Boiling in Inertia

Over the past week, there has been a flood of discussion and analysis about the “Encyclical” on global warming and human life by Pope Francis (   Reading these many and varied sentiments, ranging from solidarity to hostility to creativity, I was reminded of a poem recently written by a friend of mine, Larry LaVerdure.


Boiling in Inertia   by: Larry LaVerdure

Between home and the horizon

present needs trump the far off future.

Between the status quo and the

reformer’s vision is a frozen river that

feigns stillness.


Along the continuum from stillness to

motion, there is a drum that beats out the

rhythm of a lost dance, a hidden

doorway into silent summer days where

the sun and shadows play with geometry

on the lawn by the gate;


where a buzzing multitude of insects

cast a spell of an indolent stupor, thick

like honey, like sap on ancient bark that

has collected a menagerie of detritus as

it cascades down the centuries with its

mementos dizzy from the descent into



We are stuck in a sepia colored

photograph; like a bug trapped in amber

our dying struggle preserved for all the

puzzled future to gawk at…


Who were these people who did not see

the slow emergency overtake them?

In their moment of peril why were they

unconcerned? What siren song paralyzed

them as they succumbed to the notion

of boiling all their children in inertia?


As it turns out size and numbers matter.

As it turns out everything is connected in

a web of interdependence. We are linked

to each other; living and dying together.

We must see that or all is lost!


Desperately scientist scour the heavens

for a new planet hoping that going there

will be easier than staying here as the

Earth wears out like a garment and fools

insist there are no limits.


Listen the future sings a song of dancing

children, yours and mine. They clamor

over fields ripe with strange fruits: they

share their solar harvest, balancing their

needs with the world’s. Windmills spin

on the horizon. Everywhere there are

gardens and bicycles and fewer but

calmer, happier faces.


A drum is calling out a bouncing beat

and children play amid high heaps

of history-laden detritus that cascades

down the centuries beside us through the

secret door you, their ancient forebears,

found amid the shadows on silent

summer days as the sun and shadows

played upon the ground.


Between the horizon and home there is a

balancing point called kindness.

Between the reformer’s dream and the

status quo there is a time to sow the

harvest while a smaller river of children

flows endlessly into their tomorrows.