The Weekly Avocet – #594 April 21st, 2024 Special Earth Day issue

The Weekly Avocet – #594 April 21st, 2024 Special Earth Day issue

The Weekly Avocet – #594

April 21st, 2024

Special Earth Day issue

Earth it is your day

a rebirth of green and kind memories

of all we had forgotten

Vera Haldy-Regier – Hastings, NY – veritaldy88@gmail.comA group of birds on the beach

Description automatically generated with medium confidence

Submitted by Edwina KaderaApril 22 is Earth Day

Earth Day Affirmation

Each day is Earth Day. Mother Earth’s universal energy that flows thru Spiritual Gaia is

constantly flowing with Affirmations of her awesome powers to each sentient being that

spark of Life is evident to me from the moment I open my eyes.

There is a constant interconnected consciousness in each day.

It starts with a kiss, warm, tiny, soft whiskers

tickle me awake from my slumber. Immediately

I see big, brown doe eyes staring down at me.

It’s Coco, her undying love and loyalty to my being

is my first affirmation of my existence within this unique

Universe. We snuggle our way downstairs and outside

together to stretch and enliven our senses. My feet

are planted directly on terra firma, I breathe in and say

“hello” and allow that flow of breath in the natural dance

born in my body to feel joy it opens up. Lifting up my arms high

directly up to the clear blue sky with a warm golden ray

of sunshine filling me with energy, 1… 2… 3… 4….

Trust that feeling and take the nourishment I say, holding

the energy until my nose, starts tingling from tart, sweet scent of

lemon from my citrus tree makes a great exhaling sensation.

Next deep breath carries the busy desert breeze, flying past

my line of sight is a fluttering purple butterfly, a big buzzing

black and gold bumblebee and a zippy hummingbird.

Each time I allow the flow of life to fill my deepest spaces strength

builds. I surrender to Mother Earth’s abundance of promise

it warms each part that vibrates with the sparks of beating energy.

“Praise Earth, Praise Nature, Trust your heart to be in the flow.”

I count the plants and trees to be among my heartfelt friends.

This synergy deeply woven thru Earth’s magnetic fields of pulsating

connection finds my heartbeat and quickens the rhythm.

My last exhale is both blissful and blessed.

Coco’s little paws taps my feet with a message, “Enough, time to eat!”

Inside I enjoy thirst-quenching water with freshly squeezed lemon juice.

I smile happily knowing it grows right next to me along with oranges trees

directly across the way is a 200-year-old Saguaro cactus

with an empire of its own that blesses my home.

Yet, how lucky am I that within the first thirty minutes of each dayall five senses are fully awakened and tapped into by the magical power

of Mother Earth inviting me into Earth’s presence of collective lives.

The beauty and sorrow with shifting sands on Earth make it hard to look away from the

dramatic role we play in the outcome of keeping Earth whole and thriving. To think of Earth

as anything but this conscious interconnection is impossible to me. My romance with

nature allows joy to flow in my life. That connection through Nature is universal energy.

Earth Energy drives the entire universe, and that might seem too big and too vast.

So, I happily say each day when among my friends, “Every Day is Earth Day!”

Vivian Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –

Red Trellis – White Trellis

(for Mom and Dad)

Before I could talk, I heard, “Flowers, you can’t eat them, a waste!”

This dichotomy made no sense to me, without judgement

I knew my garden would be an embodiment of both edibles

and flowers. My fruition had to bear fruit, yet, within heavenly

perfumed paths. I dreamed of future days of gardening…

The first vegetable I ever grew was the robust cherry tomato.

The charm of cherries infused me to a lifetime of growing

good things to eat. Prolific, vigorous vines over ten feet

needed to be trellised. Long clusters of Sungold’s captured

my heart, their sweetness made them impossible to resist,

eating them straight off the vines. Italian Ice tomatoes,

pure white shiny perfect globes to my pure delight!

One day on my pathway through my garden my sensibilities

were overwhelmed by the scent of roses.

A scent of honey mixed with perfumed air made me aware of the

opposite end of the garden. It was from the Iceberg roses!

Lovely, strong, white climbers completely covered one side.

I saw the second trellis light up under the summer sunlight

covered with roses. While Rosa Nostalgia bloomed

a creamy white flower with cherry red edges exciting me like

a bride-to-be and won my heart.

Standing there that day taking it all in made me think back to when

I was young. I could be fed from both my plants and my flowers.

