I’m pleased to be part of Ingrid Wilson’s project, The Anthropocene Hymnal: Songs of a self-defining era, “A poetic response to the joint crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Featuring the work of internationally-renowned and bestselling poets including Gabriela Marie Milton, Ivor Steven and Sherry Marr. Voices from five continents join in song to protest the damage we are doing to our only home, planet earth: these ‘songs of a self-defining era’ are the poems which comprise The Anthropocene Hymnal”.
Some of my poems are included, and that’s my collage on the cover.
Atlantic Puffins are seabirds that breed in large colonies on cliffs or offshore islands along the North Atlantic coast of both Europe and America. When not breeding, they spend most of their time on the ocean.
Each time I look for information about the birds I draw, I find declining numbers, even if they are not yet endangered. Habitat destruction. Declining food sources. Overhunting.
Puffins are no exception. How to reverse these trends?
Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end. No magic formula to suddenly turn things around.
It’s a process. No moment exists when the fragility and interdependence of ecosystems reaches perfect balance, when humans can relax and ignore the repercussions of our behavior. We must remain always aware, always learning, always willing to make necessary changes to insure continuity. To keep the circle connected and alive.
I challenged myself to see if I could take Merril’s quote from Jo Harjo and do a prosery for dVerse. It actually fit the theme of Draw a Bird Day quite well.
“Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”
Here’s some information about Atlantic Puffins:
–Their wings become flippers underwater. They are excellent divers and can reach depths of 200 feet.
–The hinges on their beak allow them to carry several fish at once.
–They have been observed using sticks as tools.
–Their nicknames are sea parrot or clown of the sea. Puffin chicks are called pufflings.
–Puffin colonies are referred to as a burrow, a circus, or an improbability.
–Puffins mate for life and often return to the same nest or burrow. They lay a single egg which both parents brood for several months.
–They spend the winter on the open ocean, rarely returning to land.
“True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal. It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity.” (Wilhelm)
“all I did was plant a seed…”—Pete Seeger
they called it Clearwater
build a boat
a replica of an 18th century Hudson River sloop
to save the river
they had a vision
if there’s something wrong
the river returned to its origins
free of contamination
realize that little things
sewage and toxic chemicals
lead to bigger things
fish would come back
get people together
humans could enjoy the river again
and they’ll act together too
fresh water without fear
italicized words from Pete Seeger
There’s so much wrong with the world–what can we do? Pete Seeger believed in working locally with the people in your community–what needs to be fixed? Realize that little things lead to bigger things.
Founded by Pete and Toshi Seeger, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc, has played a major role not only in cleaning up the Hudon River to allow both the river and the surrounding ecosystems to recover and flourish, but in pushing for judicial solutions to pollution everywhere in the United States.
Until I did a little research for this post, I did not realize that Clearwater’s opposition to the Storm King power plant led to the first court case to grant legal standing to environmental groups so that they could file lawsuits to protect the public interest. The NRDC and all organizations challenging the right of business and government to pollute or destroy ecosystems for profit began here–with the Clearwater. This is a tool whose value cannot be overestimated.
I used to frequently see the sloop sailing up and down the Hudson in the years I spent a lot of time in lower Riverside Park. It continues its mission with public education and helping people organize–and of course with music.
“Participation—that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
The first collage/photo is from my Beach I Ching series. It seemed appropriate to this subject in many ways. The other art is from various things I’ve posted over the years.
This post was inspired by Sherry’s challenge at Earthweal this week: what happens to one, happens to us all.
Gratitude to Plants, the sun-facing light-changing leaf
and fine root-hairs; standing still through wind
and rain; their dance is in the flowing spiral grain
in our minds so be it.
–Gary Snyder, “Prayer for the Great Family”
I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island,
and to the beings who thereon dwell
under the sun
with joyful interpenetration for all.
–Gary Snyder, “For All”
“I try to hold both history and wilderness in mind, that my poems may be the true measure of things and stand against the unbalance and ignorance of our times.”
Two months have passed quickly. Nina put together our exhibit, and she did a great job. I have definitely missed the inspiration and support from everyone. Not sure how quickly I can return to normal routine; we’ll see what happens.
All lemurs are native to Madagascar, an island off Africa that is one of the highest priority conservation areas on Earth. It’s unique ecology is threatened by habitat destruction, political instability, and climate change. Madagascar has already lost 90% of its natural vegetation due to logging and the clearing of land for human use. Lemurs are threatened not only by habitat destruction and isolation, but by hunting.
Ring-tailed lemurs are abundant in zoos throughout the world, but the population in the wild, along with that of all lemurs, continues to decline.