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Why Not Now? by Kit Rackley

There are more grains of sand on this Earth Than stars in our Milky Way Or so they say So while we can dream and gaze above Let’s ground ourselves Feel the earth, hear the ocean sway In our minds, we can dance amongst the heavens But it is here we touch, feel and breathe Where we’re bound to play


And play we should; play we must For that gives us joy in life Joy brings us together The urge to be young at heart in soul, body and mind So let’s heed the youth we have They are here, they are now See them. Hear them. Bring them the shining future they are trying to find


Prospective leaders to transform our world? Yes. No deed done by them is a deed too small As they are leading today Theirs is a Bright Green Future Self-driven, organised by youth Because there “is no Planet-B” They rightly declare each Friday The young and their allies know what’s a stake This is a climate emergency


And to you, young warriors There’s no need to look up to the stars Because they are here They are right next to you They are you With supernova energy You’re an eco-committee which talks, plans and do Declaring resolutely in school assemblies “Be gone, single use plastic! Our time with you is through!”


And you’re doing it in style With art, creativity and skill Fashionably so! COVID? Pfft! You’ll see this out Rocking a school tie mask Catching those airborne bugs mid-flow And looking fierce needn’t cost the earth Patch up and bling those old jeans For Mother Nature’s fashion show


Childsplay This is how it should be A game of how many trees can you plant A race to twenty-five or forty Saplings to be nurtured In fields of shrubs and glorious mud A school need not be contained within walls Break down barriers, connect with nature And it’s play-ground of plenty


From forty trees to forty acres Or for all your effort just one It’s enough Together? What about three-hundred? Farmers, landowners, conservationists Will partner with you on a Brecon Beacon’s bluff Just faith and trust is all it takes Follow in their footsteps, set off a chain reaction And restore nature away from the rough


Get inventing! Put that child’s imagination to use Science, Tech, Engineering and Math A high-tech composter? A solar-powered go-kart? STEM is not just for boys y’know Think that and you’re having a laugh!


See we need more plant-based solutions From veg-ware storage, packaging To eating less meat Try veganism one-day a week Get it on that school menu You’ll be pleasantly surprised How it can be a tasty treat No more sibling rivalry at the dinner table When a hearty meal makes the soul complete


Dear young people You’re the soul of the community and so Become the centre of it too Join, lead, run an event Pick up litter, clean that river Set that example where elders may have failed you Create news and spread the word! So others can follow what you do


Be proud! Be fierce! Hold our generation to account It’s your time we are running foul From those in power Pulling the strings of privilege Demand change and ask Why not now


We can do this. Let’s get started. Why not now.


___________


- Kit Rackley (2020), written for the Youth Climate Summit 2020 based on stories of climate action by Youth Ambassadors - https://geogramblings.com/2020/11/08/why-not-now/


Kit Rackley (they/them) is an ex-high school Geography and Drama teacher who continues to work in the education sector, maintaining a blog for educators. Kit uses creative prose and performances in their teaching, both in sessions for young people and when training teachers, to communicate about environmental and social issues. You can also find Kit at Geogramblings.com and on Twitter and Facebook @geogramblings.

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