“Global Harming” . . . and other responses to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt

“This sweet virginal primitive land will metaphorically breathe a sigh of relief — like a whisper of wind–when we are all and finally gone and the place and its creations can return to their ancient procedures unobserved and undisturbed by the busy, anxious, brooding consciousness of man.”
Desert Solitaire, Edward Abby



BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENTAL POEMS, A THANK YOU

Thanks for waiting patiently and courteously for this post to go up. I have returned to the world of the living after health complications and another protracted stay at Stanford Hospital (also know in my family as The Stanford B & B).  I am grateful for your understanding and for the concern, intelligence, and perseverance of my cadre of doctors and other professionals at Stanford. Though there has been a precipitous decline in my lung function and I am completely homebound now, there is some potential for improvement and certainly my quality of life is now much improved over what it has been since last April.  I pray everyone everywhere might have access to such extraordinary care. Universal access to state-of-the-art medicine is compassionate and humane, a must and a right. It’s something for which it is worth fighting.

“The right to health is the economic, social, and cultural right to a universal minimum standard of health to which all individuals are entitled. The concept of a right to health has been enumerated in international agreements which include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. There is debate on the interpretation and application of the right to health due to considerations such as how health is defined, what minimum entitlements are encompassed in a right to health, and which institutions are responsible for ensuring a right to health.” MORE [Wikipedia]



You’ll be delighted with this passionate outpouring in response to the last Wednesday Writing Prompt, Monster’s Rose, January 16, 2019. This collection is courtesy of: Gary W. Bowers, Paul Brookes, Irma Do,  Irene Emanuel, Debbie Felio (Deb y Felio), Jen Goldie, Frank McMahan, Sonja Benskin Mesher, Gayle Walters Rose, and Anjum Wasim Dar. Be inspired, motivated, angry, filled with awe ….


suss stain

suss: perceive
stain: a blemish
rape: maliciously thieve
muck: a substance phlegmish

a nest befouled
unauked unowled
undodoed just a smidgen
unpassengered of pigeon

we suss the stain but soon make more
and drop the stools of detriment
and sculpt and knob the hellgate door
with manufactured excrement

© 2019, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay. Image and Text)


A Mobile

is in the shape
of small graves
for children
who mine the precious
metal inside
that make it work
and I look
Into the screen
to stay connected
but do not see
their gritted lives
as they haul
the valuable
out of the hole
and the world
has never been
so connected
by the small grave
I carry in my pocket.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

This Brash and Burn

1. To Burn Brash

Sat back barked.
Small insects crawl
down tree stretched above
inhabit hair
worn gloves
bruised brashed branches

Breathe wet peat,
damp soil, leaf decay,
autumn dead leaf dance,
spring bluebell wend
summer sacred stainglass
canopy sunshaft play
winter heavesnow clear paths

Sat back barked
canopy leaf horizon
floats shimmers

Calm

2. Our Wombwell Boxed

Lift small boxes wooden lid smell
broadleaved woodland
before rail/road
Press plastic button hear
Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Woodpeckers,
before rail/road.

Press plastic button watch
Videowalk ancient Beech, Oak, Birch
before rail/road.

Electronic ringtone.

We would like to advise all visitors
The museum is closing soon.
Please exit through main door.
We hope you have enjoyed your visit.
Please come again.

© 2019, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Plastic

“Do you want a carrier bag, sir?”
“I friggin don’t. Clog up the seas

with plastic all over. Even in fishes,
birds and what not. It’s all our fault.

Even down to microscopic. Seeps
Into food we eat I bet. Plastic folk

poisoning friggin world we live in.
No, I’ve got my own bags thankyou.

I won’t be one that kills the friggin world.
Here can you put them in here, lad?”

From Paul’s new collection”Please Take Change”, Cyberwit.net, 2018

© 2018, Paul Brookes (Wombwell Rainbow / Inspiration. History. Imagination.)

