State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Tree Dance

swaying tree
Photo: Unsplash

can you dance like me?

feel the rhythm of the wind echo in hollow bones?

fruit swinging to earth’s beat,


do your leaves ever

overwhelm themselves with so much emotion

for the sky’s song is filled with such devotion

displaying graceful erratic motions

encouraged by shuffle of oceans

showing they have been chosen

to release themselves

of all that’s been stolen?


do your roots ever

take set in the ground

stretching to a point so far down

never can they be bound

for they form their own crown

worldly jewels renown

spindly tendrils surround

brown bodice gown

spin and spin and spin around?


do ever your twigs

twist and twine

bundle and bind

cloaked in vines

move in time

like feline

in slinky summertime

ancient wind whines

whispers whistles in mind

soft as breeze’s brine?


can you hear it?

can you feel sun drum

feel moon tune

hear tides cry

as they wave goodbye

are you as tethered and free

as me?


Brianna Brown is a student at at Barnard College, where they’re majoring in Environment and Sustainability. Read more of their poems here

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Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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