has been working over years toward being as fossil-fuel-free as possible. We were thrilled two years ago when we were finally able to disconnect our home from methane. This poem shows some ways to help heal the earth as an individual and as part of a local, national, and global community. It will take billions of us, each doing the work that is theirs to do.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joanne Corey is pleased to contribute to another series with Silver Birch Press. She currently lives in upstate New York, where she participates with the Binghamton Poetry Project, Broome County Arts Council, and Grapevine Group. With the Boiler House Poets Collective, she has completed an (almost) annual residency week at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams since 2015. She invites you to visit her eclectic blog at