Good day, poets! I hope you all are doing great. I’m amazed that dVerse has completed 8 years — it’s been such a wonderful community for poets from different parts of the world, with the support of many contributors and writers and readers over the years who have made it such a welcoming space.
I have been absent from the blogosphere for the last month or so. So, it’s exciting to be here hosting again. Since the last time, I have moved to a new city to continue my education. It’s been pretty busy and I am still trying to settle in, delving into new social circles and learning new skills for the professional life that lies ahead.
Some of you must have read of Chennai in international news stories recently and how the city “ran out of water”, with almost all of its reservoirs drying up due to drought-like conditions as well as rampant exploitation of groundwater resources and of course, poor urban planning. Well, that’s where I live now and the scarcity of water is apparent as many regions are still facing distress and as expected, the lower rungs of society/the unprivileged bear the brunt of it.
It has still been difficult for some of us to wake up and acknowledge the climate crisis that is happening right now. It is not about tomorrow or some distant future, it is now. At this juncture of time and space, I sometimes wonder if anything really matters. Why are we still writing about it when it doesn’t seem to be doing anything? How do we bring about a change? Can writing about it do that for us? Would it be possible to subvert the status quo and actually follow the radical steps we need to take to save our planet and therefore ourselves?
You can read this interesting essay on Ecopoetry, for an interesting viewpoint and further discussion. You can also read the summaries of IPCC report on Climate Change and Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, if you are interested to know more about the issue.
Here are some poems that can provide a prototype or some inspiration for how one can address this issue through creative writing,
Some Questions about the Storm
BY HILDA RAZ
What’s the bird ratio overhead?
Zero: zero. Maybe it’s El Niño?
The storm, was it bad?
Here the worst ever. Every tree hurt.
Do you love trees?
Only the gingko, the fir, the birch.
Yours? Do you name your trees?
Who owns the trees? Who’s talking
You presume a dialogue. Me and You.
Yes. Your fingers tap. I’m listening.
Will you answer? Why mention trees?
When the weather turned rain into ice, the leaves failed.
So what? Every year leaves fail. The cycle. Birth to death.
In the night the sound of cannon, and death everywhere.
What did you see?
Next morning, roots against the glass.
Who’s talking now and in familiar language? Get real.
What’s real is the broken crown. The trunk shattered.
Was that storm worse than others?
Yes and no. The wind’s torque twisted open the tree’s tibia.
Fool. You’re talking about vegetables. Do you love the patio
tomato? The Christmas cactus?
Yes. And the magnolia on the roof, the felled crabapple, the topless
For a Coming Extinction
BY W. S. MERWIN
Now that we are sending you to The End
That great god
That we who follow you invented forgiveness
And forgive nothing
I write as though you could understand
And I could say it
One must always pretend something
Among the dying
When you have left the seas nodding on their stalks
Empty of you
Tell him that we were made
On another day
The bewilderment will diminish like an echo
Winding along your inner mountains
Unheard by us
And find its way out
Leaving behind it the future
When you will not see again
The whale calves trying the light
Consider what you will find in the black garden
And its court
The sea cows the Great Auks the gorillas
The irreplaceable hosts ranged countless
And fore-ordaining as stars
Join your word to theirs
That it is we who are important
If Oil Is Drilled in Bristol Bay
BY DG NANOUK OKPIK
Why is it, in Bristol Bay, a sea cormorant
hovers, sings a two-fold song with a hinged cover
for a mouth, teeth set in sockets, with a hissing grind
of spikelets biting the air? Dip one.
The lips of vanished flames in lava coals
glow vermillion as an egg cracks. Dip two.
She/I feel/s a chimera leaving the eider duck. Dip three.
While still in the embryo, separating the body
from death she/I smell/s of arsenic, the Chugach Range
in unnatural bitterness. Why is it, man’s/woman’s nerve scarcely
stifled and sane, comes to prey? While they swoon
minerals of crude oil and sea spiders for tricking a way for gold.
Will they crawl around her/me, sink their eyeteeth in the sea,
ravaging the ecosphere and the ore gold for fuel. Drill.
Also, read The Greenhouse Effect by Carl Dennis, The Oven Bird by Robert Frost and 9 Original Poems on Climate Change by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), UK.
This is Anmol (alias HA) and I welcome you all to dVerse Poetics. As you must have gathered, the theme this week is all about the ongoing climate crisis. You can go about in different ways, by focusing on the devastation that you see around or the human/sociological impact of the same and you can talk about forests, rivers and other resources or perhaps about corporate greed and continuing exploitation of our planet. You can pick up the associations of the climate crisis with the economy or migration as well. It is up to you to address the issue in any manner that speaks to you or that you think requires further prodding and discourse.
Once you have written and published your poem, add its link in the widget down below. Do not forget to visit others and share your comments with them. I wish you all a wonderfully poetic week ahead.