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Teeter Totter - UNFCCC COP15

[Written in December 2009 while at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen]

The plank is of a long, strong wood

With edges round for measures good

Small steady steps the toddler walks

While politicians stall the talks

Three fifty steps the child takes

He still is safe despite mistakes

But stands around the tipping point

The world is lacking efforts joint

Teeter toddler on a see-saw

Looks around his world with awe

He won’t see the world we know

His children won’t make balls of snow

Nor will they shriek with sounds of glee

At the base of a mature sequoia tree

The child takes a few more steps

Three eighty now the child preps

He braces now the plank just tips

Foot raised mid-air he nearly trips

He’s left his parent’s binding arms

His now siblings cry in alarm

Loud voices raised the leaders hear

The messages we chant are clear

Still balancing one foot in the air

Do leaders have the will to care?

And then to act in united haste

I fear our votes have been misplaced

Footing down, he sheds his tears

He’s heading down towards his fears

Urgent action is his need

He wishes leaders would succeed

In finding words that all endorsed

With rules and visions well enforced

His parent’s arms bind him once more

And guide him to his place before

Before he made those last few choices

Now that he’s safe his world rejoices

So that is all we really need

Decisions made in spite of greed

Where different voices will unite

Survival after all’s a right

Society is young and yet

It’s frailty we can’t forget

For we’re not all that we affect

And if we stall, we’ll all regret

Now is the time for us to act

We need a more effective pact

So let’s unite the world again

And ‘seal the deal’ in 2010.

Copyright © Elaine Ho


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