Earth's Blood: A Prayer Poem for the Gulf of Mexico

Earth’s blood,
product of ancient deaths,
source and flowing stream for civilizations,
protector of many human lives,
still spurts but barely abated
into Gulf waters,
host to countless lives of every kind,
threatening all lives of every kind
for many miles
and for months or years to come.

Is this how the sea is turned to blood,
filled with this ooze, earth’s own blood,
death-made, life-giving, death-dealing,
coating birds, gumming shores,
contaminating all it contacts?

Is this your work, O Angel of the Second Trumpet?

Is your name “Human Negligence”?
Or “Corporate Hubris”?
Or “Governmental Oversight Failure”?
Or “Divine Wrath”?
Or is it “Fate”?

Will some new plague now embitter the fresh waters?
And are the skies to be darkened next?
Or have these trumpets already sounded,
and our ears were too dulled to hear?

The earth bleeds.
And all along the Gulf the merchants weep and mourn,
since no one buys their cargo anymore,
or visits their shores.
For in one month,
(or was it but one hour)
all this wealth has been laid waste.

Weep over the bleeding earth,
and mourn for her,
and all who dwell upon her,
all whose lives come from these waters
and from earth’s blood.

Weep, and mourn,
for woe is upon us,
and many are undone.

Weep, and mourn,
and, while weeping, work
without ceasing
to stanch the bleeding
and then to end it.

Weep, and mourn now,
with voices loud enough,
bodies writhing enough
that the present age
and generations yet to come
may not forget to count
the costs of earth’s blood spilled.

Weep, and mourn.

And pray…

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

With all the earth,
and all the saints
who gather around all earthly altars,
and all whose voices still rise from under the heavenly altar

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”


Copyright 2010, The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) of The United Methodist Church. Anyone may reproduce this resource in any form provided they do not alter it, sell it or seek to profit off of it financially and due copyright notice is provided.

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