Kilhah Stfort

Thomas A. Edison High School, ‘21    “I’m motivated to speak out on climate change because it’s a threat to our home…. Seeing our earth in its glory (the fresh air, the clean water, the plants) makes life a bit easier sometimes. That’s a feeling that I want to be preserved and shared with the next generations.”    Kilhah  was born in Brooklyn and moved to Queens in elementary school. She lives in a diverse community alongside Latinx, African, and Indian neighbors. She’s passionate about sharing her thoughts and emotions through writing and evoking a reaction in others -- whether it be disagreement or inspiration. Kilhah is excited to be participating in Climate Speaks in order to raise awareness about climate change, which she believes to be misunderstood and mostly poorly taught, by mixing it with a familiar form of art.

Thomas A. Edison High School, ‘21

“I’m motivated to speak out on climate change because it’s a threat to our home…. Seeing our earth in its glory (the fresh air, the clean water, the plants) makes life a bit easier sometimes. That’s a feeling that I want to be preserved and shared with the next generations.”

Kilhah was born in Brooklyn and moved to Queens in elementary school. She lives in a diverse community alongside Latinx, African, and Indian neighbors. She’s passionate about sharing her thoughts and emotions through writing and evoking a reaction in others -- whether it be disagreement or inspiration. Kilhah is excited to be participating in Climate Speaks in order to raise awareness about climate change, which she believes to be misunderstood and mostly poorly taught, by mixing it with a familiar form of art.

The Unwilling Jailer

Blue depths

Holder of euphoria and life

I enshroud the senses

Sometimes I am unmoving

Shy, a bit cautious

The wind nudges me forward gently

My fingertips graze over hot grains

Before I must retreat

Other times

A heat swells in the pits of my stomach

Excitement floods my veins

I stand tall onto the tips of my toes

Trembles overcome me

I reel forward

Curled up into myself

Cold water rushes down

Salty taste, cool touch

Within me lives

The gems of this earth

Great white bears

Rest on icy blocks

Forming homes for their young

Humans enjoy my shallow waters

Laughing, splashing.

I wash away worry

Ease seeping deep into their bones

Yet, something creeps in

Poison coated claws sink into me

Infecting, tainting

The icy blocks are it’s first victims

I cannot speak when they cry

Their bodies lessening with each passing day

I cannot move when I bloat

Overfilling with their remains

Shoves and howls

Replace nudges and laughter

Trees snap

      Against the wind

He runs in circles

Dragging me along


My falls turn hazardous

Wood splints underneath the pressure

I tear through the homes of my humans

Furniture

   Pictures

    Memories

Destroyed

I wrap around their wrists and ankles;

Watery chains weigh down

Until they gasp, claw, and struggle

Their freedom is stolen

I am silenced

As my form distorts

As I slap shackles on the innocent

As fingers point, turning the blame onto me

As I become jailer of a prison

Soaked in blood and tears

Founded by a force born from my accusers

Who are they to declare me the villian?

They are the ones who pollute this earth

Burning materials without thought

They say the pains aren’t real

“Climate change? Oh, that’s just a theory.”

I scoff

If it’s not real, why do I feel the symptoms of an incoming epidemic.

My body aches, my knees shake

Stomach twisting and knotting

Cotton stuff head

Pressure building

A storm is brewing

But hey,

The Unwilling Jailer

What could i know, I’m just an ocean.

I’ll shut my eyes and cover my ears

I will play my part

Become the horrible, unfeeling ocean

And watch as our beautiful earth is pulled apart

By her children.