Priscilla and Steve

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.


 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 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!”



  1. My first response -dear Jamie :

    #For Your Future’s Sustenance #

    O my son !
    Raise your head
    I’m your benevolent mother
    My eyes -your azure sky
    When you are blown by caustic fervor
    My brimming watery eyes turn into serene raindrops to alleviate you
    My hands -your verdurous trees
    When you lie wearily on my verdant lap
    My hands spread florid twigs to shade you
    My moist lips -your rivers
    When your thirst touches me
    Words of my lips turn into rivulets to kiss you to mitigate your thirst
    Now -my son
    Why are you burning my eyes with your voluminous black smoke
    Why are you cutting my hands with your severe axe so grimly
    Why are you tearing my lips throwing poisonous blues
    I’m your mother earth
    I’m your reason of survival -with snowy peaks
    -golden flowers
    -dancing rivers
    Wouldn’t you be just to me
    Wouldn’t you be fair to me
    Not only for me but also
    For your nourishment
    For your children’s nutriment
    For your future’s sustenance ages after ages …
    ©Kakali Das Ghosh

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jamie

    My fourth response:

    Purple Moors

    were once forests
    national parks heavy industrial
    this oak headland a pitsite

    lads snap off livelimbs
    anarchic coppicing
    black dogshitbags sway
    on limbs left alone

    don’t visit in a storm
    oaks are lightningtrees
    people can be oaks

    oakgroves of druids
    duir means a door
    exit and entrance

    raw open wounds of sacrifice
    still bleed sap

    this hand has molded
    a garden out of wildlife
    words out of nonsense

    she used to say “when
    one door closes
    another opens”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jamie,

    My third response:

    We Stop Decay

    devote lives to prevent decay
    of wood, breath, bone, brick,
    gardens of our minds,
    faculties of our hearts

    Each day we weed, we resow,
    rework, rebuild
    the wood, breath, bone, brick,
    gardens of our hearts,
    faculties of our minds.

    Laugh to heal the stench
    of rot, worm eaten
    brick, bone, breath, wood
    landscape of flesh
    fresh produce of light.

    Born to decay in decay
    heal the ever opening wound
    brick, bone, breath, wood
    flesh of landscape
    light produce of flesh.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jamie,

    My second response:

    Land Is History

    is a past pitman.
    ancestor, a nailmaker
    whose strong coffin nails
    stout fasten the woods
    grain swish as land without
    skeleton to hold its’ skin.

    Both open cast places.
    where redundancy rips
    old features from their faces,
    old skulls from beneath their skins.

    Redundancy within weeks drains the Dearne from their arteries, smooths disused canals from their cheeks, wetlands asset-stripped from their eyes.

    And children sit on father’s knee as on a hill hear how men
    made hills a sack of land
    a weight of meaning

    Land no longer propped
    by miners hands

    into history.

    (From my first pamphlet: “The Fabulous Invention Of Barnsley, 1993, revised 2017)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. as you take the road to Paradise

    about half-way there
    you come to an inn
    which even as inns go is admirable

    you go into the garden of it
    and see the great trees and the wall
    of Box Hill shrouding you all round

    it is beautiful enough (in all conscience)
    to arrest you without the need of history
    or any admixture of pride of place

    but as you sit in a seat in the garden
    you are sitting where Nelson sat
    when he said goodbye to Emma;

    if you move a yard or two you will be
    where Keats sat biting his pen
    thinking out some new line of poem

    From my ‘The Recovery of Wonder’ 2013

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Abu Ward, ‘Father of the Flowers’, continued to maintain his carefully nurtured flower garden during the worst of Assad’s systematic bombing of Aleppo. He was killed by bomb dropped near this living oasis. His son, who, at 13 years old, left school to help his father attempted to maintain the garden after his father’s death, but it’s now closed. Sadly, in this instance, environmental justice has been, as so often, a victim of warfare.


    ‘The presence of the world is flowers’.
    Abu Ward

    This was the man
    who planted flowers

    where the bombs
    were falling.

    This is his son
    who kneels alone

    by the garden gate.
    The dust he pushes

    around their stems
    with his thumb is where

    his father lives now.
    And each flower

    will lift some dust
    as it rises in spring.


    Liked by 3 people

  7. desecratory deliverance

    we have grown to love distillates

    bagged sugar cherry extract oil
    of cloves buckminsterfullerene

    essences pantheonized for delectation
    bottled genies at our command

    we so love purities
    fleece white as snow
    anthracite darkly dense
    radial 24-caratotomy
    kruggerrandom acts
    and we feel godlike

    we soupify the sky
    we landfillet the lakes
    sadsaturate soil
    slagsilt the seven seas

    it is a remorseless juggernaut
    this megamodular magicker
    and some of us are waking up

    some of us want a different magic
    the magic of the camper
    who goes sees enjoys records
    leaves the site none the worse

    some of us want a reckoning
    a calling to account
    shame and punishment
    some of us want to be sheriffs

    is just like any other war
    on any other badguy

    and artificial value
    has yielded unartificial power
    and corruptive pushback
    and corrosive continuance

    deliverance must come
    as with any other childbirth
    spasmodically and with some blood
    crowning and pushing through membrane
    a slap and a gasp and a wail

    our magical recording
    transmitting devices will help
    ill-gotten gains though they be

    our one-person choices will help
    at least
    the enormity of the challenge
    the size and perversity of the beast
    will be revealed
    as you yes you
    give up your midas’s vehicles
    stop eating the factory-farmed
    children of hell’s misery
    and reduce
    “places you must see before you die”

    serve up justice to yourselves
    and fire the single brick
    of your life’s commitment
    in the kiln
    of paradise

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Jamie,

    Here’s my first response:

    A Matter Of England

    I stroll the matter of England
    every workday. Recall rich
    ancestral lords use miners sweat
    lay clanking rails, raise putrid stench,

    I walk the matter of England
    see lives snatched by unmarked
    uniforms, history laid waste
    to make a point and remove sting
    of sweated labour

    I tread the matter of England everytime I chronicle the artificial lake, pit demolished, rails removed, soil has been moved on, seasonal.

    Decipher its taste when we in/exhale its dust, decode invasions private/public, ingest new blood, remember old.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. thanks Jamie…..first response

    .. spaces..

    connect with spaces,
    you may move differently.
    sound different.

    a specific style of dancing?

    which reveals the environment as a character,

    animation through animated intent

    or something.

    Johann Botha said this.
    he is in Pretoria, he is
    part of our audience

    another sat quietly.
    it can be dark.

    the date is set.

    24 this month
    of winter


    Liked by 2 people

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