Some trees

Nature Poetry Challenge

Happy Earth Day! To honor mother earth and national poetry month, we are launching a "nature poetry" challenge. Poetry can be a great way to process, think, and feel connected in the midst of this climate crisis. Submit original poetry about the natural world, or submit your favorite poem about human connection to nature, access to nature, intersectional relationships to nature, etc. Remember to email us ( or tag us on Instagram and Twitter @UWOceanography.  

This week's challenge dovetails with the College of the Environment's Earth Day activities. The College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion office is encouraging us to "Use #OnePlanetAllVoices and share your thoughts, photos, videos, art, poems or any resource to share what the environment means to you and your community.






My body is an aquifer

I store and transfer emotions

I keep happiness in my belly

I draw up on it when I need it most

Like a revivor


I also store sadness

I keep that near my heart

It seems they go together

When I am flooded with sadness,

It upwells into my throat

I cry out

I store sadness for years and years

It’s quite viscous

And so, it drains slow

But talking helps


I hold onto anger sometimes

Even though I would rather not

I hold it in my head

But I don’t keep it for long

Because the pressure inside

Will permeate out

Rapidly or all at once

At the cost of others

Now they have my anger

And I have guilt


I think guilt is my least favorite

But I hold so much

Guilt seems to mix well with sadness

It sits heavy in my chest

I don’t know how to get rid of it

Eventually it turns into shame


Now I change my mind

Shame is my least favorite

And for good reason

It makes me think that I am bad

And that’s a fact, for the shame tells me so

It sits unnoticed in my brain and ears

When shame is in my head,

It is hard to draw up on happiness reserves

-Emmet Bush


From Michelle:

''The "control of nature" is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and the convenience of man.''

Rachel Carson (1907-1964), U.S. marine biologist, author. The Silent Spring, ch. 17 (1962). 


Weird Bad Sad

Things are weird bad and sad.

   I wake up every morning.

         And I do work.

         And I do school.

   I accomplish what I need to.

         And yet,   

   I don't make any progress.




         And so is everyone else.

But if everyone is 




         Who is making progress?

         Who is moving forward?

   I feel like I did when I was younger.

         So many ideas

              unable to pursue them.

         So many thoughts

              no means or motivation to convey them.

So here I am.




But at least

                  I'm not


-Marissa Leatherman