The balance of the earth is created in our minds and held in our hands.

"Humans have a profound gift, to understand, to create and to look after our world." A Lawrence

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Who speaks for the wild flowers, the rainforests?
Not I said I
Numbed into silence by my fear of human beings

Who speaks for the baboons, the tortoise and the butterfly?
Not I said I
Stunned into apathy by my fear of human beings

Who speaks for the dolphins, the pansy shell, the coral reef?
Not I said I
Blinded to the truth by my fear of human beings

Curled up alone under the darkness of the African sky
I take refuge in the stars
And dream a dream
Dawn breaks

I hear the clarion call of the whales in the bay!
Greetings say I, from the shoreline
Mountain land bright with sunshine
Bluegreen glistening sea
Shadowed only by the spectre of looming danger
Creeping closer, creeping closer

Though changes come so fast
Each day is an unwritten script
I am now less afraid of the human race
And draw closer to the eye of the storm
As the paralysis melts
And the heart beats
And the eyes see
And the ears hear

We speak for the wild ones and for the rainforests,
We speak with our people,
We create community.

Our human hurts and wounded earth will heal
And this shall be again our Garden.

Note: This poem tells of my own personal struggle to rediscover my voice and to speak out in the face of public criticism. It is used on the Khanyisa Environmental Education Programme to encourage students to overcome their fears and learn to respond with courage and integrity on issues that concern them. It was written on 9 September 1996 in preparation for the Launch of the Garden Route Trust.

Jenny Lawrence



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