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Creative works

Various Hiking Heroes Contributors


By: Alexander Park



By: Ryan Chun

Human's perspective

For some of us it is just one

Step, for some of us it feels like a million

Steps, into an karmic future with no

Breath, one more last breath of

O2, the burning seas that swallows shallow

Fate, trumped by acrid anarchic

Destiny, pays no heed to sorry.

Nature's perspective

I swallow my last breath and hibernate

A deep, eternal slumber, drowning in flames

Smoke unsheathes itself, blackening me

A natural crematorium, you could call it

While I pour tears— ah

The tears have dried and

So have I.

God's perspective

No hopeful fate shall pass

What passes is a scorching lazy river

Not a false promise

You will shiver in a drought

Of empty promises

Your one step unfulfilled

A million lifetimes, lost.



By: Alex Kim

    I hate my agea. Why do I have to take care of one? Yes, we’ve been told millions of times by tree-hugging scientists that this is the price we pay to live on Earth. All of us know that ageas are the living embodiment of this planet; if they die, the planet dies. With that logic, I guess it makes sense that the government assigns each of us an agea from an early age. But we agea-owners get bombarded with messages about how Earth is dying and it’s our fault. Every year, it feels like something that used to be fun is now harmful. Driving a car with our ageas used to be the symbol of freedom. Now I’m supposed to believe it’s the thing that’s killing my agea? Then what is NOT harmful? If everything the so-called experts say is true, all of the ageas should have died a long time ago. But do the scientists - and the mindless politicians they control - know this for sure? We’ve been told that the ageas have been getting sicker since at least 100 years ago.

   Yet, I don’t see anything happening with my agea. Well, he gets fevers sometimes, but all creatures get fevers. Maybe they do happen a little more frequently than before but don’t we all age? As my buddy, Leo, in the Climate Tree-huggers, MY ASS board says, this is just another alliance between the scientists and the government to control us using these hideous creatures. 


  Now I have to do these ridiculous checkups for my agea, too. That is how I ended up in front of the agea hospital. As I climbed up the stairs, I tried my best to ignore how much of a waste of time, money, and effort this was. 

 But whatever, I’m here so why not make the most of it? 

 When I walked into the examination room, the doctor looked up at me wearily. He was surrounded by charts of what I guess were other ageas. It was just another sign to me that the government messaging was working because so many people were now taking their ageas to the hospital. I just hoped this doctor would give me more than five minutes. 

 “Hello, Dr. Green.” 

 “Hi, I saw on the chart that you were coming because of a concern as a guardian.”

 “Kind of. My agea has a perpetual fever, and his immune system has not been in the best condition since a few years ago. What has to be done to help my agea?”

 Dr. Green looked down at the papers that I guess were about my agea. After a few moments, he furrowed his brows and then pointedly asked me, “Ma’am, do you smoke?”

 I looked him in the eye, annoyed. “Yes, but what does that have anything to do with my agea?”

 Dr. Green replied to my concern with an unexpected answer. “It looks like your agea has been exposed to Second-hand smoking for a long time. The ageas are different creatures from us. Their bodies consume the toxic fumes from the cigarettes directly into themselves. It’s the same idea with what’s going on overall with ageas all over the world. As you probably know, all the see… oh… two…,” 

 He articulated each word slowly and separately like I was an idiot. He was really annoying me. I’m no elementary school kid who doesn’t understand English! I understand without his over annunciation of words. I looked at him disgusted, as he continued, “... we have been releasing is making many ageas sick. Smoking cigarettes directly in front of one just makes it worse. I have had previous smokers come in to tell me about the symptoms you have told me. I would have to examine your agea more closely and find out more details about how extensive his damage is. After that, I will let you know and we can discuss treatment plans. He may need surgery, but we can only be sure after we meet him.”


 “Yes. But before we can specify his operations, we’ll have to have your consent. If you could please – ” 

“But Dr. Green, I read new reports that say cigarettes don’t actually do anything and it’s not harmful. It’s just air. This is just like how all of the ads I keep seeing about the gasses we apparently put into the air is making many ageas warm  up. They’re all just air! Ageas readjust just like we do. So does Earth. And so does my agea. So I don’t see a point with surgery; my agea goes up and down, and right now it’s in a down. What’s something you can do so that it feels okay while it recovers?”