Prolific Yorkshire Poet, Paul Brookes

FYI: Paul Brookes, a stalwart participant in The Poet by Day Wednesday Writing Prompt, is running an ongoing series on poets, Wombwell Rainbow Interviews. Connect with Paul if you’d like to be considered for an interview. Visit him, enjoy the interviews, get introduced to some poets who may be new to you, and learn a few things

The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews: Jamie Dedes


Prelude to Destruction

Bach’s Prelude in C Major is a well-known piano piece that is about two minutes long. Close your eyes while you listen to it and imagine a stream gently flowing over rocks as it meanders through green forest. Now imagine 130,000 barrels of oil being dumped in that stream. What will happen to the forest and the critters living there?

Now picture the wind whispering over a meadow blanketed with flowers still bright with color despite the new moon. And now a bulldozer comes to move 5000 tons of garbage onto the meadow including plastic that will take a millennia to decompose. How do the colors and aroma of landfill compete with that of wildflowers?

Or listen to the music and let your mind wander over the ocean, the warm sun highlighting the majesty of humpback whales breaching the surface. Now heat trapped by greenhouses causes 600,000 tons of ice to melt in Antarctica raising temperatures that could kill 400 plant and animal species in a year. Would seeing the dead carcasses of whales and other see creatures be as majestic?

Two minutes, the length of a prelude whose repetitious melody can remind us of the repeated wastefulness and mindless consumption we daily engage in that will lead to the destruction of this planet we call home.

Two minutes to kill

The only world that we know

Time to change the song

This (very loosely defined) Haibun was written for Jamie’s first Wednesday Writing Prompt of 2019 focused on the theme of the environment. I also included the last Tuesday Writing Prompt from Devereaux and Beth Amanda at the Go Dog Go Cafe. Their request was to include the words new moon, minutes and prelude in a poem. It definitely took me more than 10-15 minutes to write this Haibun!

The facts embedded in this poem come from this article about things that happen around the world in a minute. I doubled the numbers to match the two minutes of the prelude (I hope I did the math correct!). Conservation and protection of our environment is a cause my family and I are passionate about. We recycle and are trying to compost. We limit our plastic use – the kids have even given up straws! Just two minutes of a small change to your daily habits can make a difference! You can save the world with reusable bags as your cape!

©️2019, words and photo, Irma Do (I Do Run, And I do a few other things too …)


Tell the World

Let it be known

that the Rhinoceros is a magnificent beast;

a relic from an age of legends.

Let it be known

that this does not make them magical

but rather makes them precious.

Let it be known

that their horns are not medicinal

but a property that belongs only to the Rhino.

Let it be known

that horn powder is just powder

and does not provide a solution to the ills of man.

Let it be known

that horn contents do not hold the answers

to Mans’ immortality.

Let it be known

that some people are too stupid and vain

to know that their ignorance is wiping out a species.

Let it be known

that the horn is merely an adornment

of one of the most iconic animals in Africa,

PLEASE, LET IT BE.

© 2018, Irene Emanuel

Earth Walk

Earth walk to

hear Earth talk.

Listen to the birds

listen to the trees

listen to the fish

listen to the seas.

Listen to the hills

listen to the stones

listen to the grass

listen to the groans

of dying species

crying lands

hungry people

with bony hands

powered money

buying shame

removing nature

just for gain.

listen to the whispers

listen to the pain

listen to the wise ones

and don’t destroy again.

This Earth is all,

there is no more,

don’t kill its gifts

with blood and gore,

When Earth is dead,

so are we.

