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HAIKU DIALOGUE – Social Issues – Climate Change & intro to Turn of the Decade

Intro to Turn of the Decade

Our lives are constantly changing. We change careers, relationships, and even hobbies. We can gain the entire world and lose everything we have, sometimes all within one year… so what about ten? Over the next four weeks we will delve into the past, present, and future to evaluate our individuality in life’s journey. Although I will provide prompting questions with each week’s theme, I encourage you to dig deep and allow your moments to be authentic. We all have different experiences and that’s what makes life beautiful.

For the month of December, each poet may send one or two haiku/senryu on the week’s theme via our Contact Form.

There will be a selection process in which I will briefly comment on a few of the selected pieces.

The haiku appear in the order in which we receive them.

My next theme is The Past Ten Years.

I want you to think of a life changing experience you’ve had over the past ten years. How did it affect you? Where do you think you’d be had that not happened to you? This can be anything from your child moving out to getting that dream car you’ve always wanted. Put your readers in your shoes and let them live these moments with you.

The deadline is midnight EST, Saturday December 7, 2019.

Social Issues:  Climate Change

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who not only submitted this week, but to this entire series, and to each person who made this series possible. I wholeheartedly hope that over the last four weeks, we have opened each other’s eyes, hearts, and ears and can now understand one another better and love a little easier. This week brings another heartbreaking set of necessary poems from voices that deserve to be heard. The following poems that I have selected were what I felt best fit this week’s theme. I hope that you all can learn as much as I did.

 

taiga

 

simonj
UK

This reminds me a bit of Cor van den Heuval’s “tundra” and both are just brilliant in very different ways. Given the theme of climate change, this poem, “taiga” is powerful in its one-word form. The white space around the word is necessary, not only for creating a snow-like effect, but also for creating the illusion of isolation which emphasises the importance of the taiga forest. This particular forest, being the largest land biome, supplies so much oxygen. If we do not make positive changes to the environment, like saving the taiga forest, the world as we know it will cease to exist.

water restrictions
the apricot tree
gives up its fight

Madhuri Pillai

I’ve never been through a drought in the truest sense of the word, but I have gone so many days without rain that my surrounding nature begins to brown and die, so I can’t imagine what it would be like to live with consistent water restrictions. In this haiku, Madhuri presents readers with a gut wrenching haiku moment. I think this moment is necessary for those of us who don’t have to be as conscious about water conservation. This apricot tree has lived its entire life doing everything it can for us and until its last breath has helped to provide us with food to eat the oxygen we need to survive. At the very least we should do what we can to help save the trees and the environment as a whole. Structurally, the link and shift in this piece takes my breath away and the content is simply heartbreaking. It really puts things into perspective.

sunshine after rain –
the curl and twist
of an earthworm

arvinder kaur
Chandigarh, India

Rain and sunshine are both essential for survival, but too much of a good thing can be a bad thing and this is the perfect example of that. We need balance and unfortunately there are many times we go through either flooding or drought. In this case, it seems to be the latter of the two. Many of us might not like rainy days and look forward to the sunshine after the rain, but others, like the fragile earthworm, cannot survive it. I think this poem is a good example of how people generally lack awareness and connection with the earth as a whole. While we’re basking in the warm sun, we probably aren’t thinking about how that heat affects other life forms. With global warming becoming more and more prominent, it’s only going to get worse. We need to save ourselves. We need to save our planet. We need to save the earthworms.

Here are the rest of my selections:

global warming –
a polar bear reminisces
about the ZOO

Aljoša Vuković
Šibenik, Croatia

 

scanty rainfall..
still we curse the
rain god

R.Suresh Babu
India

 

global warming –
a rooster’s caw
in broad daylight

Manoj Sharma
Kathmandu,Nepal

 

global warming
without Mother Earth
all that’s left is the moon

Stephen Peters

 

snowdrops the only snow

Marilyn Ashbaugh

 

Indian heatwave
bricklayers bathe at work
with their clothes on

Anthony Itopa Obaro

 

oh snow so cute only on a christmas card

Mark Gilbert
UK

 

bore well digging..
the dying crops
thirst for a drop

R.Suresh Babu
India

 

extinction—
the concluding hiss
of a cockroach

Carol Jones

 

morning glories
we cheer when another
butterfly returns

Christina Sng
Singapore

 

war ᴹ ing
…….

