I’m for photosynthetic optimism – the bulbous kind you plant in the fall in spite of squirrels who dig ruthlessly and urban deer who nibble indiscriminately, the kind that seed packets hold through the winter believing in butterflies and hummingbirds before they’ve ever known sun and rain.
Here’s to the blazing green energy of plants– from the toughest blade of crabgrass to the most tender spring ephemeral, from the massive trunks of riverbed sycamores to the tiniest pond-floating duckweeds.
I’m for the plants – for the roots who go about their work silently, mysteriously, collaborating with mycorrhizal fungi.
And I’m for the leaves of trees – especially sweet gum’s stars and ginkgo’s fans.
I’m for the way we share the air with plants – us breathing out, plants breathing in. I’m for the generous chemistry of leaves, combining carbon dioxide with water and sun, creating carbon building blocks for itself, then sharing the extras back into the soil for the microbes.
What moves me? What plays me like a needle in a groove? Plants.
The Poetry Sisters’ challenge for this month was to write in the style of Taylor Mali. The poem I used as my mentor text is Silver-Lined Heart. Next month we are writing poems around the words string, thread, rope, or chain.
Happy Last Friday of National Poetry Month 2022! All of my NPM poems are archived here. Jone has this week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Jone Rush MacCulloch. Like last weekend, I will be away from my computer this weekend and will look forward to catching up on your posts next week!
From the essay, “Loving a Vanishing World,” by Emily N. Johnston in ALL WE CAN SAVE:
“It’s a constant question for me every time I’m entranced by the beauty of this world: What does it mean to love this place? What does it mean to love anyone or anything in a world whose vanishing is accelerating, perhaps beyond our capacity to save the things that we love most?”
Contrails don’t give me hope in a time of climate crisis. They play a significant role in aviation-related global warming by creating clouds that trap heat on earth. But the fact that scientists are studying them does give me hope. The sudden, dramatic drop in airplane traffic in 2020 proved to researchers at MIT that their mapping of contrails was accurate.
“working with major airlines to forecast regions in the atmosphere where contrails may form, and to reroute planes around these regions to minimize contrail production.
Steven Barrett, professor and associate head of MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “There’s an unusual opportunity to halve aviation’s climate impact by eliminating most of the contrails produced today.”
“Most measures to make aviation sustainable take a long time,” Barrett says. “(Contrail avoidance) could be accomplished in a few years, because it requires small changes to how aircraft are flown, with existing airplanes and observational technology. It’s a near-term way of reducing aviation’s warming by about half.” “
Now THAT’S hopeful. Let’s go, airline industry. The ball’s in your court.
This poem was written using The Thing Is by Ellen Bass as a mentor text. All of my poems from this week can be found here.
The Progressive Poem has been around since 2012, when Irene Latham got it started. In 2020, Margaret Simon took the reins. I’ve taken part every year!
I thought I was being so clever this year, choosing a day early in the schedule when I would have a chance to perhaps bring the first quatrain to a close, or at least help set the intention for the poem, rather than trying to figure out how to continue it in the middle or turn it towards the end.
Come to find out, beginnings are just as hard as middles and ends. But I guess I already knew that. So now it’s been confirmed.
Irene gave us our first line this year, a quote from Emily Winfield Martin’s book, The Imaginaries. In the second line, Donna gave us a quote from The Hobbit set us on the JOURNEY of a poem for two voices, perhaps told all in quotes. Catherine chose a line from The Wind in the Willows . Here’s the poem as I received it. A bold statement about the journey ahead, a polite refusal, and an enthusiastic encouragement to GO FOR IT:
For me, one of the quintessential children’s books featuring a journey is Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. If I had time, I’d reread the whole book. Just taking it off the shelf and flipping through the many sticky-noted and dogeared pages makes me wistful for all the times I read it aloud in my classroom. I didn’t have to read much to find the quote I needed for the poem. Salamanca Tree Hiddle both does and emphatically does NOT want to go on the journey to Lewiston, Idaho. “It was not a trip I was eager to take, but it was the one I had to take.” Her voice will add to the reluctance in Donna’s line, and we’ll have to see where Buffy takes us next.
Here’s where the 2022 Progressive Poem has been and is going:
My poems this month will be inspired by the essays and poems in this book, and by this gorgeous living planet we call home.
Sometimes I get a panicky feeling about our future, but I’m trying hard to hold onto hope and to the actions I can take, no matter how small. It is not too late to turn things around, but I can’t sit on the couch waiting for someone else to do something.
Throughout the week, I’ll be posting at Poetrepository, but I’ll do a mini roundup here on Fridays.
Today’s poem does double-duty. I challenged the Inklings to write a poem using The Thing Is by Ellen Bass as a mentor text. I wrote a couple of drafts, but when I fully processed that this poem would need to introduce my NPM project, it was back to the writer’s notebook to draft again.
Here’s how the rest of the Inklings interpreted my challenge: