Is tonight really worth it?

The furnace fired as the five o’ clock shadow
Set foot on the hills’ crown
Setting fire to the early winter skies
Giving rise to the cold winds up high 

Out of caution, maybe fear
But the warmth gave me safety
Once the darkness starts to leak
And the voices wake and speak

Telling horror stories of their lives
Of their deaths and mishaps
Some young, some sad
Some want to chase the joys of life

They walk without looking
Carrying wallets and purses
Others hunting for purpose
Finding more questions than answers

The ledgers of the night walkers
Are written on long receipts
Their names and faces almost lost
After years of blending in

Soft whispers to others unheard
Soft as the ground they paved
Softly they brush each other’s arms
So as to remember what touch felt

Some even call my name
Know my story and know my death
Yet I don’t wish to join them
In their sea of restless faces

Their cold eyes as daggers
Piercing my hopes and armors
So I chose the lit furnace
For warmth and stagnant comfort

Through the ashes the somber end
The possibilities unravel like string 
Broken bit by bit they leave
Without a thread to follow or lead

The sunrise as cold as ever
Gives me pause of doubt and deception
But the smoke from my burned aspirations
Leaves me waking to the same question

Keystone XL is No More

The Keystone XL pipeline project, commissioned in 2010, is terminated completely as of June 9th, 2021. This would’ve been one of the longest pipelines in the world and TC Energy had been planning it for years. Personally I believe that fossil fuels are an obsolete resource to be used for energy when technologies for renewable energy sources are expanding, evolving and becoming cheaper. This pipeline specifically has had the attention of the public as soon as TC Energy proposed the project. There are already three pipelines in the Keystone project owned by TC Energy and this one would’ve added to this pipeline system, cutting through Native American land and the Ogallala aquifer, one of the world’s largest fresh water aquifers.

Then president Barrack Obama delayed the project in 2015 but Donald Trump gave permission to complete the Keystone XL around two months after taking office. Protests increased, there was unrest with the Native American communities affected and, just a month after Trump took action in favor of the pipeline, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave a report stating how this project would increase greenhouse gas emissions drastically and would go against the country’s clean energy proposal. During the 2014 elections this project became a heavily politicized issue and the scientific perspective was not properly voiced; it became a blue-vs-red type of problem.

Environmental protection has been this way for about half a century. The oil business had a huge economic boom in the 20th century and was only expected to grow with the increase in energy demand. At the time there was no regulation to stop big oil companies from growing by polluting uncontrollably. Even oil companies’ scientists were realizing the dangers of burning fossil fuels and politics had nothing to do with it. In early 1980, Exxon’s scientists wrote a report stating that burning fossil fuels had an extremely harmful effect in the environment, still this was ignored by the company due to the lowering prices of oil at the time. It is worrisome to think that there is a debate where no actual scientific evidence or concern for the future is considered to decide the fate of the world.

I am Ecuadorian, born and raised, but I was studying Environmental Engineering in the states, enough to see the Keystone XL project unfold in the politicians’ stage. I had an environmental policy class when Donald Trump was elected president and looking at this project reminded me so much of the power that these fossil fuel companies have. The lobbying, the covert constructions and the mismanagement of pollution. Big oil spills are reported on the news with almost no major reaction from the public because it is becoming something ordinary. Just in February of this year there was the massive oil spill in Israel and the Washington State oil spill. The risk to build these pipelines is there and the use of fossil fuels is causing more problems than solutions. Here in Ecuador, Petroecuador had to pay more than 33 million dollars for the deficient construction of a natural gas plant in 2020. Innovation is slowly showing the futility of these non-renewable resources and history is teaching the industry that it has been at risk of sinking for quiet some time now.

The fact that such a notable project is coming to an end is a small victory for those affected in the United States. Nevertheless, many people globally are affected by the impact of climate change everyday and as a species we are not taking any unified actions to prevent this harm. This concern is global but it is being resolved by segregated governments while unbiased opinions are left off the table and many officials are too afraid to look at the long-term consequences of their actions. Today I celebrate the halt of the possible 27.4 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide that would’ve been emitted yearly after coming from the Keystone XL pipeline. This is our planet and our home, and maybe one day we can find unity in protecting it so that everyone might enjoy it for a little bit longer.