Olivier Schopfer
Switzerland

 

responding
to climate crisis–
y[o u r] duty

Christina Chin

 

heatwave —
a refugee child runs
after the water mirage

Hifsa Ashraf
Pakistan

 

Dark winter sky
High flames everywhere
over the Amazon

Dennys Cambarau

 

poles melting –
where shall we go, when we’ve
destroyed our blue planet

Isabella Kramer

 

loose glaciers
the rising sea devours the beach

ghiacciai sciolti
il mare che si innalza divora la spiaggia

Angela Giordano
Italy

 

schizo-affective
a change of temperament
needed here

Jackie Chou
Pico Rivera CA USA

 

melting glaciers
millions of tweets with many
exclamations

Vandana Parashar

 

global warming…
what will happen
to the butterflies?

Rosa Maria Di Salvatore

 

winter service in shock
in the middle of January
snow fell

Dubravka Šćukanec
Zagreb, Croatia

 

factory wind—
all the clever yoga moves
of sweet clover

Andrew Riutta

 

gardens of eden
a forest of koalas
burning in our fires

john hawkhead

 

winter sun
children’s
trust issue

Guliz Mutlu

 

urban sprawl . . .
from somewhere the groans
of falling trees

Corine Timmer
Faro, Portugal

 

Christmas Eve –
wading through rain puddles
nostalgic for snow
***

Natalia Kuznetsova, Russia

 

b
cloudburst………….u
…………………s
…………………….r

Pravat Kumar Padhy

 

Stuck on an ice floe
The Mama polar bear guards
Her two little pups

Margie Gustafson

 

heat island–
on the withered field
countless burial mounds

Teiichi Suzuki

 

rising seas…
the higher ground we must
all come to

Michele L. Harvey

 

dark and stormy night
sharing our stories
of climate change

Kristen Lindquist

 

»Four seasons«
rumbling all year –
not merely for the survival

Saša Slavković
Slovenia

 

long rains
the earth collapsing
at dinner time

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo

 

at the end of
the tunnel…
smog

SD Desai

 

autumn in name
summer in nature
climate change

Margaret Mahony

 

wild fire –
forests of black barks
as ink

fuoco selvaggio –
foreste di cortecce
d’inchiostro nero

Daniela Misso

 

a speech on emissions grandpa’s fart

Adrian Bouter

 

diesel fumes
forced migration
polar bears

Vishnu Kapoor

 

curse short sighted
politicians and execs
here we are

Rick Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

selling umbrellas
the girl sits in its shade
praying for rain

Minal Sarosh
Ahmedabad, India

 

north wind
her rocking chair shifts
to another window

Sudebi Singha
India

 

favorite city
the bridge of sighs
overcome with tears

Kath Abela Wilson
Pasadena, California

 

now we have conquered nature
let us learn
to conquer ourselves

Charles Harmon
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

a last glacier slips to a river slips to a sea

Steve Tabb

 

so many of names of hurricane maybe enter Guinness World Records

Ljiljana Dobra
Sibenik Croatia

 

lilac flower
mid-November –
odorless

Zdenka Mlinar
CROATIA

 

global warming
all those plans to fight
the foreign flies

Eva Limbach

 

rising seas
not enough ice
to bring down the swelling

Laurie Greer
Washington DC

 

swimsuit season –
girls getting slimmer
along with glaciers

Luisa Santoro

 

organic gardening
on a balcony space enough
to stem corporate profits

Don Miller

 

for sale
our old beach house
with no beach left

Pat Davis

 

winter morning
an iceberg travels
to Caribbean

Slobodan Pupovac
Zagreb, Croatia

 

sea-level rise…
in front of the fishing hut
the beach is gone

Tsanka Shishkova

 

evacuation route
flooded with emotions
uncertain future

Sari Grandstaff

 