© 2019, Irene Emanuel


Global Harming

we’re crossing the desert in sandals
across new Antarctica
camels follow with our packs
it feels like southern Florida

before the ocean rose and drowned
the people near the shore
and then receded sixty miles
creating quite a lore

to be recited by old timers
beginning with remember when
there was water in these here parts
now there’s sand up to our shins

we’d swim and fish—those were the days
they’d tell the children listening
to magical times when people were wet
coming from deep water glistening

It’s just a fairy tale, we know
the children refuse to believe it
like so many of us long ago
hearing the global warning bit

slow but sure the changes came
spring slush replaced the snow
low temps in seventies everywhere
and gale winds would always blow

but we were brave and kept our cars
kept digging for petroleum
concern belonged to the next generation
never mind the panic symposium

so here we are just like they said
dry and hot as old Florida
in our sandals with our camels
crossing the new Antarctica.

© 2019, Deb y Felio (The Journey Begins)


A Lullaby of Fear

Oh, Mother Earth,
The children cried,
Please stay to hear
our lullaby.

Oh, Mother Earth
Think not
that they
decry your hopes,
Your loves
and dreams,
For they are
But a pawn
And die from
Greater things,

“like why the sea
Is boiling hot
And whether pigs
have wings”

The sky
is fraught with
other things,
guns are bought
And red would bring,
The joyless sound
Of endless things
To end our days
Of everything.

Oh My dear
It is quite clear,
Why you should hear
The child’s cry,

“a lullaby of fear”.

© 2018, Jen E. Goldie (Jen Goldie – Poetry and Short Stories)


False Light

The moon scatters the light it has stolen
out of vanity, cycling round us in
its futile effulgence. Earthworms harvest
the autumn’s leaves, enriching the crust, thin
below the dwindling branches where we sit
and watch the axes hew the trunk and slash.

© 2019, Frank McMahan


.this arid land.

water flows down this valley. wind blows

round our houses.i have said it before.yet

seems that those who should know better,

talk of gods, may judge the people .

live in remote places.

between mountain, sea. the land becomes

dry.

this arid land.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher 

.seeds for the future.

have you collected seeds of many years packed labelled dated

do you have them now in boxes

a gift from those who love

they will bring work joy an independent air

profound gifts

for those who care

have you
leaned by the window cold

thought that if snow falls it may land

if trees grow it may be up

if we all plant seeds they may be food

kindness

deserves praise yet should come as natural

there may be too many additives these day

not enough honesty grown

she said i should have something new in the greenhouse.

i have

i said, and thought of you

who

planted the seeds

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher

.Earth 8211.

he asked me what i missed, i told him.

he suggests we look after the environment.

eat carefully, mind our ways.

i will.

these are the falling days.

© 2019, Sonja Benskin Mesher


Seaward

I hear your voices
calling from your home
in the aquatic depths,
where seas undulate
in constant motion
steered by the moon.

My soul dives and
spins within your
hearts. I merge
in your silence
and rejoice in
the gift
that is the ocean.

O Wise Whale
your tears mix
with countless
others as you
survey the
destruction of
your briny birthplace.

O Great Reef
dwelling place
and protector
for so many,
your quiet
decline has not
gone unnoticed.

Stars gaze with
compassion and
patience hoping
that something
will shift and turn
the tides.

Gales whip along
the waves, pick up
the disquiet and
carry it to shore.

The Trees shudder
and the news
ricochets off the
mountains and
circles the globe.

© 2019, Gayle Walters Rose (Bodhirose)


Come Create Anew

13920214_10154429662230747_6017019006167533630_o  Banni Gala   Islamabad.                         Photo Courtesy CER (Regd 2004)  © 2019

Thin grown ever green
lusciously fully nutritious
dancing away to soundless
sacred sweet symphonies،
swaying sideways in
obedience to invisible
conducting synchronized
companies,
offering soft cool
overtures to burning soles
of injured souls,enriching
meadows to the core,
resistingly  accepting, nibbling
advances of loving mammal
herbivores;

deserted desert dunes,
dream to possess, as
slithering snakes
undulatingly weave
their colors in the sand,
dreading the deadly, Peregrine.

Wave  of green expanses,
sight asking for journeys,as
pearly high peaks call – and
silvery streams flow to touch
the seas, on way caress
to nourish plants and trees.