Links:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/keystone-xl-oil-project-abandoned-by-developer-11623272010

Fossil Fuel Boom Rewiring North America’s Energy Infrastructure

https://www.expreso.ec/actualidad/petroecuador-perdio-33-millones-dolares-reparaciones-fallidas-alto-90202.html

Breath of Time

Steady circles of leaves
Carried by autumn winds
Light of dusk showering
The dancing fields of grass

A blink indenting
The new chapter of the trees
Orange turns to white
And the leaves whither

Leaving space for death
To carry the rest of winter
To gift with shine the time
Of births and blooms

When the bedsheets are turned over
Melted by the sun and the soils' newborns
She sings and grows greens
As spring breakers join with cheers

Like a cherry blossom pink
When a songbird begins to sing
Sprouts of life racing
To reach the clear blue Sky

Then A Midnight's Summer Dream
Wakes the people, land and seas
Vines and leafs halt their growth
As brother Sun razes the ground

Sister Moon changes clothes
To greet every stepping stone
In Mother's death and conception
In this in-progress space playground

Little toys in the big boys' sandbox
Of mountains, rivers, and oceans
Our chance for a spot in the family picture
Our choice to lend a hand to our grieving Mother

Here is a poem I wrote for the World Environment Day, I hope that it reminds everyone that we have a beautiful natural world here so we should take care of it. No matter how small the action we take, we have to start somewhere and keep on helping until we can truly live in a balanced environment.

Never-Ending Stone

Behind the prison of waves
Where no clean shoes have set foot
Amongst the antediluvian shipwrecks
Amongst the rocky devouring maw

The waves guarding the center
Taking sanity as its toll
For all just and honest, men, women, and others
Darken their hearts with screams of agony

Slowly soft eyes get filled with red vines
Porcelain skin builds up rust
The stormy winds erode all hope
As you approach the spire before you

Beware the sounds of madness
Circling like vultures looking for carcasses
Around the only source of light
A turquoise green, rot-like shine

The old fool still there
Repeating the motions of yesterday
And the day before and the one before
Enslaved by a long-gone past

Once colors of greed and decay
Tainted by fear of the veil
Of the final step to no man's land
The wise mage sought more

The stone of poems and songs
A way to live past the ticking clock
No wall too tall or price too high
The desire was more than enough

To see beyond the other side
But the curse punished his greed
All life was given to him indeed
But mind and spirit would soon leave

After years the wise fool saw
The error of that first thought
That life itself was ephemeral
Just like the stones on the coast

But all stars turn to dust
All light leaves for dusk
And so do the coastal hills
Turn sharp and without their form

So did his head
So did his heart
So did his soul
Turn dark forevermore

Dinnertime Bell

Paranoia and pain creeping
Like tumors growing with sickness
Like hungry infections eating
Mortality in timeliness

In a second the ticking clock
Can change the color of the sky
The shy noon will soon leave in shock
Once it hears the lonely dawn´s cry

At eight o'clock that tranquil night
Sounds of the buzzing street lights
Only embers of life in sight
When only silent dreams burn bright

Twelve painful hours quickly pass
Half a day gets devoured by
A living nightmare with no chance
To come out unscathed from this lie

In brief instants, all smiles are gone
In just seconds time almost froze
In minutes death knocked on our door
In two hours they said stage four

Like a scenario for a play
Where you expect only stories
Heroes with a few words to say
Of tragedies and comedies

You don't expect the glare of time
Looking back from the dark abyss
Not your mother in a CAT scan
Knowing that something is amiss

Why wait for the final three chimes
To let your heart burn with sorrow
The truth is you won't find the time
To live life with no tomorrow

Boiling Planet

So we are cooking in a pot of boiling water that even a frog would jump out of. The constant reminder that things are not getting better is so catastrophic for some people that it becomes too much to handle. Global warming and climate change seem like catastrophic events that will happen in the future. Paralyzing fear turning to deafness and some ask why ignorance is bliss. I don’t know the type of pain most people have been through and I am just as ordinary as the next guy, a mutant monkey hoping for survival.

So here is a video suming up a bit of this issue.

The idea that Earth might reach her expiry date before we figure out a solution is terrifying, and fear triggers that fight-or-flight reaction we can’t seem to overcome. I cannot bring forth a solution to the social perception of these issues nor can I think of an end-all method to stop climate change without some big sacrifices from humankind, but I can just remind people of this. Hope and courage will lead us to our tomorrow. Fear is only there to remind us, to present the challenge to all. Not everyone can make a big change but all the small changes will tip the scale in favor of our future.

Last Car Ride’s Sleep

Fast-paced blinks become 
Tiny blankets to cover
Days of nightmares
Dark and scary routines

All liting the road ahead
All blue and black to shed
The streetlights damped
With the viscous mist
Coming from the steaming pile
Of lies littering my life

The empty road
Like a mattress store
With cushions painted in code
All pointed forwards
To a cloud of darkness
No markings in the beyond

The bedsheets as words
The music of silence
Turns smooth for a moment
With the tires screeching
Singing tunes of defeat

The mattress store closes
One last impulse buy
One last blink left
One last closing door
My eyelids praying to keep me awake

The side road motel room
Has grass for linen
The wallpapers tainted red
With my windshield
As the chandelier

As a kid I dreamt
I slept in a car bed
To drive far and away
From people and voices
Outside my dream's reach