Earth Hour
the power
of aligned minds

Richa Sharma

 

the loneliness
imaging a snowfall
unmarked by deer tracks

Autumn Noelle Hall

 

climate change –
a pace of donkeys
wet behind the ears

Robert Kingston
Essex. UK

 

soul of the forest
consumed by fire

Roberta Beach Jacobson

 

a sparrow
sings out of the tune
deforestation

Agus Maulana Sunjaya

 

plant laboratory –
a daisy breathes
behind glass

Isabel Caves
Auckland, New Zealand

 

fires rage
Facebook photos
of Venice flooded

Peggy Hale Bilbro
Huntsville, Alabama

 

cl(i)mate (change)

Erick Harmon (age 11)
Los Angeles, California,USA

 

global warming –
children without a smile
on fake lawns

riscaldamento globale –
bambini senza sorriso
su prati finti

Maria Teresa Piras
Italy

 

rising factory smoke
the skies pile up frowns
of thick cloud

Adjei Agyei-Baah

 

goldilocked world
stories of extreme
flood water & fire

wendy c. bialek
az usa

 

bible school boy
his belief in climate change
belted out of him

Roberta Beary
County Mayo, Ireland

 

ancient glaciers…
the Dolomites magic
is melting

Elisa Allo

 

my nephew
refutes climate change
red state

John Green

 

behind the surfer
driftwood trees riding
the waves

Xenia Tran

 

musty sky
the statue of liberty
engulfed to her chin

Pris Campbell

 

reducing indulgences
the healing power
of Nature

Ingrid Baluchi
(Macedonia)

 

tick talk
at the clinic again
for amoxicillin

Janice Munro

 

beach front property of the ocean

Rich Schilling
Webster Groves, MO

 

heavier and heavier
into tomorrow…
carbon footprints

Theresa Okafor

 

the river
washes itself repeatedly
whoever listens

Ron Scully

 

bank failures
cattle float
in flooded fields

Margaret Walker

 

deforestation:
a river of stones in the village on the hill

disboscamento:
fiume di pietre nel borgo sulla collina

Giuliana Ravaglia

 

rain….
how many days of rain-
and yet, and yet

Angiola Inglese

 

recent TV news
I buy all LEDs
and wait

Paul Geiger
Sebastopol CA

 

shoals of Miami
once the city
of my birth

Greer Woodward
Waimea, HI

 

(tis)(a)(bear)(ring)
in an ocean of grief
dwindling ice floes

Susan Rogers
Los Angeles, CA USA

 

dry west wind —
….blowing stalks and withered leaves
…………..they rattle

Lemuel Waite
Georgetown, Kentucky

 

deforestation
at the gates of the city
a bear family

cezar ciobîcă

 

Venice dying
yet she lives on
in the lovers’ kiss

Alexis Rotella

Lori Zajkowski is the Post Manager for Haiku Dialogue. A novice haiku poet, she lives in New York City.

Guest editor Lori A Minor is a feminist, mental health advocate, and body positive activist currently living in Norfolk, Virginia. She is the editor of #FemkuMag. Most recently, Lori gave a presentation on social awareness in haiku at Haiku North America 2019.

Katherine Munro lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and publishes under the name kjmunro. She is Membership Secretary for Haiku Canada, and her debut poetry collection is contractions (Red Moon Press, 2019).

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. What a great collection of haiku about climate change. So many poems highlighting the problems. I never ceased to be amazed by climate deniers. I worry about what we are leaving for my children and grandchildren. Like the poet who embedded I change, I try and am on a mission to remind people to Skip the straw as sea turtles and our rivers and oceans are being killed by plastic.

  2. Thanks Lori for putting this selection together and including mine. Many bold haiku this week. What a surprise to see Simonj’s ‘straight’ one-word haiku with its many resonances. Thank you also to Simonj for the expression ‘external juxtaposition’, which I will be adopting in the future.
    I found Olivier Schopfer’s innovative haiku fascinating, and I’m glad a way was found to show it. I’m sure I haven’t seen this done before. For me it suggests a car’s odometer slowly ticking higher … how apt.
    Thanks also for Autumn Noelle Hall’s wider comments prompted by this selection.

