PAD 2019 – Day 24

I had a lot going on today and nearly missed the daily post, but where I live there is still 30 minutes left in this day. Running out of time actually works well with the poem inspired by today’s prompt from my local Stroll of Poets group. The call to write a “last of a kind” poem took me to this Mental Floss article, and led me to write this:

Endlings

 

Specimens that are the last

living member of their kind.

Such a cute term for something so calamitous.

 

In captivity, they’ve been given names:

Benjamin the Thylacine, died in Australia, 1936

Martha the Passenger Pigeon, left the world in Cincinnati, 1914

Toughie the Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog, lost his life in Atlanta, 2016

Lonesome George the Pinta Island Tortoise , lived for decades on California’s Santa Cruz Island,

and was more than 100 years old when he died in 2012.

Turgi the Polynesian Tree Snail, the last of a species who inhabited the earth

from  1.5 million years BC to 1996.

 

Others who lived their final days roaming free, until they faded away.

We can never know when they really left, yet we write memorials to

Booming Ben the Heath Hen, last spotted in Massachusetts in 1932

and Celia the Pyrenean Ibex, whose body was found in 2000 in Spain.

 

What name will the last one of us have?

Emma? Hakim? Fabrizzio or Wei?

What will mark our passing,

how will it be known,

who can remember

or mourn

when there is no one left to write about us?

NaPoWriMo – Day 14

Busy with poems this morning! I am participating in CV2‘s 2 day poem contest again this year (fun!) and was also tweaked by this morning’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt to write a dream dictionary entry poem. But, the one I am posting here is a response to the Poetic Asides prompt asking for a “report” poem. It’s almost a found poem based on Species Profile pages listed on the Canadian Government website, and modified with my own sarcasm.

Species At Risk: Status Report

Addition to the registry —

Scientific Name: Homo sapiens
Taxonomy Group: Primate
Range: Global

Threats

Drought, famine, pollution and conflict may impact the entire population in a short period. Greed has been identified as an imminent threat. Stupidity has been noted as an epizootic event.

Federal Protection

The Homo sapien is not currently protected under the federal Species at Risk Act. Parliamentary approval to amend the act has been sought, but is awaiting third reading.

NaPoWriMo – Day 7

Mixing the Poetic Asides prompt to write a “senses” poem, with my local, Stroll of Poets prompt to write a “climate” poem. I recently read an article about how people in my province are the least likely in Canada to “believe” in climate change. This is so disheartening to me, as while I believe we can debate strategies on how we operate in the world now, and plans for better environmental practices, climate change is real. And I worry for the future of our beautiful planet if we continue to spin in a cycle of denial, rather than take action together.

Assessing the Patterns of Variation

 

You wouldn’t think it’d be possible

in my (relatively) short life.

 

Firs would know better,

the dry soil at their base.

The petrichor hanging

less often in the air,

the welcome quench of rain

climbing their roots,

sparkling in drops

that dangle from their sharp needles

like earrings. Can they taste it?

The small changes, over seasons and years,

drawing the facts

in concentric circles

at their core.

 

It might not be evident, they say

until you look at the evidence.

Some patterns are best seen close-up,

under a microscopic lens,

 

but I know I’ve heard the change

in the summer winds, roaring.

Different than the breeze of my youth.

Breath, blowing hotter.

Dragon flare, warning.

Tree souls darkening

summer skies.

November PAD – Day 20

Today’s prompt asked for a “What I learned” poem. I suppose what I wrote is almost a found poem, discovered in dire tids and interesting bits on my morning email check and headline browse.

20.

The morning has barely broken, and already the internet enlightens me. Word of the day, ballooning, not blowing air and twisting latex into animal shapes,  but the work of a spider, when it throws out lines of gossamer, snags the breeze and sails on silk strands. Is there a name for the spot a spider lands? I try to invent one while I read more headlines: These popular toys could be putting your child in danger. Maybe the spot is called a cushion. Hate crimes in the United States have increased to a point not seen in recent history. Or the target. Charles Manson, murderous cult leader, dead at 83. Perhaps it’s just called safety. Impact of Arctic climate change being felt farther south, scientists say. It’s surely not Arcadia, but I’ll call it that anyway.

Poem: No Mishaps

I spend too much time on Twitter. Even on days — like most days, lately — when it seems to be an endless timeline of terrible news, there are bright spots. Every day I learn, laugh, connect and discover, but it still sucks my time. So today, I thought I’d try to make (good?) use of that time by chopping snippets of tweets from some of the people or organizations I follow*, tossing them around in a word blender, and attempting to write a new poem. Here’s what came of it. Though not all the tweets that inspired this were political in nature, the thoughts in my head are in political prison right now, so I suppose writing things like this is a way to break out.

 

No Mishaps

 

Can’t tell if the song is brilliant or crap,

the machine gun percussion, big rig motor grind,

and Phil Collins as lead singer. But leaders,

I know leaders. Leaders win and smile when they say,

hey, it’s a-ok, c’mon and drink the water

with just an essence of lead. A danger? No danger,

it’s all in your head, listen to your heart, listen to us,

there is a war, but not that war  — a war on coal,

a war on country, a war on YOU, and how dare they say

it’s not a communist plot. They’re feeding you

this cosmic dread, but the answer is easy,

the answer is here, no, NO, there’s nothing under there,

Look ! OVER HERE! We make the sun shine, the sunshine is huge,

a huge dose of Vitamin D, very important for good health,

you take care of you, and we’ll take care of

us, but  really, you’ll thank us. It’ll be amazing, you’ll see.

Did you taste the water?  We have the best water,

come swim in the water, no one drowns in the water,

no one’s forced into water. YOU, you are the one

touched by migration, you are the one in need of

safe crossing to the future of your past,

to what came before, and what came after. Remember?

Do you remember, it was pure white gold,

that sweet family photo in the tall shiny tower,

you can be in that photo. You can be met with grace,

the resurrection of everything great.

Listen, do you hear it? That round of applause,

the loudest hand claps from the biggest, best hands,

That song we keep playing, are you singing it now?

Are you affected yet? Infected yet? They’ll try

to tell you that a vaccine exists, but the price

is too high. The price isn’t the sky, or the trees

or the birds. The price is your freedom and

we’ll stop you from paying.  No mishaps,

we’re golden. We’re good. And yes, you can

thank us. Your welcome is welcome.

 

*NOTE: The title “No Mishaps” came from a Tweet by Edmonton artist @JayIsPainting. Other parts of lines were borrowed from or inspired by  @thomaspluck: (cosmic dread), @MSF_canada: (vaccine exists, but the price is too high)  @anniegirl1138: (not a communist plot) @wickerkat: (Can’t tell if it’s brilliant or crap) @Don_Share: (touched by migration) @AusmaZehanat: (safe crossing ) @ChuckWendig: (and the resurrection) @HighwayTomson: (Your welcome is welcome. ) @TheAmericansFX: (be met with grace) @ThatEricAlper: (Phil Collins as lead singer & what came before, and what came after) @KimPigSquash: (Vit D very important for good health) @CBCAlerts: (war on coal).