One fills my stomach, the other fills my soul.

Vivian Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” – Dr. Seuss

Welcome Earth Day


Air was once pure, fresh,

water ran clear, fish were plentiful,

abundant animals roamed freely

in green pastures, forests,

on the Great Plains.

Forests were lush,

wild berries juicy for the picking.

This was the land of indigenous people.

They only took from Mother Earth

what was needed for survival.

She was revered, nothing wasted,

gratitude expressed for her many gifts

through ceremonial dances, prayers,

belief that Earth did not belong to man,

man belonged to the Earth.

Mother Earth, look what we have done

to Terra, the only home we have.

We must repair, restore what is lost,

the beauty of nature described

in Lewis and Clark journals,

writings of John Muir.

The ravages of man are left

in polluted, poisoned water

in Flint and Camp Lejeune,

hurricanes in Florida,

tornado wreckage in Glenallen,

burnt forests in Paradise,

massive flooding of Lake Charles

and the Mississippi River,

depletion of natural resources and wildlife.

Climate change, due to man’s carelessness,

has resulted in ever increasing devastation.


Time to preserve what we have,

restore what we can.

Wake up deniers and abusers

before it’s too late to save.

Jane Russell – Pittsburg CA –

Hope Rises in April

How can there not be hope,

with each new day a promise.

The ides of March are behind,

the lion has had his way,

stormy weather has passed by,

gone are winter doldrums.

Lambs now frolic in the meadow,

through sunny mustard,

orange poppies, blue Lupines,

rabbits hop through blades of grass,

squirrels scurry up tree trunks,

butterflies flutter by,

birds warble their praises,

new growth raises sleepy heads,

bees buzz around fragrant flowers,

buds open to greet the sun.

Showers freshen the earth,

brown earth now carpeted

with velvety fresh green,

trees exhibit new leaf growth.

In my garden, signs of spring

pop everywhere: bright yellow Daisies,

variegated pink Camellias, red Azaleas,

white orange blossoms, all in full bloom.


With new life comes new hope.

I focus on blessings of spring,

the message of Easter,

preservation awareness on Earth Day.

Spring’s breath sweetly scented,

cleansed by heavy rainfall,

sky washed with blue.

I will rise again, my spirit renewed,

dance through fields of delicate wildflowers

to welcome this season of renewal.

Jane Russell – Pittsburg, CA – When Profits Rule

The water nymph sat

on the barren bank of Fountain Creek,

her head bent in sorrow and loss.

Tears could not cleanse her heart’s pain.

Gone were the sweet sounds

of frog chorus and dragonfly wings.

No minnows darted about their games.

No wildflowers grew here.

Chemical waste flowed

along the muddy lifeless course, where

once clear laughing water danced

now flushing factory sewage.

DeAnna Quietwater Noriega – Columbia, MO –

“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” – Charles Darwin

(Theresa Cancro –

The Cradle of Immensity

Few have seen Earth

from afar, and yet those

who’ve rocketed into space

speak of being forever changed.

Humbled, awed

by our planet’s fragile beauty,

catapulted into immensity

beyond the boundaries of ordinary mind,

these travelers return home

rarefied. They speak the language

of urgent love, having realized we are

all children of one Earth, one birth.

There are no children

of a lesser god, only children

of living or dying orbs.

And they see Earth’s fate

is ours.

Lynn Palumbo – Knoxville, TN – lynnpsychotherapist@gmail.comThe Shire

Surest fire

For the soul

These hillsides

Take a toll

Shifting in tune

Sifting sand dunes

Canary streaks

Burgeoning beaks

In brownest earth

Greatness speaks

Amanda Niamh Dawson – Sebastopol, CA –


Going, going

Comfort is the cause of climate change. – Bob Hicok

In the Western World we like to leave things running.

cars, buses, trucks, …

We leave the lights on.

We turn water on to brush our teeth and just let it run.

Why is this? Is there some mindless need to assure ourselves these things are working?

If we leave them on long enough

maybe they’ll stop. Then, maybe we too will stop.