Oh Gaea’ Listen Look’
Chaos has returned with
dark confusing void
gripping tearing ruining,
rivers  mountains and seas,
forests metamorphosed to
plains, painful is the spirit’

Changes in the Planet are
changing mosquito genes
malaria fills fear, Oh Gaea’
Hear Gaea can you again,

Come to Create anew  ?

یہ  کس   نے   

جھومتا   گیت   گاتا  لہلہاتا   ناچتا  ھوا  سبزا
پکرا   پکار  کر  سسک     کر فریاد  کرتا ھے

یہ سر سبز  لہلہاتے کھیت  روند  ڈالے   کس نے
یہ   چاندی  جیسے جھرنے  میلے کیے کس نے

   ان سنی دھنوں، ان  دیکھے موسیقاروں کے
اشاروں   پہ بجتے سروں کو خاموش کیا کس 

کون   بتاےؑ   گا اب  یہ  تباہی  مچایؑ   کس  نے
 آج      تک     سچی    گواہی   دی کس  نے

تپتی  ریت  مین   سانپ  رنگ   بدلتے چھپتے
چوٹیوں  پہ  شاہیں   کا بسیرا دیکھا  کس نے

یہ زمین  ہی پہاڑ ہی جھومتے کھیت ہی سمندر
ٓاؑواز  دیتے ھیں  چلو  سفر  پے دیکھو  پیاری قدرت

مگر   بدلتے    نظارے    یہ  کٹتے پہاڑ  خشک دریا
جلتے جنگل ، روح  کو  تکلیف    دی  ھے  کس نے  

ملیرےؑ کے مچھر   لوگون کہ ڈراتے پھر رھے ھیں
ملیریا اور مچھر   ملک  سے اب تک بھگاےؑ  کس نے

        اے قدرت نیؑ  زمین بنے  سنورے   گی  کیا پھر سے
تباہ ھو چکی ھے ،پھر سے بنانے کا وعدہ  کیا ، کس نے؟

© 2019, poem in English and Urdu, Anjum Wasim Dar (Poetic Oceans)

“POETRY PEACE and REFORM Go Together -Let Us All Strive for PEACE on EARTH for ALL -Let Us Make a Better World -WRITE To Make PEACE PREVAIL.” Anjum Wasim Dar


Testimonials

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Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. I currently run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers. My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman. My poetry was recently read by Northern California actor Richard Lingua for Poetry Woodshed, Belfast Community Radio. I was featured in a lengthy interview on the Creative Nexus Radio Show where I was dubbed “Poetry Champion.”


The BeZine: Waging the Peace, An Interfaith Exploration featuring Fr. Daniel Sormani, Rev. Benjamin Meyers, and the Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi among others

“What if our religion was each other. If our practice was our life. If prayer, our words. What if the temple was the Earth. If forests were our church. If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean. What if meditation was our relationships. If the teacher was life. If wisdom was self-knowledge. If love was the center of our being.” Ganga White, teacher and exponent of Yoga and founder of White Lotus, a Yoga center and retreat house in Santa Barbara, CA

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.” Lucille Clifton

The BeZine, June 2017,Vol. 3, Issue 9


June 15, 2017

The environmental  challenges are complex, an understatement I know.

  • Big Ag pollutes our waterways and groundwater, air and soil. Some wetlands, rivers and their tributaries can no longer sustain life. Much pastureland is befouled with pesticides, animal waste, phosphates and nitrates and other toxic residue from unsustainable farming practices.
  • Sudan Relief Fund, World Food Program, Oxfam, Catholic Relief Fund, Buddhist Global Relief, the World Food Program and many other organizations are working to mitigate widespread  hunger, which is a problem of economic injustice as well as environmental degradation and environmental injustice.
  • Drought and resulting famine are devastating the Sudan, the West Upper Nile and Yemen.
  • In many areas of the world, access to potable water is sorely lacking.
  • Lack of access to clean water is exacerbated by a want of toilets for some 4.2 billion people, which has a  huge impact on public health.  The result of poor hygiene and sanitation is Dysentery, Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A and death-dealing Diarrhea. More people die of diarrhea in Third World counties than of AIDs.

