Environmental Poetry

Is noise pollution harmless? Find out by reading Below the Surface

Australian artist Sharon Davson is passionate about the beauty of our world. In 1990 she founded a charity to highlight endangered species awareness. More recently, she was one of the sponsors for Pat Farmer’s Pole to Pole run, which raised funds for Red Cross Water projects. Described as a personal globalist, her paintings often feature environmental and humanity issues.

Sharon Davson

Inspired by these conversant multi-dimensional images, Celia has written poems to accompany Davson’s art.

This presentation of ten poems was inspired by Davson’s accompanying images and Associate Professor Hilary Whitehouse’s work on Environmental Education.

I would like to thank Sharon for her generous permission to reproduce her interpretive images on this site. The first poem, The Beauty Of It All was published alongside Davson’s image of the painting Called Away in the Australian school textbook Macmillan English 7 in 2011.

Rocket science and space travel have allowed humans to see Earth from a distance. Subsequently, we began to comprehend its fragility and finite capacity.

Called Away by Sharon DavsonCalled Away by Sharon Davson (oil on canvas 1985) Zoom in to see complete image

The Beauty of it all by Celia Berrell

All we can touch, and all we see
began in cosmic history.
How long ago, came things to be?
Perhaps it was infinity.

All our surroundings hold in store
the clues to what has gone before.
A fascination long prevails
to understand time’s every tale.

Our tiny earth holds precious gifts
as through the universe it drifts.
With organisms varied, rife.
Are we alone in having life?

This special form of energy
enduring in its frailty,
bestows such beauty, all admired.
Intelligence is awe-inspired.

Our thirst for scientific knowledge has led to the success of the human race, but disorganised the fine-tuning of our planet.

Origins Of The Future by Sharon DavsonOrigins Of The Future by Sharon Davson (crayon drawing on rag paper 1985) Zoom in to see complete image

Mother of Invention by Celia Berrell

Neotenic humankind
is ceaseless of inquiring mind.
With science and technology,
the stopper’s out, dynamically!

From fire to furnaced energy;
from steam to electricity.
We modify genetically,
and glean the stars effectively.

We can’t slow down this gain in pace.
The fascination’s well in place.
Much to learn – with good intention,
drives this mother of invention.

A positive approach to environmental issues is often linked to happy experiences from when we were young.

Living Freedom by Sharon DavsonLiving Freedom by Sharon Davson (acrylic and coloured foils on marine ply 1988) Zoom in to see complete image

Impropagation by Celia Berrell

A crack in the concrete
is all it takes
for a small seed to lodge
and germinate.

Its roots exude acid;
dissolving cement.
And so it has grown
where it wasn’t meant.

Ignored by pedestrians

tramping through,
with sunlight and water
it proudly grew.

And look at it now.
Majestic and high.
Being kissed and blessed
by a butterfly!

Sustainability is the key to our future quality of life.

Time to Grow by Sharon DavsonTime To Grow by Sharon Davson (oil on canvas in two panels 1995) Zoom in to see complete image

Town And Country Air by Celia Berrell

It’s both town and country air
that we ultimately share.
So polluting one expect
to get a butterfly effect.

If the key to all our health
is to share in nature’s wealth
then we’d best invest a plan
to save our wildlife while we can.


Human beings won’t be able to survive on their own.

Together We Can by Sharon DavsonTogether We Can by Sharon Davson (oil on canvas 1995) Zoom in to see complete image

Peace By Piece by Celia Berrell

The world is getting smaller
and its breaking into bits.
Let’s put it back together.
Peace by piece
the puzzle fits.

Repairs can all be tended
by the tiniest of friends.
As working all together
Peace by piece
the puzzle mends.

Every little bit helps. Tidying up the litter is a good way to start.

Is Anyone Listening? by Sharon DavsonIs Anyone Listening? by Sharon Davson (oil on canvas 1993) Zoom in to see complete image

Is Anyone Listening by Celia Berrell

I stand on this platform
proclaiming my view
to a handful of mice
and possibly you.

My home’s getting hotter
and dryer each year.
Perhaps global warming
is finally here.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Find something fascinating and it will be beautiful.

With Gratitude Comes Growth by Sharon DavsonThe Seeds of Gratitude by Sharon Davson (oil on canvas 1997) Zoom in to see complete image

The Garden Within by Celia Berrell

There is a garden
in my heart
where beauty grows
in fits and starts.

Where smiles are petals
from the flowers
bestowed by others
from their bowers.

Nutritious hope
reaps seeds to feed
my spirit
for its every need.

With gratitude
I’ll reach my goal.
To touch the island
of my soul.

Should we be responsible for not preventing the things we could prevent?

A Question Of Harmony by Sharon DavsonA Question Of Harmony by Sharon Davson (oil on canvas 1997) Zoom in to see complete image

Below The Surface by Celia Berrell

Noise pollution: cars, machines.
It’s not as harmless
as it seems.

The call of every little bird
won’t travel far
or can’t be heard.

Its song for some potential mate
is stifled by
the noise we make.

And so it either moves away
or has no fertile
eggs to lay.

The Emu pondered what to do
so songs of birds
could still get through.

Deciding that to drown our sound
the humans should
live under-ground.

Environmental Education needs to reach us all.

Origins by Sharon DavsonOrigins by Sharon Davson (oil on canvas 1991) Zoom in to see complete image

Origins by Celia Berrell

My mind is like
the deepest sea
where thoughts can swim
and come to me.

The more I learn
the more I crave
to search beneath
its every wave.

Majestic whales
can sing my dreams
while dolphins
puzzle out my schemes.

The turtles
touch my innocence
and find my
inner radiance.

Different life forms see the world in different ways from us. Can we ever know what they are feeling and thinking?

Spider on it's Web by Sharon DavsonSpider On Its Web by Sharon Davson (water colour on paper 1972) Zoom in to see complete image

Hungry Spider by Celia Berrell

I’m just a red spider in charge of my web.
Suspended I swing in a gentle breeze.
My eyesight is poor, but I can see the light
that mottles the sun through the wafting trees.

My internal organs are shrinking inside.
My hunger is hollow from tail to head.
I’m waiting and waiting. A fly will come by
and catch on my finely-spun silken thread.

I hope it’s a fruit-fly. A tasty dessert
that’s flavoured with apples and orange peel.
My venom glands ache with the hope of release
to con-vert my prey to a liquid meal.


Sentiments addressed at the beginning of each poem were inspired by Environmental Education For The Tropics by A/Professor Hilary Whitehouse, which is a James Cook University’s 4th year pre-service teacher module.

Celia Berrell
PO Box 830
Hervey Bay QLD 4655

0408 069 192
website by Precedence