Day 24 — the overview effect

Been wanting to write this poem (or a version of it) ever since hearing the term. Thankfully, once I started, it was surprisingly easy. Images taken from a range of astronauts who have spoken on the subject. It’s not the poem I thought I was going to write so I might have another crack at it one day.

*****

the overview effect

when looked at 
with an astronaut’s eye 
the earth is not so very big

from a mere 250 miles up
exactly the distance 
between Athens to Istanbul

the sky that once went on forever
is actually as thin as 
a piece of paper

nature is everything 
clouds, mountains, forests
deserts, oceans, so much ocean

rivers like necklaces of pearls
& she glows day, night, sunrise, 
sunset, glowing in every colour

not all of man’s might can be seen
but too much can — erosion, degradation,
wounds, sprawling cities, oil slicks, scars

she disregards borders
for the foolish political fictions
she renders conflict ridiculous

not that the blue marble is big
she’s frighteningly mind-bogglingly
small      so  so  so  very small against 

the   ongoing     vast      silent       emptiness        of         space 

Day 23 — Bill & his posse of Nature Poets

Shakespeare’s birthday/deathday. Each year I try to write something Bill-affiliated. This can be made harder by having a theme superimposed over the top of it (ie, like pandemics or climate change) but at least it forces me to think outside a few boxes for some green inspiration. Which is always a good thing. Need to apologise in advance for the long pome, I didn’t have the time to write a short poem.

If only poets had the power that multinational corporations have to effect change in the world.

*****

Bill S & his posse of Nature Poets

Bill being a country boy born & bred
was a big lover of nature
dropping dozens of wildflowers
animals, trees, natural events
63 birds, & more into his plays ;
with whimsical abandon
he set them in forests, on coasts, 
on rugged heaths
— if he were writing today
climate change would be his bent

so too Bill Blake’s rage
against dark Satanic Mills
which were pumping his pristine
English skies full of black soot 
& were, after all, the beginning 
of man-made climate change

the posse is being assembled

Lawrence & his dark forest soul 
would definitely be there …
with his animalistic magic 
of snakes & bats & pansies 

a third Bill, Wordsworth
knew nature was divine
& believed true happiness 
was achieved when existing 
in harmony with it, always happy 
to wax lyrical about daffodils, 
clouds, & Tintern Abbey

youthful firebrand Keats
loved nature’s vibrant scents 
& colours & cool calming water
a man who happily sang odes 
to Nightingales, Autumn, & the Sea
would get in on this action

although somewhat simpler 
in scope another John (Clare)
less complex & less well known
marvellously describes the natural 
world & rural life in affectionate
vignettes of Winter Evening,
Wood Pictures in Summer,
& the Little Trotty Wagtail

Emerson’s belief that we understand 
truth only by studying the song of nature
& Humblebees & Snow Storms

& Shelley’s awareness she destroys 
as well as creates; singing odes 
to the West Wind, Skylarks & Mont Blanc

& Dickinson finding awe in everything
Light Existing In Spring
Birds coming down the Walk

& Frost whose name suggests he should be
though not a pure nature poet loved
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

many modern poets too are in the posse

the marvellous Mary Oliver who instills 
poems with wonder-filled images 
drawn from daily walks near her home
Wild Geese & Journeys on Summer Days

& Gary Snyder an activist who speaks 
with an ancient voice but modern tongue
of fertile soil, animal magic, 
the power of solitude, rebirth; 
the love & ecstasy of the dance
& Mountains and Rivers Without End

but as wonderful as all these 
nature loving poets are
what we really need
is for everyone to remember
they too are poets, alive in this bleak
eternal universe only because
our home is a delicately crafted
paean to life

Day 22 – poem about sunset

translucent strip

Running late. Not content with it, but need to publish something.

source 

for a few translucent moments
every evening just as the sun
softly feathers down behind
the hills;
……………..& throws rusty angles
over the dog yard’s corrugated
roof;
………in those moments as our star
flutters ever lower, frail formerly
unseen spiderwebs illuminate
golden, tying the cyclone mesh
together more tenderly than wire;
slightly higher up, eucalypt leaves
thread together in molten lattices;
& beyond that, half way to the sky
it playfully irradiates dozens
of previously transparent tiny
bugs suddenly bringing them
all to unexpected life;
…………..…………….…….………a reminder
if needed of how much we’re always
surrounded by the invisible

Day 15 – poem about the least dark thing I wrote today

end_of_the_sea_by_xiaoxinart-d5nq1eb

This weekend (& this date in particular) is always difficult & painful & poignant & ugly. So too was most of what I wrote today. I have attached the least bleak piece, regardless of its merits. In a slight deviation from practise, I’m also using the picture that inspired the poem as the choice for today’s NaPoWriMo blog pome. I frequently write (first drafts at least) from artworks, but when I do I prefer not to share the image for fear of overload; that both pieces will fight each other by saying too similar a thing, but I don’t have the energy to find something more abstract tonight.

wyndhame

somewhere cerebellum deep : everyone : wants : their own : fantasy castle : storybook sentence : painting lifted : from the pages of childhood : rooves of saltwater green : gold stone isolation : glinting : beautiful exile : at the end of the sea : the edge of the world : but few : are brave enough : to truly live there : among cloud fragments : erosion : bewildered fish : suddenly plummeting : & the perpetual fear of falling

Day 6 – back to the list

Now that Easter is out of the way, I can return to the worklist. While having an outlet for exploring one’s grief is healing; it is very liberating to have other topics to dive into.

*****

what’ve you been doing with yourself…

…  i find i’m often being asked
how to answer without offending
i read  i write  i think  i live
walk the dog  avoid paying bills
eat bad food  drink better wine
daydream  am as happy as i can be
if i was smarter & could think deeper
thoughts  i might be a philosopher
(despite being equally poorly paid)

lose myself thinking about simple things

the stars  light  time  bees  mist
rain  loss  loneliness  the nature
of goodness  paths taken & not
being buzzed  storms  souls  if angels
exist  & if they do  what they do
& why  whether justice can ever
come if everything just is  the passing
of the small  utopias  dystopias  ways
of killing the rich … to feed the poor

*****

 dreamer

NB without wishing to sound too much like a first world whinger, I look forward to getting back to the city with fast non-satellite broadband & a non-old computer that doesn’t freeze &/or crash 4 times in the last 45 minutes.