With this crashing sleep
I can dig the grave
For the alarm clock
That kept me awake
Inside this bumpy car ride

Hoka Hey
Sunshine rising
Slowly fading
Only leaking gas
My fatal breath waving





Circling Night

Everything kinda sucks
At 4 am the night isn’t warmer
However closer the sun is to the horizon
Only brighter street lights and tree stumps

Enough waiting for midnight to pass
And my legs feel numb
Colder than the air around them
Drained from all desire to walk again

The ceiling could collapse this very second
But my body would stay still
No sense of danger
Although the fear would exist

The same kind of fear outside
Waiting behind the door
The same kind of feeling felt
From closing the bathroom door

No light in or out
But there is definitely something there
Can’t reach it or seek it
There

Walls painted black close in
Turning my bedroom
Into one big recycling bin
For unwanted trash

For silent pity
And whispered screams

For broken lamps
And cheap tears

The birds only singing about
The delay of one more night
After waiting for hours
For one more minute to pass

Crocodiles, canteen jars, broken clocks on the wall
And the stool is upside down
With the wood of the desk sticking out
From crashes but cars without
Puddles of pudding growing mold
Where sad foxes play with dust bunnies
No adult-rated content in their deaths
Just censored subtitles of their woes

Their anger scripted as comedy
For the conveniently placed characters
Outside my door
Wait

One more time maybe
They’ll listen this time
Or maybe they’ll open the door
And laugh at my naked thoughts

Barging in while I’m changing
To a more comfortable tone
For the viewers’ pleasure
So to each their own

Except for the cast of the show
Sitting behind the desk
Hiding mismatched socks
Hiding an unbuckled belt

Hiding the fat
And the ugly
And the sad
And the lonely
And the broken from all the wishing
To passing planes passing as shooting stars

There is no more space in my chair for me
With my legs unmoving
And the silence flooding

I can quit right
Maybe that’s the relief
Knowing I can sit somewhere else
Hugging the head of a tree
At noon
When the night is gone

And still, it’s there

Our Little Piece of Everything

The world is going to be okay

 Right now it really sucks
 The setting is changing
 People are angry
 Voices shouting and echoing
 A human reaction

 Us fighting against something
 Realizing something isn't right
 And we want to make it right

 The world knows

 Our planet moves in unison
 She grows, she changes
 Next to Us, a star child
 In the cold vastness of the universe

 We are the tail of the worm evolving
 And we need some scolding
 From Mother Earth
 For all the bullying we've done

 People dying and crawling
 Makes Us sad

 Unfairness and corruption
 Makes Us angry

 So the world will be okay
 Disease, war, starvation, death
 Unavoidable but fair and just

 So tiny
 So many good people
 Not realizing their goodness
 But the fondness 
 In their hearts growing
 And they keep going

 Changing, creating, thinking

 The world, intertwined webs
 In child's play, We join
 We cheat

 We kill millions of animals
 We destroy thousands of habitats
 We extinguish millennia-old species

 an enemy
 Some say a parasite
 A virus even

 Then again
 A bully makes more sense

 A bully who's gets punched at home
 And takes it out on the little guy
 Keeps going
 the bully could do better things

 Learn
 We are wounded
 Broken
 Watered down
 And our home knows

 The world keeps moving
 It won't stop

 But Our movement, insignificant
 Barely leaving a trace

 For the Big Bang clock
 We are a millisecond
 No bigger change to make
 To the days and years

 A tiny bit of something
 In this huge and vast everything

 Soon We will have a chance
 To redeem ourselves from our corrupt deeds
 Like the bully getting into trouble

 We can change
 Because We know more
 We grow
 With the colors, We stir
 The world will be alright

 The only question remaining is
 If the world wants to be 
 with Us
 Or without Us


Unturned

10% of the world has a sixth finger in their right hand.
7% tie their shoes the wrong way
Only 2% don’t tie them at all
42% sob spontaneously at 11pm
And 68% masturbate afterwards

2% look at sky thinking it’s a good day
74% won’t say Hi back to you when they don’t know you
Numbers don’t lie right
People do

When walking on Rittenhouse Square you can test this
Wave at all the strangers passing by
Wait for them to look up the sky
Look at their under-eye bags filled with stories

The ones in black t-shirts just lost their jobs
People walking their dogs have family stuff
That one saxophone player is having a great day
He might've been dumped by his girlfriend

No one is reading their stories
Their pages remain unturned
Everyone walking on Walnut St
Could have died the day before

But their stories keep writing
Can't stop walking through their books
Telling their stories to themselves 
In the mirror with just looks

Every morning getting up shedding
Every gesture and motion fading
Every memory once treasured ebbing
In the flow of the neighbor's story
In the narrative of another one's glory

76% of statistics are made on the spot
And 100% are capable of love
Turn the page of your book
All you need is a little shove