Sept 11, 2021
20 Unanswered Questions on an Anniversary

Like an arrow piercing our hearts,
the planes that took down those towers
headed straight from some bow.

Who knows why or
exactly how the arrow was built?

Where were the feathers
found that made up the fletching?

Were they created
for lift?

or simply an opportunistic gathering

of remains left behind, delicate remnants
of former flight, fierce bits

of a hawk’s hunger
that ended badly?

When we heard the snap of the bow,
— the thwung of the snap —

was it really all of a sudden?
Or had we been taken

on a long slow pull back of…


by Laura Parker Roerden

One of the best things about spending time doing science and service with teenagers around the world through Ocean Matters is the people you meet along the way, especially around meals or music. I never underestimate the magic of bringing people together in these ways, but I am often still humbled by it. As I reflect on Plastic-Free July, my heart fills with the memory of a significant gift I received on our first visit to the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) off of Oahu.

HIMB is on a small island named Moku o Loʻe…


by Laura Parker Roerden

You are probably asking: How are single-use plastic and children’s resiliency related? Is there some new study that shows plastic effects children’s brains and their resiliency?

No, there is not. But there are plenty of studies that show that children’s resiliency, or what we might have called “grit” in another generation, is tied to both their emotional intelligenceand sense of self-efficacy or empowerment. Both can be served by following these 6 easy steps to ridding your family (and community) of single-use plastic. …


by Laura Parker Roerden

Let it rise.
Let the pain and heat guide you
to the doorway out of this

illness that blankets
the earth,

out of the way hate
has had the upper hand;

to a place where locks have keys,
where compassion has met dedication

where possibility can guide us to hope,
where the work of knowledge grows

in the perfect spiral of the nautilus
to a place of understanding and healing.

Let it rise,

because like all tides,
the leave-making of the waves
retreating over the stones

presents an opportunity,
as if a threshold

now yours to…


by Laura Parker Roerden

I have always thought rocks
uncommonly beautiful,
none the less when I notice one
along the river move:

a long neck
gracefully
emerging
from the mottled grey mound

and now pointing towards the river.

It’s only in the refection
in the water that I realize what I have before me
is a Great Blue Heron. No doubt

he had seen me long before I saw him.

Now standing assuredly on one leg;
the heron seems to have
no need for the symmetry

on which we depend. He is stock-still
and completely ignoring me,

as if to…


Baby Llama (cria) born on Jo-Erl Farm during a full moon named “Moon Llama.”


by Laura Parker Roerden

We protect what we love,
an explorer once told us.
But of what love
did he mean?

The love for a flower
or that of a son?
The love for a rock held
safe in our palm,
or that for a steeple?

The love of a farmer
for a seed
or of a fisherman
returning with a full hold?

Does this love pour as
honey from a jar?
Or is it more like a river,
falling to the sea?

And where can I find some? …


by Laura Parker Roerden

I love this world.
And not just in morning, when
the long, dark drug of night
opens like a clam to the light.

I love the hinge itself
that swings back and forth
as the tide washes over;
an attempt at renewal.

I love not just the mighty whale
but the plumes of his excrement,
that feed the tiniest plants,
that create the air we breathe.

I love not just a seat at the table,
But the debt we owe
each time we eat, a holy communion
with mineral, vegetable, or animal given.

I love not…

Laura Parker Roerden

Sharing a love of what nature can teach us. Writer, public speaker & supportor of youth to boldly know & save the wilds. Dir @Ocean_Matters & 4th gen fam farmer

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