Kate Potter – Allentown, PA –


Everybody talks about the environment


Venomous machines and toxic schemes of

Industry gone mad spoiling everything

Rushing into news like somebody accidentally hit fast-forward

Our earth and sky, flora, fauna, feathered flight in danger of demise

Nobody wants to sacrifice conveniences, elusive free time

Maybe someone else will keep an eye out while we sleep, Oh yes

Everybody jaws about our precious environment

Now and then — Talk is cheap

Kate Potter – Allentown, PA – “Kindness is free.” – Dee Harris








teaberry plants

thick, potent little leaves, and if we’re lucky,

actual spicy, rosy-red little teaberries may be found, under those small leaves,

tasty source of methyl salicylate for relief

of pain & inflammation–

once inadvertently cured a friend’s abscessed tooth

while only shooting for pain relief using leaves–leaves alone of

the precious teaberry plant, growing close to the ground—

shaded acidic ground like its near neighbor

spotted pipsissewa–

better known in some regions as fireweed

and SURE I can click on “Save” and these words will be saved in in a Word Document

but I can’t save biomes already lost or yet under looming threat

Yes, yes, I can write-emote and write with reverent love about them

but that erstwhile effort

won’t save em in these dark times

when some idiot homo sapiens first laid eyes on

one whole biome

thought MINE

DIBs on this one — I saw it first!

planted a mall

a housing development

an industrial complex

a hospital campus

sure enough these atrocities grew

monstrously they grow

killing off native species

shattering whole


humans profit

generate great wealth, bad money

so dirty they

have to launder it

Kate Potter – Allentown, PA – “Wildlife is something which man cannot construct. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Man

can rebuild a pyramid, but he can’t rebuild ecology, or a giraffe.” – Joy Adamson (Theresa

Cancro –



By the Streambed at World’s End

Smelling the smoke of charcoal burning where families have been, sharing fireside chats on their

weekend excursions, I gaze at the creek and boulders in the streambed of World’s End State Park

in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. I’m thinking of a distant day, when the Lenape and other

Native Americans roamed these hills that were their homes, where they communed with spirits

and smelled the sweetness of nature in the undisturbed forests, before the white man moved over

this land like a dark cloud on the horizon of civilization.

Now the white man inhabits this parcel of land, laying claim to it with parchment paper deeds

labeled state forest land, much like a man with a leash on his dog. Though I hear the distant

sound of a native drum in the backdrop of thought, and the spirited chanting and dancing in a

circle, I am unhinged when smelling carbon from a car’s exhaust pipe billowing with the roar of

a loud muffler. The intrusive noise of these new world warriors, like the Spanish Conquistadors

who invaded Hispaniola or Haiti as we now know it, with Columbus in 1492, who brought with

them disease and oppression and the Old-World arrogance into this once pristine place, is


I nod a note of shame when pondering this new breed of modern man, used to coddling their own

insecurities and sense of Manifest Destiny, on the land they believe God granted them to divide

and conquer, inhabit, and codify, while laying waste to the soil, water, and timber land of which

their purse strings could jingle the coin of profit in their loins.

I ponder these thoughts then back off, as I walk down the dusty trail away from the sound of

human traffic and their voices. It is a mid-summer day in July, as a breeze blows by rustling

leaves on the trees, then over my face like a painter’s brush stroke. I sit on a bench and look over

the bank into the running water of the creek. The big boulders lie there like stepping- stones in

the rivulet passageway, and a symphony of sound from water and wind entice the eyes and

ears. It brings me into nature’s fold as I form these thoughts on an envelope, inadvertently

placed in my shirt pocket with a pen over the lip of the seam.

Lester Hirsh – Watsontown, PA –

flat-earthers hate facts

they just turn their backs on facts

while we all just wait

Charles Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –


The daffodils bloom

in sun or shade

are usually left alone

by roaming critters

We humans, in kind,

invade our spaces,

neglect our neighbors,

build fences as a fortress

Leave headstones

like a cairn

for when we are gone

The daffodils will

grow there too

if we don’t intrude

Lester Hirsh – Watsontown, PA –

Mother Earth Needs Us

We watch the news everyday,

Filled with heart breaking stories and

Horrific pictures of bees and birds dying

In big numbers, due to poisoning.

Many dead whales wash up on shore, and

We keep wondering why?

Is it the rising temperatures of the oceans,

An increase in ship traffic and sea activity?

So many species are at risk of extinction!

Humanity’s impact on the different ecosystems is so great…

We came to alter natural habitats, disturbing the harmony of Many environments

that are unique to certain species.

We have simply forgotten that this planet is not ours…

That we have borrowed it from our children, grandchildren and Future generations!