Our problems are pressing and complex and are made the more difficult as we struggle under a cloud of skepticism and division and the discouraging weight of a Doomsday Clock that was moved forward in January to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight in response to Trump’s election.  That’s the closest we’ve been to midnight since 1953.

Access to potable water may be the most pressing of our challenges.

“The world runs on water. Clean, reliable water supplies are vital for industry, agriculture, and energy production. Every community and ecosystem on Earth depends on water for sanitation, hygiene, and daily survival.

“Yet the world’s water systems face formidable threats. More than a billion people currently live in water-scarce regions, and as many as 3.5 billion could experience water scarcity by 2025. Increasing pollution degrades freshwater and coastal aquatic ecosystems. And climate change is poised to shift precipitation patterns and speed glacial melt, altering water supplies and intensifying floods and drought.”  World Resources Institute

The good news is that there are many working conscientiously to raise awareness and funds. Some of our readers and contributors are among them. There are good people offering time and expertise, sometimes putting their own lives and livelihoods  in danger.

This month our core team and guest writers have chosen to focus largely on water, but they also address the need to respect science (Naomi Baltuck) and the need to acknowledge that war is a danger to the environment in general as well as a cause of human hunger. (Michael Dickel). If the Syrian Civil War were to stop right this second, one wonders how long – how many years, perhaps decades – it would take to make that country’s land farmable again.

Michael Watson, Carolyn O’Connell and Joe Hesch touch their experiences of farms before industrial farming.  Priscilla Galasso, John Anstie, Paul Brooks, Marieta Maglas and Rob Cullen speak to us of water.  Corina Ravenscraft and Sonja Benskin Mesher remind us of the element of greed – as does John – and Sonja points to gratitude.  Enough is truly enough.  Charlie Martin’s poems are poignant, making us think about how sad it would be if we lost it all.  Liliana Negoi brings a quiet and practical appreciation of nature.  Phillip Stevens paints the earth in all her delicacy and need for tender husbandry.

Thanks to our core team members for stellar, thoughtful work as always: John Anstie, Michael Watson and Michael Dickel, Priscilla Galasso and Corina Ravenscraft, Charles Martin, Liliana Negoi, Naomi Baltuck and Joe Hesch.

Welcome back to Paul Brooks, Phillip Stephens and Sonja Benskin Mesher and a warm welcome to Marieta Maglas and Rob Cullen, new to our pages.

We hope this issue will give you pleasure even as it provokes you. Leave your likes and comments behind. As readers you are as import to the The BeZine project, values and goals as are our contributors. Your commentary is welcome and encourages our writers. As always, we offer the work of emerging, mid-career and polished pros, all talented and all with ideas and ideals worth reading and thinking about.

In the spirit of peace, love (respect) and community
and on behalf of The Bardo Group Beguines,
Jamie Dedes, Founding and Managing Editor

Photo credit: A Mongolian Gazelle, victim of drought, Gobi Desert 2009 courtesy of Mark Heard under CC BY 2.0


TABLE OF CONTENTS

How to read this issue of THE BEZINE:

  • Click HERE to read the entire magazine by scrolling (now includes this Intro), or
  • You can read each piece individually by clicking the links below.
  • To learn more about our guests contributors, please link HERE.

