10 Earth Day Poems and Haikus Even Kids Will Get

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“Leave No Trace” describes how important it is not to alter the natural world when we explore it. It’s tempting to let kids pick things up or knock over dead trees, but naturalists urge humans to leave no traces.

No gate, no main entrance, no ticket, no ranger. Not far away

From where Frost once raised chickens and unhappy children, near

Where the glacier-hewn face of the old man though strengthened for

His divine perch by rods and turnbuckles slipped

From our dawning millennium to oblivion,

You can cross the Pemigewasset on a bridge

Then, compass north but south on the track,

Climb an old, grass-covered forest path

At the hewn collarbone of Cannon Mountain.

It’s Lonesome Lake. How are you from here

It depends on why you came: to get a grouse out of Canada

Or listen to the whee-ah of a Bicknell’s thrush;

For a windy picnic or a midlife crisis,

A long drive or a day trip to the waterfalls.

Bring for your needs only what you need:

Salmon sausage, canteen or Camelbak,

Bandages, a ratchet and a strap, a battered heart.

Bring sunscreen, a notebook, the Beatles, Beyoncé,

The Bhagavad Gita, a Bible, some Hitchens or Hegel.

No matter how long you stay, you shouldn’t leave anything behind.

No matchbox, no pole tip, no grommet, no cup.

Pack and take out your Clif Bar packaging,

Your fear of bears and storms. keep the rage

You thought you were sinking your boot soles into the stones,

The grief you hoped to spread. If you think you’ve changed,

Take all your changes with you.

If you lift

An arrowhead from the leaves, turn it over. Poached

No pine cone, no pebble or fairy root. Resist

The trillium paints even though its purple throat

Asks to be squeezed between the pages of your hiking guide.

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