Sophia Ludtke

Newark Academy, ‘20    “At the first workshop, one of my peers said that combating climate change requires ‘not just the changing of minds but the changing of hearts.’ This continued to resonate with me as Climate Speaks progressed. I am now convinced of the powerful role the arts can play in communicating about the climate crisis in a way that will cause people to take notice and listen and leave inspired to take action in their own communities.”   Sophia grew up in Paris and now lives in New Jersey. She’s inspired by both Natirar, a nature preserve by her home, and by the wonders of cities. She’s hopeful that green and urban spaces can sustainably coexist. She traveled to California last year and witnessed the devastation of wildfires there alongside climate action-oriented peers, and she’s excited to be part of another group of incredible young people committed to speaking out against climate change as a collective and powerful youth voice.

Newark Academy, ‘20

“At the first workshop, one of my peers said that combating climate change requires ‘not just the changing of minds but the changing of hearts.’ This continued to resonate with me as Climate Speaks progressed. I am now convinced of the powerful role the arts can play in communicating about the climate crisis in a way that will cause people to take notice and listen and leave inspired to take action in their own communities.”

Sophia grew up in Paris and now lives in New Jersey. She’s inspired by both Natirar, a nature preserve by her home, and by the wonders of cities. She’s hopeful that green and urban spaces can sustainably coexist. She traveled to California last year and witnessed the devastation of wildfires there alongside climate action-oriented peers, and she’s excited to be part of another group of incredible young people committed to speaking out against climate change as a collective and powerful youth voice.

Geocentrism

Drowned by your gas-guzzling, heedless sorrow

Smothered by your gulping, chugging, rasping contraptions 

Groaning under the relentless weight of your junk

You toss 

me 

around with gleeful abandon

pitch me into an unmapped abyss

I gasp for air

More than I need 

And then you watch

With mournful eyes

As I tumble back down

Into the outstretched arms of

My orbit 

Blue swallowing up green

A tangle of grease and soot and rubble and

People 

Sweltering asphalt

Charcoaled remains

You crayon a fat tear dribbling down my helpless cheek?

Mother Earth

or so I am called

But when a toxic kiss

grazes your skin 

or when a hasty caress

extinguishes your fluorescence 

or when a heavy embrace

suffocates you

I won’t cry

Will you?

*

I wrote this poem in 8th grade. 

With the question mark at the end hanging in mid air with 

apprehension

I won’t cry. Will you? Will you? 

Will I? 

to personify the earth: cartoon its wrath, crayon its sorrow

as it sets its timberlands ablaze

leaves tree stumps for trash

as it lets the stature of its surface swell

and shakes itself loose of us 

cantankerous things

but the earth’s story is safer than our own 

*

December of 2018, 1000 climate activists slept in a church 

and I wondered

What was God thinking? 

to personify God: speculate intentions, sacralize his image 

he cries at our loss when we want him to

approves of our stewardship, scowls at our greed as we see fit 

but God’s story is safer than our own 

how fragile his guardianship

blowing away with the wind

when our faith dissolves

But when a toxic kiss

grazes your skin 

or when a hasty caress

extinguishes your fluorescence 

or when a heavy embrace

suffocates you

He won’t cry

Will you? 

*

Will you? Will I? 

A question mark still hanging in mid air with 

apprehension

a power outage. a person outage. a prospect outage. 

the earth blinks black. but the cosmos blinks back.