Earth Day poems by Kathe Emmanuel and Anna Riddo

Editor’s Note. Working with the department of Literature, Writing and Publishing at St. Francis College, Brooklyn, N.Y., Literary Veganism ran an Earth Day writing contest. We are happy to announce and publish the winning submissions here.
“Gaia Fights Back”
             By Kathe Emmanuel

we overflow buildings that scrape the heavens,
in our early morning shifts,
where escapism is our enemy and our best friend,
unlike the subjects of the queen bee,
we obey the kings of the world,
congested with a dark grey haze,
the children within us plead for release,
to be greeted with who they once were,
from scraped knees to the remains of dandelions scattered
upon the wet terrain, our toes intertwine with grass,
the energy we breathe and see,
like the lovers that stand palm in palm,
we are meant to be, with all its force,
clashing and begging for salvation,
in the end, Gaia fights back.

- Kathe Emmanuel is a Communication Arts major, concentration in English. As a student at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, Kathe writes screenplays and books in hopes of becoming an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker.
Copyright©2021 by Kathe Emmanuel. All Rights Reserved.
“Next in Line”
             By Anna Riddo

I am lost, lost in a sea
Of hundreds of others running and scared all around me
The truck is warm, and I can barely breathe
There is a language barrier, yet I still utter please
We are unloaded and I’m sweating like a pig, well I guess like me
I feel the stun guns hit me directly and I fall to my knees
Not free, the workers and abusers laugh as they see
My eyes remain open, and I fight with all my power
Can you believe 1,300 of us are killed each and every hour?
Beaten, shocked, dragged, improperly stunned
No one having mercy or giving us the ability to run
It’s Earth Day I want to squeal we shouldn’t be forgotten
They pierce and stab the downers wanting meat whether it is oozing or rotten
People are cheering as they hurt us, not realizing we are like dogs
I now recall no one cares because instead they call us hogs
The quicker the kill they think, the quicker we are roasted for supper
Do they ever not realize that maybe we don’t have to suffer
I think to the signs I saw about saving the Earth
Do any of the signs though reflect that I have worth?
Let’s gather together recycle or plant trees
Not let’s stop eating animals as much as we please
I freeze, they keep poking and prodding me and giving me a squeeze
The belt stops, I drop, I look around and I’m no longer on my way to the top
Did I get lucky? Did they pardon me like a turkey?
The belt only snapped am I still soon to be pork jerky?
I let out a squeal and kneel, I no longer know how I truly feel
Time doesn’t heal, the problems that are occurring people don’t realize are real
I run, I flee, everyone left to their slaughter except for me
Did an hour pass? I run fast, I feel the stun guns almost as they blast
I’m finally safe, scared by the thrill
An hour has passed and 1,299 were killed
This will be made up in 1,2,3
Even though I got loose from my chains am I ever really free?
Let’s plant a tree the ads mock me, not let’s help the animals find sanctuary
I turn around and see all of them chasing me, my legs give out, I accept my fate
Maybe when you see me next time, I’ll be on your plate

- Anna Riddo is a Sophomore at St. Francis college majoring in Childhood Education with a concentration in English. Anna currently volunteers at a non-profit organization to help students struggling in English and Math. In her free time Anna loves to read, write, bake, and spend time with friends and family.
Copyright©2021 by Anna Riddo. All Rights Reserved.