Posts Tagged ‘ecology’

Memories of Earth Day River Cleanup: A Canoe Revolu — tionary Poem

August 3, 2009

I have a canoe
down by Red Hook Brew-
ery.
Come do
my canoe
with me.

You can sit in the bow.
I’ll show you how
to pluck stuff from the water;
You might see an otter
or two,
from the canoe.

And when we are done,
you’ll think “That was fun!”
“Unusual, too!”
“Cleaning in a canoe!”

We’ll throw the junk away
we collect that day,
when we’re through.
Just me, you,
and our canoe.

Viva la Revolucíon!: A Revolutionary ConTEXTing Gardening Poem

March 22, 2009

Revolucíion/
all around!/
Che on walls,/
seeds in the ground./
Which brings more change?/
Kind, hopeful hearts?/
Or souls filled with rage?/
Maybe both;/
I vote growth!

Burnt hurt dumb thumb! A comical revolutionary poem

February 15, 2009

I burnt my thumb!
I feel so dumb!
But I also have to say
I singed my wrist yesterday!

The logs we cut
do not fit
in the firebox!
(that’s the size of it!)

A 16 inch cut
will, of course,
let me put wood straight in
without using force!

But these logs were sawed
by some hand unseen
after they were felled
to measure 18!
fireplacefirenarrow
So wrestle, push, pry,
twist, poke, force,
balance and jam must I,
and then, of course,

Sometimes my finger, hand, arm,
or wrist, will slip up and touch
that hot iron box!
“Does it hurt?” “Yeah, pretty much!”

But gas heat is expensive
and the wood, it is free!
Though I’m apprehensive,
we burn the felled trees!

And I have to suffer
and force more wood in;
there is no safety buffer!
I’ll probably burn me again!

Singe my wrist, arm, hand, thumb,
finger, and again feel warm, and dumb!

Funny Valley Where It’s Sunny: a Romantic Poem

February 6, 2009

Funny,

How in the Valley of the Sun,

where my son

lives, works, plays;

where my mother and sisters

spend their days

with the cacti,

and dust, growing dry;

While on the other hand I,

alive,

live farther Northwest by choice,

in Puget Sound, where it’s moist;

but yet barely survive,

for I, too, am dry.

I cry

because of the dusty,

empty, barren part

of my heart.

It beats and lives here,

searching, waiting, wanting.

While in that hot Valley,

a new, unknown she

lives who writes

of dreamy delights

of what I only imagine

could/would/should be.

Should I turn my mind

and gaze

southward,

through the empty haze,

and wonder?

If I traveled there,

and met what I dared

hope for,

would my parched heart moisten,

grow, then burst asunder

with fulfilled glee

from me + she

in that parched, sunny,

yet fertile Valley?

Funny.

Inauguration Day Revolution Revelation

January 20, 2009
I wrote this poem shortly after President Obama was sworn in, and sent it, along with this note, to my family:
 I rarely
dare
to share
my poetry.
 
But it is a new day,
and I have something to say.
 
I wrote this conTEXTing preface Oct. 12, 2010, preparing for the Seattle Poetry Slam –
 
I watch Capitol steps and Mall populate/
as my friends celebrate/
the Audacity of Hope/
and I grope/
to know how I,/
a suburban white guy/
fit in./
And so I begin … 
  
Inauguration Day Revolution Revelation
 
I am a revolutionary.

(The words stare out from the page,

although I’ve seen them in my mind before.

Have I?

I’m not sure!)

 

I’ve ridden – and ride — the bus

Not when it was dangerous

But when it is obnoxious.

Not for Civil Rights.

But for Earth’s Rights.

 

I am a revolutionary.

I’ve dug my hands deep

Not into plantations’ soil

Nor sharecropper’s clay,

But into the teaming,

Steaming,

Still hot, though winter’s day

at minus 20 degrees,

Compost heap,

That I first learned to keep

At ten,

And again,

At thirty,

To get my hands dirty.

And now

I know how

To show younger folk,

That they may pick up

That revolutionary yoke.

 

I am a revolutionary.

Though not the great-great grandson

Of anyone

Who history would honor

Nor remember.

 

Mine came across the water as well,

To seek a new life

in a promised land.

A land of opportunity they sought out

Of their own choice.

 

I follow that dream

Because I am the son of a father

Who has been to many mountaintops,

And rivers and marshes and forests and lakes

And said: “Make no mistake:

This is ours to preserve …

Or to eradicate.”

 

I am a revolutionary.

As the son of women who

Gave a hand up

When that’s all they could do.

Who, when others saw opportunity,

In times of greed,

Looked through with clarity,

And saw need,

And gave with charity.

 

Even now,

within my soul, I guess,

There is an inner vow:

“I can do no less!”

 

I am a revolutionary.

Lest there be any confusion

The earth,

and its people,

Are the roots of my revolution.

  

— Written after the Inauguration of President Obama, on my mother’s birthday, January 20, 2009

I read this poem at a committee meeting of the Seattle City Council in August, 2010. If you go to this link: YouTube copy of Inauguration Day Revolution Revelation at Seattle City Council sub-committee, “Words Worth”, 2010