We ought to acknowledge that we have a moral obligation to Beautiful Mother Earth!

We must take responsibility, to protect and preserve all Creatures that inhabit it.

Our indifference and lack of compassion make us, as Responsible for the deterioration and

destruction of Mother Earth, as the firsthand perpetrators…

Do something, NOW!

Virginia Tello – Forest Grove, OR – Earth Day 2024

Earth, a mother

not capable of revenge

instead absorbs the toxicity

of her human children

until grief wracks her body and

the earthquake sobs shake our human feet and

the winds howl and

the lands flood and

the cold breaks us all and

children that we are–

we think we are being punished

because that is more accessible

thank witnessing

a mother’s decline toward death.

Stacey Murphy – Ithaca, NY –

Invisible Cloud

Under the invisible cloud of CO2,

the birds coo and sing, as the trees dance,

like children; innocent sea;

but the blue moon, like you and me, feels the nights

with the images of scars

on Mother’s face; on our children,

with the thinning Ozone; with skin disease;

panting; sweating rain.

Polar bear watches as her cups struggle to find

ice on which they can rest, between the moment

of in the water.

Sea otter weary of vanishing friends;

the elephants and tigers, and the trees

of the rain forests;

the insensible human hands.

Invisible clouds of CO2,

miles and miles. And we wonder

why the wind howl; one of Mother’s pleas

to our wandering mind. And we nod,

flaxen our muscle of waves.

Byung A. Fallgren – WY – we have now unleashed

the perfect storm on ourselves

time will not be kind

Charles Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –


“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery — air, mountains, trees, people. I

thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’” – Sylvia Plath

Love for Others

What about the ant?

Whose tiny, long heart

pumps clear life-blood?

And the minuscule gnat

with wings that fly,

what about that?

What about the centipede

whose one-hundred legs

work in waves?

And hey, the butterfly

who gets blown in the wind

and still knows the way?

The honeybee, who is on this list

produces such sweet

that we cannot resist.

A delicate crane fly

poses on the wall.

Spring is coming

And we are enthralled.

In this world of wonders

We can love them all.

Anne Stackpole-Cuellar – Forest Grove, OR –

“Life is driven by purpose. What do you live for?” – a First International Bank



Winter waned here in the Valley;

Storms turned to showers almost

Like clockwork; but days stayed

Dreary, grey, ominous–as if soon

Yet another storm would break.

The calendar passed March 20th

Just a week ago, but flowers sent

Regrets. Yet just some sun evoked

Childhood memories of exultation

At the passage of winter to spring;

And soon, the child-inside prayed

For light and leaves, spring-green

To deck still bare branches, dismal

Against a gloomy grey dome. Near

A week more passed since Equinox.

Dejected for reasons buried but

Sad at spring delayed, I felt foolish

Until one morning, I spotted rays

Reaching through layers of clouds

For the first time in way too long.

Driving into our driveway, I spied

Sunbeams shimmering like prayers

On polished leaves of the tall bush

In front of home. Leaving the car

Faster than in many years, I raced

To the place where light, at last, had

Set green aglow, bared a full flower

Ringed by four pink buds. Innocence

Reborn, I gazed at the first camellia

Whereupon rested a single raindrop

Like one of my tears. Soft, I cupped

The miracle in my hand as child-like

Again, I kissed her pale pink petals.

Judith Lyn Sutton – Campbell, CA –

Please share this special Earth Day issue with all those you know who love Mother earth,

jlsutton46@comcast.netour only home we have! Thank you.

“Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation

while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling.” – Greta Thunberg Breakthrough

A desert garden amidst conifers and

Deciduous trees, each a unique green

On Nature’s summer palette–who

Would it not amaze to discover just

Atop a hill, the paradisiac placement

Of succulents sipping sultry sunlight

As most plants thirst for rain or spray?

Back home, I would turn up my nose,

Pass neighbors allowing trees, shrubs,

Lawns to die ousted by drought-tolerant

Bamboo, tanbark, and, yes, succulents

As if we resided in a bona-fide desert.

I would thank my creator for cultivating

Mature enough foliage and woodland

To ride out swelter on our quarter-acre;

I gloried in green, peopled by tall ferns

Sublime in shade from Mother Magnolia

And grateful receivers of the buckets we

Lugged of showers started before water

Warmed enough for us to soap down and

Rinse off. Even when Mother grew faint

From hot sun, she kept her candle-blooms

Closed as we carried flow to fortify ferns.

