Elegy for a Dying Earth By Vijaya Sundaram

Elegy for a Dying Earth

I fear the earth has come to reap what we have sown
In haste, we sowed the breeze, and reaped this hateful wind
And through this storm, we’ll miss those things we loved so well
The rain, the snow, the flowers, this land– for we have sinned.

Not sins against a God, or gods, or goddesses
But sins against the likes of us, of you and me,
Against our children full of confusion and hurt
To whom we give our ravaged earth, and dying seas.

I’ll miss the scent of rain on dusty earth, the scent
Of budding rose, and jasmine sweet, and marigold.
We’ll see the ponds go dry in summer months, and geese
That leave in droves, will seek new lands, and mourn the old.

Now, storms and hurricanes ravage our broken lands
And dolphins strand themselves, and turtles gasp, and more —
Asphyxiated fish that choke in netted seas
Lie dead and blind upon our broken, littered shores.

I mourn them all, the birds, and animals, and plants
I mourn us all, so smug, so proud, so full of greed
With eyes of death, he chokes our breath– that demon, Wealth;
And laughs at us, although we cry; for mercy, plead.

What hope have we, who heed his lusty, tempting call?
What chance this earth against that mighty money-song?
If we but stop and turn things round (turn off the lights!)
We might yet live, and save what’s right, avert what’s wrong.

So, close your eyes, and step outside, while life yet thrives
And taste the beauty of this fragile Earth, who gives
Such wealth, her fruit and flowers, and these, our forests wild,
So fragrant, fresh and sweet, in places that still live.

By Vijaya Sundaram


A native of India, Vijaya Sundaram has lived in the Boston, Massachusetts, area for the past 25 years. She is a singer-song-writer, guitarist, poet and writer who spent seventeen years as an 8th Grade English teacher at a local public school.  Only recently feeling the urge to publish, she’s been sending out her work to various literary magazines. Vijaya has been published in literary magazines Calliope and The Phoenix Rising Review. You can read more of Vijaya’s work on her blog, StrangeLander2015.

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