  3. I will comment briefly on just two:
    *
    taiga
    *
    simonj
    UK
    *
    As someone who lives in the boreal forest, this poem, in the context of the theme, caused me to think about tundra becoming taiga…
    *
    cl(i)mate (change)
    *
    Erick Harmon (age 11)
    Los Angeles, California,USA
    *
    This poem is brilliant to me – I must change, in so many ways – my habits, my priorities… – in order for real change to happen…
    thank you all, & especially Lori A Minor! kj

  4. Thank you Lori for including my haiku. I feel privileged to be along side such talented poets. I look forward to reading more.
    Margaret Mahony
    Australia

  5. Thank you for featuring my haiku here Lori and what a powerful collection this is. I agree that it would be great to have an anthology on climate change and it’s lovely to see children participating too.

  6. Thank you, Lori, for featuring my haiku. The theme will go a long way in making conscious of climate change and its devastating effect.

  7. Thank you Lori for including my haiku. So many takes on this subject – rising oceans, melting glaciers, deforestation, seasonal weather pattern shifts, species extinction, etc. All excellent. Almost reads like an EarthRise Rolling Haiku Collaborative on climate change.

  8. Thought-provoking work and some absolute belters – I hope to see some of these elsewhere in anthologies in due course. I’m not going to single anyone out because the standard is so high this week, so well done to everyone in the ways you have addressed this essential subject.

  9. Thank you Lori for highlighting my poem. As Australia is one of the driest continent, water is a precious commodity.

  10. Thanks Lori for selecting my haiku for your insightful comments. Thank you also for such topics that make us all think deep. They have generated such wonderful poems.

    I was touched by Madhuri’s poem . L 3 is truly heart wrenching and makes one think of all the loved ones who eventually gave up the fight.

    Vandana’s poem is very intriguing as well. Perhaps it refers to the couldn’t care less attitude of people who still like to maintain a facade on social media.

    Sudebi’s image is very seasonal and poignant. Enjoyed it.Steve’s monoku holds so much in a tiny frame.I stopped by after reading Pat’s poem. It’s so very relevant as are so many others.

  11. I didn’t make the deadline for this week but appreciate those who did. And, looking ahead to next week, it has been somewhat surprising to me to add up the losses and benefits of the past ten years. It is good to reflect. Thank you Lori for the thoughtful topics during your guest editorship.
    *
    a lost glacier slips to a river slips to a sea
    .
    Steve Tabb
    .
    With the use of “slips” for me this evoked the quietness, the possibly unobserved, of something “slipping away”.
    *
    deforestation
    at the gates of the city
    a bear family
    .
    cezar ciobica
    .
    There were others that addressed deforestation, the causes as varied as the locales. In my area it is due to new housing and business, dislocating many species of life. That is the obvious meaning here. But in reading again the “gates of the city” stood out to me. Historically the city gates were, besides the protective barrier to the city, symbolic of the leaders of the city who made the decisions. What would the bear family want to tell them?

  12. Thanks to Editor Lori for publishing and commenting on haiku by my kids last week. They all work hard but are new to poetry. Erick was reading Jules Verne and that’s how he responded to the prompt. I showed them Jackie Chou’s excellent one word monoku, “narc(i)ss(i)ist” from some months ago, and Eileen immediately abstracted starving artist from (PO)v(E)r(T)y. I saw several anagrammatic monoku in this week’s feature, and was especially intrigued with Olivier’s
    “war ᴹ ing
    …….ᴺ”
    war, warming, warming–it’s amazing what hidden meanings can be found within a single word.
    w(OR)d, (row), (do).
    Many thanks also to Autumn’s thought-provoking comments. Many good haiku and thanks to Lori and all editors and poets for creating this feature.

    1. Charles – it is encouraging to hear that children are not only reading but writing. And what a great family project.

  13. beach front property of the ocean
    .
    Rich Schilling
    Webster Groves, MO
    .
    Despite stating the obvious, I find myself reading property twice, which adds enormous depth [npi] to this ku. Is this phenomenon just me, a product of the language, or something else?