Now, riveted by this succulent stretch

Gleaming, I spy hummingbirds riveted

Like me. Limber leaves of glossy green,

Resonant purple, even enticing turquoise

Frame brilliant mahogany disks, slender

Coral bells, lustrous yellow or rose stars

Ablaze on grey-green stalks. They beg

Me neither to pass them by nor shy away

Anymore from the delight they can bring.

Of a sudden, a bevy of butterflies greet

Me as I draw nearer; fluttering flower

To flower, they say: Forget-not-this-day!

Judith Lyn Sutton – Campbell, CA –

If we work as one, we can get the job done!!!

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert

SwanWhile We Slumber

Flash lights the sky

followed by a boom and rolling thunder.

Wind rotates within the cloud.

Bullets of rain pound my oven vent

Torrents of water cascade off my roof.

These are the sounds of our mighty planet at its most majestic.

Ash and fire explode into the air.

Silicate rock and molten elements erupt from the core

of an angry world.

Cleora Boyd – Fort Worth, TX –

Please be kind and write to those poets whose work moved you. Thank you.


Persistent unrelenting

Parching shrinking cracking

Empty riverbeds leave marks



Clear fresh

Cascading streaming pooling

Havens teem, bring abundance



Steady torrential

Beating pounding rushing

Rivers roar from above


Gay Marie Logsdon – Oak Ridge, TN –

he walks in wonder

rooted deep in Mother Earth

silence soothes his soul

Charles Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –“The earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry

The Andree Clark Bird Refuge

Coots and cormorants are regulars

And crows, of course,

Herons and egrets take refuge on the wooded islands,

Sparrows and finches march methodically through the chapparal

And mallards patrol the parking lot, looking for handouts.

It was a tidal lagoon when the Spanish arrived,

Fed by a creek and flushed by the ebb and flow of the Pacific.

In time, progress swept across it,

Railroad tracks laid down hard against one edge,

And a boulevard along the other named for one of the Spaniards.

She was 19 when she died, a daughter of wealth,

Though wealth was no match for meningitis.

Funds from the family fortune paid for a weir,

Three new islands and platforms for viewing Nature,

A refuge for birds and a memorial for Andree Clark,

Now, the engineers report, the creek must be rerouted,

The weir replaced,

Invasive plants removed, the shoreline recontoured

And a new bio-retention pond built

For the remediation of foul odors.

The ancients believed in Genius loci.

Their rituals of foundation were precise,

The ground to be purified, tokens buried,

The physical and the metaphysical reconciled,

So that the spirits of the place

Would not forsake the company of men.

The permits, however, make no mention of this,

No rituals are specified in the work contracts,

The City does not negotiate with spirits.

There is no place now between tracks and boulevard

For the ancient creek, the rhythm of the tides,

Or the wisdom of the ancients

Dennis Doordan – Santa Barbara, CA –

unearthing ourselves

from this perfect paradise

cruel universe waits

Charles Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –“Nature inspires me to believe!”

Do all you can

reuse, reduce, recycle

ride a bicycle

help save

this great

Earth of ours

by doing all you can

for this world

our land

lend a helping hand

be good for all mankind

share a smile

volunteer a little while

do a good deed

help others in need

do all you can

be your best you!

Wendy Schreiner – West Seneca, NY –

“Nature instructs me daily in awareness.” – Melanie Perish

Don’t waste

Don’t waste




and create


old stuff



less waste


Mother Earth

Wendy Schreiner – West Seneca, NY – wendyew3@yahoo.comCelebrate Earth Day

breath in

fresh air

let’s all

try to care

about the

world in

which we live


Earth Day

in a

special way

remember what

it’s all about


Wendy Schreiner – West Seneca, NY –

Please feel free to share The Weekly Avocet with all those you know

who love Nature poetry. Thank you!

Remember Our Earth

Don’t liter

Don’t waste


create new


pick up


and break down

quit polluting

our wonderful world

it’s all we got

let not it be forgot

remember our Earth

every day!