   “Ma’am, your agea… Earth doesn’t have much time left. That is not a lie. So many people are receiving information online and it isn’t reliable. The Earth isn’t readjusting. It has been at the highest temperature ever recorded in history, and the increase is not stopping. This has been agreed upon by numerous scientists all over the world. We should not delay any procedures that could give your agea a chance to survive which also will help the Earth itself restore its health as well. But even before I talk about recovery, I need your consent to –” 

  “No, thank you Dr. Green. Thank you for your time.”  I didn’t even bother hearing the reply and stormed out of the office. The hospital was obviously scamming me! They just wanted my money! And was I about to blindly pay them for some surgery or some other medical quack that won’t do anything for my agea? No way.

 I was so enraged about Dr. Green that I made appointments at different hospitals. And one after the other, they told me the same scam story Dr. Green 

had told me. That was, until I met him.

 It was quite a strange way that I met this doctor. I was on the phone while strolling down the streets. I was beyond frustrated as this was my 20th call to a professional for either an appointment or for advice; I was sick and tired of the same cliché answer that had the underlying objective to have me spend money. Nobody, not even so-called doctors, were helping me! I stopped in the middle of the side-walk and started yelling over the phone at the professional, “No, I don’t need that! Thank you for your time, I guess. Good-bye.” Before I started storming back on the path I was walking, he approached me.

“I know this may sound creepy, but I overheard part of your conversation on the phone, and I just want to say I agree with you. There are so many experts who want to scam us, and I am so glad that there are people like you who know the truth. I want to introduce myself. My name is William Starling. Nice to meet you.”

 “Oh, hello?” 

 Our conversation picked up from there and he explained to me that he was a doctor who had experience in treating other ageas as well. Though his views were totally correct and I agreed with him, apparently, his supervisors at his hospital didn’t understand his treatment plans. Apparently, they were not approved by the government and for that, some rat at his workplace reported him and his medical license was taken away. I know it is ridiculous. I saw many non-mainstream news sites - the ones who actually tell the truth - promoting many of the same things that Dr. Starling was telling me.

 Like all of us who knew the truth, Dr. Starling believed that the Earth was just going through a temperature readjustment like it did before, years ago. Due to the fact that the ageas were working to adapt to the differences in the temperature, the ageas were feeling a little unwell. As soon as their bodies adapt, the ageas will be back to normal. He also said the government’s ultimate goal was to be able to control the energy supply as well as the economy. By saying that a crisis with Earth was happening, people would desperately spend all of their money to try to treat their ageas because not doing so would lead us to not have a planet to live on. Spending the money towards government-funded hospitals would lead to more wealth for the politicians. 

 At the end of the conversation, we exchanged contacts and agreed to meet at his house the next day. 

 When I arrived, I walked up to his door and he enthusiastically let me in. We sat on his spade and we were soon deep in conversation. 

 “There’s nothing we can do right now. You HAVE to let the adaptation process happen; I don’t know how many times I need to emphasize it to my patients. Just know that this is MUCH better and worthwhile than wasting money on huge operations that do nothing.” Dr. Starling looked around as if he was looking for something or someone before he, in a slightly lower voice, added, “Oh and he’ll sweat a bit. The agea is responding to the temperature change of Earth, so don’t worry. It’s a sign that he’s recovering.”

 “Okay, thank you so much, genuinely. I’ll call if anything changes but for now, I’ll let nature do its work.” 

 I left the former Doctor Starling and left my agea alone just like he told me. As he said, my agea started sweating within a few days. What I didn’t expect, however, was just how much agea would sweat. As the days went by, his sweating became a literal stream of water that cascaded down his face and made a puddle below him. To top it off, on the last day, the puddles of sweat throughout my house started to corrode through the floor of my apartment. I realized that my agea’s puddles were becoming acidic.

 In response, my nosy neighbor downstairs actually came up to complain about the hole in his ceiling. This was the same guy who played classical piano though, so I knew he wouldn’t understand the recovery process Dr. Starling detailed for me. Piano players are almost always treehuggers in my experience. Besides, it’s not like his agea was looking much better. So I told him to mind his own business and shut the door in his face. 

 Hours later however, the sweat of my agea started to change color. It was now murky and soon it began vomiting on top of the puddles he made. That made the oceans of sweat in my apartment look even worse. Not only that, my agea’s hairline was receding and strands of his grassy green hair fell out. I liked my men to be clean-cut, but this was ridiculous. The agea was BALD, for Chrissake! And, worst of all, his balding was ruining my floor. Disgusting, to say the least.

I had to admit that this was beyond what the former Dr. Starling told me. My agea was visibly sick, and it was rapidly getting worse. It made sense now why Starling had his ass kicked out from practicing medicine.

