In the video of the river they play ads-ads-ads
like shimmying fae, they whittle away
carrion-clots, grey tangles of plastic.
Spray-painted mint green blots out oil stains.
I think about the ocean from the long-drive-away,
sitting so dry inside my inland home;
blue blankets are twisting in laundry today,
the shore, the shore is where I roam.
But sea-salt aside, the ocean is here
in transit through skies, a plip-plopping suitcase,
in the blood of crows, swift travelling I hear
all children of the water-loving race.
So I think about the ocean storming out and running
out to brandish headlines and yell for us to see
how pipes go drop-fizzle-pop – to drowned bodies bobbing
how water-breathing creatures live drowning at sea.
https://www.freetheocean.com/ -- Global initiative to remove plastic from the ocean, where you can help for free by answering a trivia question (regardless whether you get it right or wrong) each day. The work they do is funded by ads on their website, just like in freekibble or Tab for a Cause.
https://www.wwf.org.my/about_wwf/who_we_are/ - WWF Malaysia – a country with crucial marine habitats! https://www.wwf.org.my/how_you_can_help/donate_now/
Red shadow falls
on desert sand;
crumple into foam;
the sea tears
Burnished edge of fall
burnt – and still burning;
wizened old oak’s
Street cleaner standing
with frazzled broom tip,
at the edge
of the reserve
watching the smoke wake
watching the smoke-wake.
July saw a 30% increase in fires from the same period in 2019 and August has seen over 10,000 fires ravage the Amazon forest . . . About 17% of Amazonia has already been deforested. Scientists estimate that, if we reach a peak of 20-25%, more than half of the Amazon rainforest could turn into a savannah — a flat, dry, almost treeless area, endangering 15% of the world’s biodiversity.Ecosia Webpage
Ecosia is a search engine that uses ad revenue to plant trees. Click here to download it for Google Chrome and help reforestation efforts. They’ve made this video featuring their partners in Brazil, explaining the political side of deforestation in Latin America, key point: Mercosur Trade Agreement.
Rainforest Alliance is an NGO working to “make responsible business the new normal”. Here is an article they’ve written about the importance of rainforests (in “making” rain so we can all have freshwater, in supplying anticancer drugs and reducing carbon emissions), and the effects of their destruction.
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) supports Indigenous Peoples’ rights, particularly with regards to how they are impacted by climate change and deforestation.
You can find more of these resources on the Ecosia webpage I’ve linked here.
The European Union and the USA are Brazil’s biggest buyers of meat, wood and soy products. Demand that your leaders use this bargaining power to only import products respectful of people and nature.Ecosia Webpage
Original taken from Poetry Foundation.
The difference between poetry and rhetoric
is being ready to kill
instead of your children.
I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds
and a dead child dragging his shattered black
face off the edge of my sleep
blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders
is the only liquid for miles
and my stomach
churns at the imagined taste while
my mouth splits into dry lips
without loyalty or reason
thirsting for the wetness of his blood
as it sinks into the whiteness
of the desert where I am lost
without imagery or magic
trying to make power out of hatred and destruction
trying to heal my dying son with kisses
only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.
A policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens
stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood
and a voice said “Die you little motherfucker” and
there are tapes to prove it. At his trial
this policeman said in his own defense
“I didn’t notice the size nor nothing else
only the color”. And
there are tapes to prove that, too.
Today that 37 year old white man
with 13 years of police forcing
was set free
by eleven white men who said they were satisfied
justice had been done
and one Black Woman who said
“They convinced me” meaning
they had dragged her 4’10” black Woman’s frame
over the hot coals
of four centuries of white male approval
until she let go
the first real power she ever had
and lined her own womb with cement
to make a graveyard for our children.
I have not been able to touch the destruction
But unless I learn to use
the difference between poetry and rhetoric
my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold
or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire
and one day I will take my teenaged plug
and connect it to the nearest socket
raping an 85 year old white woman
who is somebody’s mother
and as I beat her senseless and set a torch to her bed
a greek chorus will be singing in 3/4 time
“Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beasts they are.”
I thought I would share some Audre Lorde in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Any of my own words, I feel, would be inadequate. Here is a link to a compilation of ways to help.
Sloppy glue-faced mosaic
of loose threads, of grey lint:
the things you pick off shoulders
like smiles seen only once
before blinking out in the night,
like bookmarks left halfway
and the story, half-mast.
An art historian is into informatics
and trying to decipher the faces
of nothing, of grey threads loose shoulders
and they stand on beige tiles in a small suit
lost to the quiet of a night-time museum.
The face of a grudge
is not well-remembered.
It is hazy white bubbling
through the slit of vision.
I am too focused on
the synchronic misery
from their lips, from their mouths
as they bob open and closed.
How many times will I
have to nod and smile
before they leave, before lunch break
and I can finally admit
that these slips of paper
go into recycling?
thaws out soil,
digs up graves
down to the
which float up
and bob hollow
near the surface
inhabited by green
glowing phantoms –
after a flood
Blue metal tempest
white slips of dresses
billowing in wind.
What am I meant to do?
Standing with my axe
on the edge of the cliff
A red star opens above
the black sea pit of night,
throwing shadows like shrouds
over us all.
Only the girls
protected by storms,
dare command the light,
What are the rest of us
meant to be doing?
When I stopped answering
your call, seems ages ago,
steeped in deep blue waves
where sound travels strangely
and your voice irritates me.
Why is it you have to speak
in red-crested sailboats? You are
as impractical as most tropical fish.
But let us not be distracted
by colour, by contents of conversation.
Explain the eyes averted, the maps
rerouted as lightning, avoiding my path
to small benches, hoping for quiet sits
in simple company. Futility.
I have never seen friendship
White noise echoes in
the narrow room, the tall shelves
standing fast, empty.
The storm hits, heavy-handed
crack against my window
and maybe it doesn’t feel pain
or has better things to do, because
the frosted glass still watches
over the wind-thrown leaves.
I am old map paper
on a sleek silver sheet
decaying on the edge,
because the other girls
won’t let me sit inside.
I am one week later,
always aching for the time,
scratching scores of syllables,
because the other girls
won’t let me sit inside.
I am shaking my head,
although I do not disagree,
because I don’t know why
the other girls
won’t let me sit inside.
Spills of salt, crystal
on the sandstone skin;
I think of how the sediment
might layer, deep within.
Heat that chokes, the narrow
cheeks, the knapsack skin;
I think of how the veins perhaps
are furious, stuck within.
Spills of salt fall crystal
down on sandstone skin;
I think of how my history
has fossils, deep within.
Blue haze wafts down
the sea-bed, waiting
as I crawl along corals
hoping for air pockets,
hoping for time to stop.
I long for pale strands
the light, like crystal, coming through,
all I hope for