Wendy Schreiner – West Seneca, NY –

In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” – Dr. Seuss another year of new extremes

not unlike the year before

nor those before that year

there has been a steady march

new highs new lows that add an “-est” each year

surpassing those once “-est” just the year before

forecasts like the weather, based on old statistics

gathered over years of steady highs and lows

now in these new times of global warming, climate change


one-hundred-year events and thousand-year

happening more than once-a-year

all is change now

unpredictable? oh no, not at all

we were forewarned

denial for so long delayed all action

no longer in denial we still delay

we still argue about

what must be done, what we should do

selfishly we focus on

how these extreme events affect our lives

but what about

the bees? the monarch butterflies?

the birds? the whales?

our remedies still too little

now perhaps too late

and if that were not enough

we foul our nest

pollution of

the lands, the air, the oceans

I am grown old

I do not see ahead too many new years

but alas I fear

to see the end of all in my own lifetime

Gordon Gilbert – New York City, NY –

The Avocet and The Weekly Avocet are publications devoted to poets and

readers who find meaning in their lives from the world of Nature; poets who

write of the beauty, the peace, and the fury of Nature in all of its glory… Vows

Curled up in the hole of your burn,

covered with the woven threads

of your wooden core in Hendy Grove

your charred black bark closes tight

and warm around my back. Through

an invisible cord I am filled with your breath.

I breath out, open to all you’ve seen of loss

when rivers bled brown logs that screamed

their way down stream as the slaughter continued.

Somehow you survived, fire scarred, unseen,

ancient redwood, so close to the sun.

If I was born indigenous here on the Coast

I could have been marched out to Round Valley.

Even now there is no promise I’ll emerge

from you safe. But I vow I won’t forget

we are connected. From shared roots

I will grow my voice.

Karen Marker – Oakland, CA –

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” –

Warren Buffett

amidst the madness

let’s get lost deep in the woods

where the wild ones live

Charles Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –

“This Earth Day and every day, let’s commit to taking swift action in our fight for a

sustainable future” – Al Gore A Modern Fable

Double, double toil and trouble

Fire burn and cauldron bubble–

Shakespeare, Macbeth

When shall we three meet again,

in pesticide runoff, poisoned air,

or slaughterhouse drain?

When the climate is warmed.

When the arctic is farmed.

That will be when humanity is harmed.

Hail modern humanity, Civilized!

Hail modern humanity, Affluent!

Hail modern humanity, Self-Vanquished!

Splotches of oil, blue and green,

have overflowed from some machine.

Tar and gravel wash from the road

gouged out by a truck we overload.

The marsh is clogged with silt and loam

as dead fish rise on the river with foam.

Fillet of a fenny snake

In the cauldron, boil, and bake.

The fertile land has washed away,

a sin for which we all must pay.

Dispel these pains; remove the greed,

and from this curse, we may be freed.

Ray Zimmerman – Chattanooga, TN –

You Really Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone

This is why you don’t hear about the hole in the ozone layer anymore.

By Ben Stern

When’s the last time you heard about the ozone layer? Or about the hole in the

Unlabeled graphicozone layer? For most people, it’s been years or even decades since the topic has

crossed their minds.View Of Earth with Ozone layer from outer space© Provided by The Cool Down

Unlabeled graphicAnd there’s a good reason for that — it’s because human cooperation and swift

policy change were extremely effective in fixing the problem.

The ozone is an invisible layer of gas in our atmosphere that protects us from

damaging, cancer-causing radiation given off by the sun, basically acting as the

Earth’s sunscreen. Without it, life on Earth would be extremely vulnerable. So in

the 1980s, when it was discovered that a hole was forming in the ozone layer, it

was a big deal.

The hole was forming because people across the world were using man-made

chemicals that ate away at this natural barrier, primarily chlorofluorocarbons

(CFCs). CFCs were mostly used for refrigeration and in aerosol sprays. But as the

hole in the ozone layer grew, so did many people’s concern over it.

Last summer, false suggestions began circulating on social media that the panic

about the hole in the ozone layer was unwarranted, and that the current urgency

about the overheating of our planet is similarly unjustified.

In reality, the alarm about the ozone layer in the ‘80s was necessary to combat the

crisis. Just a few years after the discovery of the hole, the world took action. In 1987,

leaders from around the world met in Montreal, where they agreed to phase out the

use of CFCs quickly.

Dozens of countries ratified the Montreal Protocol; industries were forced to find

CFC alternatives, such as HCFCs, in order to stop damaging our planet; and CFC

use has dropped to well below 1% of its 1980s level. The protocol is arguably the

best example of cooperative environmental problem-solving ever.

