What I saw
I can never tell.
A fleeting glimpse,
an instant.
A flash of a shadow
and it’s gone.
Did you see?

~ Matthew B. Peters
“a poem I call Extinction Witness”

ex·tinc·tion wit·ness

ex·tinc·tion /ikˈstiNG(k)SHən/
    PHYSICS reduction in the intensity of light.

wit·ness /ˈwitnis/
    to see.

bare /be(ə)r/  com·pas·sion /kəmˈpaSHən/
    expose something. ‘with’· ‘desire’; ‘with’ · ‘love’.

This mass extinction event can be allayed.
Many who are now on the edge of existence can be revived.

Species extinction, as with all death,
is elemental to life.
In recent centuries, human population has surged
and cultural genocide has peaked
so right now the rate of species extinction
exceeds that of past mass extinction events.
Relative to one human lifetime, Earth entered
the present mass extinction a while ago.
Fortunately, with friendship in practice
lending to radical change in human behavior,
this mass extinction can be allayed.

In the moment, there is ongoing accelerating loss.
Loss of this magnitude is incomprehensible to the mind
and, thus, capable of changing the mind.
How this change plays out,
whether ultimately destructive
or regenerative, is determined by many factors,
most critically community support.

Invitation to Pause

Many are exploited and exterminated to maintain modern civilization’s status quo. It is not enough to support conservation groups with funding. Individuals must change their own patterns of relationship and consumption. Those who are privileged with modern material comforts must stay in touch with the catastrophic circumstances others endure while understanding that absolute misery is not the absence of amenities, but the absence of community. This intimacy with the suffering is an honest compass for personal and communal transformation required to make living a lot less painful for everyone.

Read thoughts on the distinction between sorrow and lamentation.

Read thoughts on a necessary change of attitude.

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