    1. I was about to include Rich’s clever and meaningful monoku in my comments, but will add here instead. The first three words stood out to me at first, almost a distraction, because I live near the water and “beach front property” or waterfront for sale signs are common. In re-reading loved the overlap of the property word. And maybe an image of those signs is a good contrast between commercial and nature.

    2. I initially thought it was missing something. “of the ocean” seemed abrupt somehow but when I thought about houses so close to the ocean it seemed fitting. There is something with the word property that does make you come back to it. Thanks for commenting!

  14. Thank you for including my haiku, Lori. At the risk of seeming full of myself, I want to comment on something that surprised me when I encountered it on THF this morning:
    *
    the loneliness
    imaging a snowfall
    unmarked by deer tracks
    *
    Autumn Noelle Hall
    *
    That moment when you realize the unintended typo…worked? I thought I’d written “imagining” here—but in checking my copy of my contact form contents, I discovered I’d indeed sent Lori “imaging.” I appreciate her faith in presenting it as-written! The interesting thing about this “gaff” of mine is that “imaging” contains the idea of human interference (in the verb definition sense: to make a representation of the external form). WE—humans—are creating this climate crisis—we are creating the floods and the fires and the extinctions; we are “imaging” them even as I type this. Somewhere in our collective unconscious, we know this, even when we dismiss it as “just a typo.”
    *
    snowdrops the only snow
    *
    Marilyn Ashbaugh
    *
    The starkness of this image is stunning—a white out wrought in words. For a brief moment, I saw the snowdrops in the snow, only to then realize there was no snow. To demonstrate this devastating disappearance before my very eyes in just four words…masterful.
    *
    war ᴹ ing
    …….ᴺ
    *
    Olivier Schopfer
    Switzerland
    *
    I admire the potential for multiple readings in this senryu. The placement of the falling N is brilliant, as it seems to indicate the options we had, had we heeded the “warning,” are quickly running out. I can see the Star-Wars-intro-like movement as the “N” scrolls off the screen, only to be replaced by the fact of that “M” in “warming.” But throughout all that interchanging motion, I see “war” most clearly—the war against nature, the war between climate believers and climate deniers, the endless wars that secure and perpetuate a fossil-fuel driven lifestyle. Such a strong set of statements in a single word poem.
    *
    gardens of eden
    a forest of koalas
    burning in our fires
    *
    john hawkhead
    *
    This haiku is sad beyond sad. Those mounting “S’s” that capture the plurality of the problem and well as the hissing sound of flames, while also taking us back to the snake in the original garden of eden—so effective. I really love the way this poem takes responsibility—“our fires.” I think this is one of the most difficult things for people to do, because it entails experiencing the inevitable grief inherent in the ownership of the problem. But we MUST take ownership, we must feel that grief, if we are going to save our edens.
    *
    rising seas…
    the higher ground we must
    all come to
    *
    Michele L. Harvey
    *
    Yes, Michele—that is exactly it. And unfortunately, I think you’ve managed to capture the way in which we will finally begin to collectively move to that internal higher ground—only when the external rising waters drive us there. Such a hard thing, to know we can be and do better…when we’re currently not.
    *
    a speech on emissions grandpa’s fart
    *
    Adrian Bouter
    *
    This is offensiveness with a purpose—a poem that captures the older “leadership’s” dismissiveness, apathy, and refusal to take responsibility for damage done (and captures it via methane, no less). My millennial daughters, who are both very climate-savvy, often express the sentiment “Well, once your generations finally dies off, we might actually be able to accomplish something; of course, it may be too late by then.” It makes me wince—just as this poem does—because it stinks of the truth.
    *
    rising seas
    not enough ice
    to bring down the swelling
    *
    Laurie Greer
    Washington DC
    *
    A beautiful capture of how painful the climate crisis is, particularly to those of us who understand that it is actually happening. It carries the sense of humanity only realizing what we have (had) once it is gone, as well as the sense of being swept up in something over which we have little individual control. Wouldn’t it be something if the swelling was one of grassroots activism? This poem is a good start to such a swelling.
    *
    cl(i)mate (change)
    *
    Erick Harmon (age 11)
    Los Angeles, California,USA
    *
    WONDERFUL, Erick! You’ve GOT it! It’s like the voting roll call announcement—”The ayes have it.” When all the I’s have it, we might finally stand a chance at slowing climate change. Good for you for being a youth activist and a proponent of that change.
    *
    bible school boy
    his belief in climate change
    belted out of him
    *
    Roberta Beary
    County Mayo, Ireland
    *
    This is horrifying, Roberta. I would like to think that each person at least has a choice as to whether or not to believe in the climate crisis. But this demonstrates the way people are bullied out of their choices, as well as the way our youth have not had a choice in the way their planet has been damaged. It put me in mind of how childlike we can be as a collective sitting in front of our tellies, allowing Mass Media to tell us what to think. I feel as sad as I do angry about this situation. I really like your use of the word “belted,” as it could mean both a literal belt and yelling; a stark contrast with the image of belting out a church hymn.
    *
    my nephew
    refutes climate change
    red state
    *
    John Green
    *
    This is a case where the name of the poet adds something to the poem! Seeing red juxtaposed with Green heightens the contrast addressed in the poem’s conflict. I feel this one in my chest—the rage at the denial AND the division/devisiveness is painfully relatable. I really like the double entendre of red state here, too. It is a perfect capture of the anger inherent in American politics.
    *
    beach front property of the ocean
    *
    Rich Schilling
    Webster Groves, MO
    *
    I love the irony of this poem, but even more so, the underlying notion, so eloquently expressed by Chief Seattle, that we don’t own the land. The Earth belongs to itself, and we are privileged to share in her bounty for a while. Then, like all things, we will be taken back into the ground of her. This is the eventuality that drives us to buy beach property, in an effort to console ourselves while remaining in denial. But we cannot consume our way out of this! Great capture of this inevitability, on multiple levels.