SPECIAL

Children call on world leaders to save the ocean, World Oceans Day

BeATTITUDES

Walking With Water, Rob Cullen
Water Wishes, Priscilla Galasso
Our Albatross Is Greed, But We’re Not Sunk Yet, Corina Ravenscraft
Close to My Heart, Michael Watson

 POEMS

Let the Rains Fall, John Anstie

The Value of Water, Paul Brookes
WET KILL, Paul Brookes
What Use Poetry When It Floods, Paul Brookes

Hybrid: Warm Hunger, Michael Dickel

Water, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don’t Blink, Joseph Hesch

The Desert, Marieta Maglas

Postponed Awareness, Charles W. Martin
off course evolution, Charles W. Martin
death by committee, Charles W. Martin

#what more do you expect, Sonja Benskin Mesher

prints, Liliana Negoi
growth, Liliana Negoi
what remains after the tree, Liliana Negoi

Remember the Farm, Carolyn O’Connell

Guerilla Gardening, Phillip Stephens
Resurrection Restoration, Phillip Stephens

PHOTO/ESSAY

That Was Then, This Is Now, Naomi Baltuck

MORE LIGHT

For My Children, Rob Cullen


Except where otherwise noted,
ALL works in The BeZine ©2017 by the author / creator


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“Wonderlust Rain Forest” … poems and other works by readers in response to Wednesday’s Writing Prompt

WEDNESDAY WRITING PROMPT April 26, 2017 ~ Climate change is on our minds these days – perhaps more than in the past given the regime – and we are feeling one with Mother Earth and all her creatures and gratitude for the people who marched on Saturday. What pictures come to mind when you think of our home? How do they make you feel or respond? Tell us in prose or poem . . . and several readers took the challange creating work that rewards your time spent.  Enjoy! … and do visit their sites. Get to them better and let them get to know you.


Costa Rican boat tour by Isadora DeLaVega

Wonderlust Rain Forest

Approaching fading blue skies, we wandered silently through the

Costa Rican Rainforest on our private boat tour. Reaching peaceful estuaries

quietly seeking the wildlife that inhabits this forest.

Silently listening to nature at play, we soon reached the end of our destination.

Unspoiled waters filled with hope for natures future.

2017©Isadora DeLaVega

Photographer, Artist,Writer, Isadora DeLa Vega

Isadora DeLa Vega is featured for the first time on The Poet by Day. Since I’ve enjoyed her creativity for years, I’m pleased to have her response to last Wednesday’s writing prompt.

Isadora blogs at Isadora Art and Photography, A Place for Visual Creativity. She began her career in her late thirties after raising her children. For twenty-eight years, Isadora created award-winning silversmith art jewelry. When she retired due to failing health, she knew that she still needed to be creative. She decided to explore photography because she is inspired by and passionate about luscious colors. She says, “They’re the manna that feeds my soul.”  Before long she realized that writing and poetry were good outlets as well for conveying her thoughts. Her long-term goal is to one day publish a book with her photography and quotes.


and

in the wobble & bulge
of the hurtling universe
I am the sound of blackbirds
and the flutter of a butterfly wing

the shifting shadow on the summer lawn
and the tall tree wind getting up;
all this fixes me for the moment
along with the ancient memory

of two maternal relatives we visited
in Wimbledon Park—it seemed quite often
though it might have been but once or twice…
their lawn turned into a pathway

round a herbaceous oblong
to follow which seemed a minor mystery—
one that transposed many mysteries
to lead to this moment now

darkening shadows and squawk of pheasant
and beeflies above the mouldering sundial

© Colin Bundell (colinbundell.comfrom Colin’s The Recovery of Wonder Hub Editions 2013 (Note: Wimbledon Park is a suburb of London.)