The last thing I needed was a dead agea on my record on top of all the problems I had. I didn’t want to deal with the police or court again. I had no choice, but to take it back to the hospital.

As soon as I could, I dragged the agea back up to the 4-story tall hospital I had visited earlier. I went into the same room again

“Hello, Dr. Green.”

“Oh, hello. Is this your agea that you brought with you?”

“Yes, can we go over the consent form?”




By: JoonWon Lee

The ever changing time

Studded with the ocean of stories

In the place we call home

The land of struggles

Now scorched under our torch

Broken promises

Charred history

Crumpled dreams

Invade this sanctuary

Flux of wealth and power

The unseen stars

The uncertain ocean floors

The unwilling forest trees

The raging light of fire

Waves of destruction

Amidst this tattered world

A lone hero

Armed with heart and grit

Faced with hurt and guilt

Rids the scars of greed

A chance for a reckoning 

A time for redemption

A path for rebirth

To carry out the vision

For evergreen tomorrows


Soft sanctuary

By: Vincent Gledhill

Secret church of trees!

Huggable, loveable, trees.

Green, a new meaning.


Letter to earth

By: Seoyoon Jin

Dear Earth,

I’m here to apologize. Some are too ignorant to do so, but it is something that needs to be spoken. 

I’m sorry for the recklessness, the ignorance, and the plain selfishness that we have towards you. Though you provide us with all the wonders, beauty, necessities, and the perfect balance between all, we turn a blind eye. Instead, we take away your needs. We harm, ruin, and disrupt the balance; the stability. Destroying your skin, filling up your lungs with smoke, and killing off your creations one by one. But instead of stopping ourselves from abusing you, we are too stuck into our own little lives. Stuck inside the phone, stuck inside the money. Not being big enough to care beyond our narrow view.

But dear Earth, please do not be in distress. I, as well as many others, hope that one day everyone, despite their differences, will come together and decide to stop the tragedy. That we will finally realize the problem. So please, stay strong for a little while longer and have hope.


Seoyoon Jin


Blind conscience

By: Lauren Suh

  Environmental crises are no strangers to the people of the 21st century. Starting with the wildfires in California to flooding in numerous parts of the world, Mother Nature has raged incessantly with countless natural disasters during the past years. Especially in 2022 and now in early 2023, there have been many reported cases of both people and the environment struggling against the disastrous effects of wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) stated that there had been a total of 66,255 wildfires in the U.S. over the course of 2022. In fact, more than 7,534,403 acres of forestland had burned, causing the US nearly $11.2 billion in damage. But what exactly is the main cause of natural disasters like this?

 It was initially thought by many that wildfires were the consequence of inevitable global warming. As Earth’s atmosphere naturally grew warmer, scientists believed that it was the excessive heat that was most to blame; even the smallest spark from dry leaves could trigger and light the whole forest ablaze. 

However, scientists now suggest that the main cause of wildfires is human influence; they found that nearly 85% of all wildfires were triggered by neglected cigars, abandoned campfires, flammable trash, and pollutants. 


A nature close-up

By: Tony Park


Not Worth the shot

By: Erin Kim

 Similar to most animals bred for food, chickens—though rare—are genetically engineered so they would be able to grow quicker or lay excessive amounts of eggs. The chicken in my composition is only a representation of many animals that are genetically modified. As I was creating this artwork, I asked myself questions about the relationship between humans and animals. There are times when nature does not find its way, but are we to judge? Are humans disrupting the natural flow of nature, or are we only trying to adapt and survive, and make food, even if that requires interfering with the environment? Halfway through the process of painting and scrapping, I concluded; we do not need to make chickens into machines that lay eggs. We do not, to fulfill our greed, genetically engineer the DNA of housepets to make them smaller, hence “cuter” and more “petite.” There is a way humans can be involved with animals and with the natural food chain without displaying greed and striving for simplicity. 

When observed, my artwork is a small mixed-media painting of puzzle pieces. The rooster in the artwork is framed in puzzle pieces that match perfectly with each other. However, in the upper region, another puzzle piece of different color and shape is pushed into the matched pieces, as if forcing itself to fit in. This additional puzzle piece shows an image of a needle or shot, preparing to inject the chicken. The contrast between the two different colors of the puzzle pieces accentuates the difference between artificial modification and natural organisms. I wanted each trait of the painting to stand out, which led to using colors that contrast each other and taking advantage of using patterns and scrapping.


Environmental takes: ChatGPT

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