A statue in Berlin, by Isaac Cordal
entitled "Politicians Discussing Global Warming"
The topic of climate change is on our minds and on the news these days as never before. Floods, hurricanes, wildfires, a heating planet, melting poles: Mother Earth is struggling desperately under the heavy load of human and corporate demands. Those of us who are aware may be carrying what I call"earth grief" as a result.
This past summer, the whole world witnessed the grief of the mother orca, Tahlequah, whose calf died soon after birth. The mother orca carried her dead calf on her head for seventeen days, with assistance from her pod, in an unprecedented display of grief felt around the world.
This pod of orcas, who live in the Salish sea, at the south end of Vancouver Island, is starving for lack of salmon. This was the first live calf born since 2015. She lived half an hour. Over-fishing, contamination from fish farms, toxins, warming seas and boat traffic are imperiling their survival.
WE are doing this, with our relentless and voracious demands on a struggling planet.
It is our task, as poets who love all life, to put our pain, our fears and our hopes into words. Using as many or as few words as you need, write about earth grief / climate change in general.
Pick one facet of the planet's struggle and give voice to it: wildfires, elephant massacres, extinctions, plastic garbage dumps in the sea, dying coral reefs, grieving mother orcas - whatever you are most moved by in this moment.
If this is too depressing, write your poem about the beauty of the natural world, all that you hold dear.
Let's sing our pain and our love to our suffering Mother Earth.
I look forward to reading your offerings.