Tarnished Goods

The fox follows her along the byway to reach untouched forests
those forests unfettered by time and pristine oceans devoid of human touch
and each time always she passes freeways littered with a garbage landscape
the fox glances at bottles and fast food wrappers collecting
on roads under construction on a continuum of future whys
where the smell of black tar invades with stinging and burning
she should be accustomed but wrinkles her nose in disgust
as does the fox now her shadow trusting she will reach a destination
not concrete and black asphalt now covering the richness of earth
and does she still hope windows rolled and closed will be enough
enough to keep her safe or will they be unable to block
out the constant drone of the noise of a civilized world
a world that is one built impinging on nature’s habitat
one adding insult to injury and becoming a macabre graveyard
to endangered species & the fox wonders if he will be next
but he cannot bring himself to let himself be absorbed
into track homes swallowing up citrus groves as the raccoons have done
stealing into the night to rob garbage cans of their next meal
this becoming an unnatural habitat as it has for bears and possum
and he feels oddly fortunate that tigers and lions do not live here
but he can still hear them all screaming in pain underpinned with sorrow
and the fox listens as he follows and always the level of noise increases
increases exponentially with every tree cut down and concrete poured
and the fox feels his shadow growing less as theirs becomes more
where claustrophobic habitats are multiplying housing for a rising populace
and the need to reach the forest to be able to stare in awe at the ocean
propels them down the road and she knows she is like the fox
and that no amount of polish will shine and bring it all back
to bring it back to a time delegated to past histories before her
before the fox became her shadow on a journey to find survival
the only solution being the ability of technology to merge with nature
to be a part of the answer in preserving the beauty here long before us
long before becoming tarnished goods in the midst of climate change
long before the fox became her shadow and she became the fox’s shade

© 2017 Renee Espriu (Renee Just Turtle Flight)


. reimagine the world .

leave your ideas at home.
on the hatstand. forget all
that you have learned, things
may not be so.

all people have thoughts, so
yours is not so precious now,
elder.

she told me that even things
at home have changed.

looking round we see they have.

reimagine the world, forget
the learning, start again,
then we may understand, or not.

king david.

© 2017, Sonja Benskin Mesher
***

. stitch. search .

we will not have blankets, if there are none, take the old rags, layer , stitch and stitch by hand till fingers bleed.

work is steady, absorbtion as if the outside world is ended. looking up find it has not. stitching can be rhythmic, and never mind the capitals. other words confound. birds beat the window.

the questions came that i cannot answer here or ever. did not count this time only the final one. noticed the first ones are now undone. the wrong knots.

maybe we need to check our numbers at the end to see if one or more are missing. ? we need to count them carefully, one side then the other?

work along the coast with thread and diligence. gather wools, layer carefully, we shall have warmth this winter.

eight thirty till five. it could have been easy, yet there were issues of the electronic kind meaning wasting time with wires and connections.

cover the surface. it takes time.

© 2017, Sonja Benskn Mesher (Sonja Benskin Mesher, RCA)


Your Damned Anthropocene

“We are as gods and might as well get good at it.”

O, your presumption did not account
for the delicacy of flesh and bone,
the death wish of the human soul.

You had an impact on my future,
I’m not sure I forgive you.
There is your clear signature
in the fossil record , an observable
sudden decline
in the abundance and diversity of plant
and animal life. Perhaps we should
define your time from here.

Did it start when we traced your pulse
at the start of the Industrial Revolution?
Your carbon-dioxide pulse that underlay
what you thought was global warming.

O, your dreams to guide mankind towards global, sustainable, environmental management. How could you see
the juggernaut was unstoppable?

© 2017, Paul Brookes (The Wombwell Rainbow) From Paul’s forthcoming chapbook The Spermbot Blues, OpPress, Summer 2017


THE WORDPLAY SHOP: books, tools and supplies for poets, writers and readers


We continue with the current recommended read: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder. Left, right or center – American or not – it’s a must read.

LESSON THIRTEEN: Practice Corporeal Politics  “Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people.  Make new friends and search with them. ” Prof. Snyder,  On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

THE BeZINE, Vol. 2, Issue 12, Environmental Justice, Intro and Table of Contents with Links

September 15, 2016

Originally published on The BeZine, Be inspired…Be creative…Be peace…Be
Reminder: Join us this Saturday for 100,000 Poets and Friends for Change. Our theme this year is Environment/Environmental Justice.

