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poetry Extinction Crisis

Susan Moser’s poetry addresses the “extinction crisis”—thousands of species disappear forever—as human life goes on in this world.

Extinction Crisis

By Susan C. Moser


in this world

where every day

uncounted friends,

too many to name –

furred, feathered and free –

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offer themselves,

their sounds and gestures,

their gifts known and unknown,

their wild presence,

to our senses.

in this world

where every day

150 species stop singing,

flying, swimming, hunting,

mating, breathing,

and blooming


in this world

where beauty

and blindness

live side by side

as staggering witnesses

to our day-to-day lives.

you need a fluid heart.

you need to learn how

to flow between ecstasy

and grief, between love

and the endangerment of love

so as to go on

and do the one thing

that needs to be done.

to give life

the one chance

it wants for itself:

to go on.

Susanne C. Moser (she/her) is an independent scholar and consultant who works in the US and internationally from a base in western Massachusetts, the unceded ancestral homeland of the Nipmuc and Pocumtuc. A geographer by training (Ph.D. 1997, Clark University), her work over the past 30 years has focused on adaptation to climate change, climate change communication, science-policy interactions, and psycho-social resilience in the face of the traumatic and transformative challenges associated with climate change. She has served on scientific advisory boards for Future Earth, the International Science Council, the US National Research Council and contributed to IPCC and US national climate assessments. Far more recently, she has begun to publicly express her concern for the Earth and its creatures in poetic form.

See also Dear Human at the Edge of Time, edited by Luisa A. Igloria, Aileen Cassinetto and Jeremy Hoffman, Paloma Press.