Kate Newton – Age 13
I used to belong to the rainforest, long, long ago. We were one and the same; a singular being. I grew alongside the trees. The roots were my bones. My pulse matched the ebb and flow of the crystalline river-sea- it’s waters were the blood in my veins. Everything that scuttled and scampered and slithered through the undergrowth; all creatures from the birds that spread their wings and soared through the treetops to the beetles and bugs that crawled across the coarse and damp earth were my brothers and sisters. Every morning I danced to the steady beat and thrum of the rain; every night I sang along with the howling monkeys and the crying cicadas. The song of the Amazon.
But then, they came, great monsters of metal that tore through the ancient trees like paper. They turned the sky grey with their smoke and the rivers black with their oil. With their silver teeth, they ripped the green plants from the ground and ate into the weeping earth. Leaves, ripped carelessly from their branches, spilled onto the ground like tears, silent and solemn. The beasts took my brothers and sisters with their iron fists and tossed them carelessly into cages. They drove huge rifts into the dirt, pulling up the roots that had lived there for centuries. They took away the song of the Amazon and left behind them a gaping, yawning silence.
I now live amongst the dead branches and broken twigs of a fallen kingdom. Where my long-forgotten home once stood proudly. Where there once flowed water there are only sunken river beds. Where there once were trees now stand dry, rotted stumps. The rain that now falls here is not fresh and nourishing, but cold and dark. The life that still resides on this empty plain is small and weak, nothing like the lively creatures I used to know. Sometimes, the beasts return, to take more from the earth they have already stolen so much from; to chop the silent corpses of the trees I once knew and loved like family, into cold, meaningless dust. I yearn for the life I once had, to hear the Amazon’s song once again, but I know that it may never return to me. I sing my own songs now, songs of mourning, songs that my weary feet can no longer dance to. These are the only songs that are left in me.