The Luxury of Fearlessness
by Lara Dolphin

If your Nerve, deny you—Go above your Nerve
                                             —Emily Dickinson

The Earth cannot wait until I am unafraid,
until I am ready to speak.

I was never meant to last.

I will sing the songs of the forests,
the wilderness and the seas.
I will turn poems into praxis.

How can we make the world whole
if we are invisible?
Do you see me?
I am already broken.

PAINTING: The Golden Bowl by Frank Cadogan Cowper (1956).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Inspired by the wisdom of Audre Lorde’s posthumous collection Your Silence Will Not Protect You, and the teachings of Thai Buddhist monk Ajahn Chah, this poem aims to spur poets to bravely advocate on behalf of the environment. If you’d like to join a team of writers and environmentalists turning language into action, consider joining Writing the Land.


Lara Dolphin is an attorney, nurse, wife, and mom of four amazing kids; she is exhausted and elated most of the time. Find her on Facebook.