As a result of these changes, the damage to the ozone layer is being reversed. It is

now estimated that the ozone layer is likely to fully recover by the end of the

2060s, saving millions of lives.

So, if the question is why don’t we hear a ton about the hole in the ozone anymore,

it’s because humanity worked cooperatively, and quickly, to do something about


The cooperative effort to protect our ozone layer should be not only seen as a

success story, but as proof that humanity can overcome daunting and monumental

environmental challenges.

As heatwaves, wildfires, and floods inundate our communities, we must not

downplay the magnitude of problems or the potential for global cooperation to

solve them.

Please be kind, write to each other…

Showcase your work in The Weekly Avocet.

Time to share up to four of your Spring

themed poems for The Weekly Avocet,

Spring photos (4),

Spring haiku (up to 10),

Saving Mother Earth Challenge poems

(as many as you can write)

Please read the guidelines before submitting

Please send your submission to

Please put Spring/your last name in the subject line.

Please be kind and address your submission to me, Charles.

(Just so you know: I do not read work from a poet who doesn’t take the time

to address their submission to the editor, who they want to read their work.)

Please do not just send a poem, please write a few lines of hello.

Please do not have all caps in the title of your poem.

There is no line limit per poem.

Please no religious references.

Please use single spaced lines.

Please remember, we welcome previously published poems.

Please put your name – town, state – email address under your poem. No Zip


Please send your poem in both the body of an email and an attachment, no pdf


We look forward to reading your Spring submissions…

The Burning Question for us Earthlings is:

What are you/we going to do to stop or even just slow down Climate Change?


Do you feel like there is nothing you can do about climate change? Well,

there is, even if we all do small things it will make a great difference. Alice C. Hill

(the David M. Rubenstein senior fellow for energy and the environment at the

Council on Foreign Relations.) states the first thing we all need to do is not shy

away from the subject. Talk about, write about, climate change to everyone you

know and meet. Write your congressperson and Senators. Let them know what

you think and fear!

I want to have, at least, one Saving Mother Earth poem in each issue of The

Weekly Avocet, so I am always looking for poems that address our most

important issues of today, so please write about what you think and fear of the

coming end of our world as we know it. A world our great grandkids will

never know. A Mother Nature who is no longer kind.

But if we join together, maybe, just maybe, working together, we can make

a difference to Save Mother Earth, the only home we have. Show you care. There are so many topics to write about when it comes to Climate Change.

Please find one you are passionate about and write about it!


Write a Tell-off poem letting the world know what you are feeling about

what is being done right before our eyes by those who claim to want what best

for all of us.


Think it out in your head, then put it down on the page, then fight with it,

get your rage out, then send it to us to share, so you can see your voice, your

words, being read, being heard…

The American Avocet

I watch unseen this large,

long-legged shorebird,

with its pied plumage

and a dash of red

around its head and neck,

scampering along

the coastline

searching to snatch-up

some aquatic insect

or a small invertebrate

hidden beneath

the brackish waters

of this saltmarsh.

I watch unseen

it swing its odd,

long, up-curved bill

through the shallow,

still waters, catching

a tiny creature,

trapping it in its bill,

racing off to its nest to

feed her four hatchings

with this feast she found.

I watch in awe

as the male

grows protective,

fearlessly fending off

an encroaching

common black raven,

attacking this intruder,

striking at it with its bill.

I watch in wonder

as they swim as a familyjust days after

the young ones are born,

then back to the nest to

rest where its kind flocks

together in a community.

Charles Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –

If you would like to become a supporting member of The Avocet community,

The Avocet is only $28.00 for 4 perfectly bounded issues and 52 weeks of The

Weekly Avocet, every weekend, plus other poetry surprises, with the best

Nature poetry by the best Nature poets in America, a steal of a deal.

Please make your check out to The Avocet and send to:

The Avocet

P.O. Box 19186

Fountain Hills, AZ 85269

We hope we provoked you; that you leave having experienced a complete emotional response to

the poetry. I want to thank our Poets for sharing their work with us this week. And “Thank you

for reading, dear reader!”

Be well, see you next weekend,

Charles Portolano, Editor/Publisher and Vivian and Valerie Portolano, Co-Editors

of The Avocet, a Journal of Nature Poetry and The Weekly Avocet, every weekend.

Copyright © 2024 by The Avocet (for our poets)

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