The Environment is a complex array of interconnections and interbeing (as Thich Nhat Hahn would say). Steve & I have various metaphors for this. He likes to refer to “his bowling pins”. He imagines setting up a toy set of pins on a lawn and bowling at them. When they scatter, you set them back up exactly where they landed and bowl again. This takes you all over the neighborhood in endless permutations. I think of “trophic cascades”, changes in an ecosystem that originate at an extinction or other dramatic altering of balance, similar perhaps to “the domino effect” but less linear. However you try to wrap your brain around it, the nature of Life on this planet is intricate and incomprehensible. We are wise to approach it with the utmost humility. Because we are intrinsically involved, however, we must not fear to engage. We are already immersed. We might as well learn to float, swim or drown with awareness. With that understanding, we invited our contributors to share their perspectives from where they are. And there are many other currents besides. Let me just mention a few for further research:

Environmental Law – there are some exciting changes emerging in the championing of the Rights of Nature in legal systems. Corporations have legal protection and rights as individuals in many countries, while communities and natural entities (bodies of water, land, animals, etc.) do not. The ability to stand up against the interests of a Corporation and say, “We don’t care if you want this resource. You can’t have it!” is an idea that can be incorporated into law. Thomas Linzey of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is working to make that happen. Watch his keynote address to the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) HERE.

Deep Ecology/Environmental Philosophy – Deep ecologists are a group of philosophers who question the anthropocentrism embedded in the logic and ethics of Western culture. Arne Naess is the “Father of Deep Ecology”. Peter Singer is another important philosopher who spearheaded the discussion about the ethical treatment of animals in the early 70s. These philosophers are everything from temperate reformers (Aldo Leopold and Wendell Berry) to anti-civilizationists (Derrick Jensen).

Habitat/Wildlife/Green Corridors – where human interference has fragmented the landscape, other species suffer huge losses. Establishing connected corridors of undisturbed terrain help to shift the paradigm from domination to coexistence. The American Prairie Reserve has a habitat base of more than 353,000 acres. Read the story of this amazing management project HERE.

Organic Farming – the proliferation of large factory farms that employ pesticides, herbicides, hormones and other chemicals while dumping huge amounts of toxic waste on the land has significantly impacted the health of the planet. Soil health, human health, pollinator health – so many things are involved here. Returning to methods of food production that are more locally-scaled and less dependent on chemicals is a natural remedy, but must be radically and quickly implemented to turn degradation around. Support organic farming in your area!

And now, we proudly introduce our Table of Contents,
Priscilla Galasso with Steve Wiencek

Editorial Notes

How Will I Behave Here?, Priscilla Galasso, Contributing Editor
Nature…Place…Community, Steve Wiencek, Guest Editor
Cruel Legacy, Jamie Dedes, Managing Editor

Environment/Environmental Injustice

Awareness

All Things Are Connected,  Naomi Baltuck
The Power of Place, Michael Watson
The Hoopoes Are Back, Lynn White
Dawn Chorus, Lynn White
Another Kind of Beauty, Jamie Dedes
Cloud Watching, Jamie Dedes
Meditating on Ancient Oak, Carolyn O’Connell
The Wordless Mystery, Jamie Dedes
There Is Pleasure in the Pathless Wood, Gordon George Byron, Lord Byron

Action

The Victories Are Important!, Corina Ravenscraft
Regicide, Joe Hesch
Trespass, Terri Stewart
Naturally Devoted, Priscilla Galasso
Environmental Injustice,  Mark Heathcote
Soil Isn’t Sexy – Neither is War, Michael Dickel
Climate Change (poem), Michael Dickel

Extinction

Rounded With a Sleep, Part 1, James Cowles
Rounded With a Sleep, Part 2, James Cowles
For the Last Wolverine, video reading, James Dickey
Last Call, Corina Ravenscraft
Eden Revisited, Charles Martin
Black Honey Fare, Renee Espriu
Hoping It Regenerates – Again (artwork), Jerry Ingeman

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Access to the biographies of our core team, contributing writers and guest writers is in the blogroll where you can also find links to archived issues of The BeZine.