When we talk about Environmental Justice, it is sometimes assumed that people will agree on what is ‘the right thing to do’. However, as with anything else, our decision-making about Justice is influenced by our values, by the things that we deem ‘special’, ‘important’, or ‘sacred’. We propose that there are (at least) three categories of valued environments, or ‘Holy Ground’: Nature, Place and Community. Think about these three different arenas and how you see Justice being applied to them.
For example, if Community is your value, you may feel that Environmental Justice has to do with how people are impacted and how human activity creates change. If Place is your value, then questions about Justice probably will involve a particular area with borders of a physical or conceptual nature. It may be that feelings of injustice are felt in terms of ‘This, not That’ or ‘Us, not Them’ or in a desire to see a Place resist change. If Nature is your value, then you may see Justice in more fluid terms as the balance of resources between producers/consumers and prey/predator is in a state of constant flux with perhaps no ultimate goal.
So, as you sit down to write about Environmental Justice in your unique voice, identify your values. Perhaps use the lenses of Nature, Place and Community to focus. What is important to you? Why? How does it affect your decision-making? What factors impact this ‘sacred’ ground? How do different cultural models or systems impact your cherished home? What feelings arise in you – what empathy for Living Things or Living Habitats? What fears?
Thank you for spending time with these concepts and these questions. Your presence, your life energy, and your embodiment of love is a gift that we are privileged and honored to receive. Please, share your poems with us!
© 2016, text and photographs (above and below), Priscilla Galasso and Steve Wiencek, All rights reserved.
WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT
All poems shared in response to the theme “Environmental Justice” suggested by Priscilla and Steve will be published here next Tuesday. You are welcome to come out to play no matter the status of your career: beginner, emerging or pro. Leave your poem or a link to it in the comments section below. You have until Monday at 8:30 pm PST to respond. If you are responding for the first time, please be sure to send a short bio and photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.Your bio and photo will be posted with your first poem by way of introduction.
PRISCILLA GALASSO (scillagrace, striving to live gracefully) is a member of The Bardo Group Beguines, the core team that publishes The BeZine. Her stellar essays and stunning photography are as outstanding as her commitment to environmental protection and the wilderness. She began blogging some time ago and this is what she has to say about that adventure: “Inspired by my sister’s Flickr 365 project on her 50th year, I began my own venture of self-discovery with my blog. My life had changed dramatically in the previous 5 years, and I had changed with it. My husband died, my kids moved out, I sold our home and moved in with a tall, dark Scorpio named Steve. I had a lot to process, a lot to learn about growing up and being responsible in this Universe. My eyes are open in a way they have never been before, and I want to share my vision and experiences.” Link HERE for an interview with Priscilla.
STEVE WIENCEK (Scholar and Poet Books, EBay and Scholar and Poet Books, Abe Books ) is the owner and founder of Scholar and Poet Books. He helped out with the September 2016 issue of The BeZine, which addressed environmental issues. You can read his feature article, Nature … Place … Community HERE. Steve says of his independent online store: “We are experienced book, music and video sellers. Our extensive and varied inventory includes a large collection of classical music CDs, LPs and sheet music; colorful and hard-to-find vintage GGA pulp fiction paperbacks; vintage children’s books and more! Find us and like us on Facebook, please!”