In the midst of all the shouted lies that fog our public life these days, there is an unassailable fact, an “inconvenient truth.” The planet is heating up at an unprecedented rate. This is the third straight year of record-breaking heat.

It is the challenge that will not go away, the asteroid in our path, the fact that dwarfs all others. We quake between denial and despair, while scientists, engineers, and visionaries in all walks of life struggle with this fact.

In the face of it we must hold on to “yet.” As Martin Luther, when assailed by the demons that plagued his soul, would struggle to proclaim, “Trotzdem!” — Nevertheless!, so we must find that word anew as we struggle to find our way in this transformed world. Here’s how that word came to me this week.

O God,

you brought forth

so patiently

this world

over four billion

circlings of the sun

so carefully

this beautiful world.

And we,

         longing for embrace

         have raped it

         for our pleasure

         and our power.

Now it’s burning

       like a red hot coal,

nowhere to walk

nowhere to swim.

The sky is sweating down on us

        who dwell upon

        its feverish skin.


and yet

even now

the shimmering swallowtail

sucks the nectar

from each blossom

in our garden

at the lowering sun

preparing for

the metamorphosis to come.

 * * *

Round wood bowl made from Cherry wood

4 thoughts on “Yet”

  1. I’m so glad to hear this little poem found a liturgical home! Blessings for all of us on our journey.

  2. Poetry will often do it better than prose. Your poem will find a place in our liturgy of the feast of St. Francis on Oct. 4, as we celebrate Francis’ embrace of nature. Ken Smits

  3. Enjoyed this poem, Bill. “And yet…” is often a sentiment of mine. Life is full of sustaining paradox….

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