    1. Hi Autumn,

      Thank you for your analysis of my poem. This Thanksgiving my nephew, visiting from a small town in Texas, told me about his teacher who gave a lecture condemning climate change and my nephew fully believes it. I had not thought of my name as being an integral part of the poem, so kudos to you for picking up on that added punch.

      I am an optimist so believe that we, humanity, will turn to the greater good. It would be lovely to be able to see out 500 years and see positive outcomes.

      1. Hi John,

        Thank you for sharing the background story for your haiku; I always enjoy learning a little more about what inspired the poem! It is appalling to me that your nephew came to his perspective via a TEACHER’s lecture. How colossally irresponsible of that teacher! It reminds me of a conservative friend in our bi-weekly Taoist study group, who holds the same views as your nephew’s teacher. No matter how many resources and studies and essays and articles and documentaries and books I bring to his attention to try to demonstrate/validate what is happening, he simply dismisses me with a shrug and a smug, “Well, that’s not what MY sources say.” I don’t know how to combat that type of willful ignorance, which while forgivable in a child, I find reprehensible in an adult. So I am working hardest on acceptance at the moment, and I’m trying to base it in respecting each person’s right to choose, as well as the notion that each of us must come to our understanding of the climate crisis on our own.
        *
        I appreciate your optimism. I am more of a realist. People like that teacher and our study mate, coupled with the mass die-off of hundreds of species at our hands, give me reason to doubt our collective ability to “turn to the greater good.” A world without deer or koalas seems less-than-positive to me. It would take a world without climate deniers for me to adopt anything close to optimism.
        *
        ~Autumn

  15. Apologies to you Richa for getting your name wrong.
    .
    bible school boy
    his belief in climate change
    belted out of him

    Roberta Beary
    .
    A sad reflection of where beliefs get in the way of reality.

  16. No way now to trivialize this hugely important issue, which in time will affect even our blinkered leaders.
    .
    This is a damning collection of what we all should by now know and accept is happening, in spite of the regenerative powers of Nature. Thank you for including mine; I found it hard not to politicize the theme, nor to find much hope in such a bleak state of affairs. I also found it interesting that overpopulation did not come up.
    .
    Applauding your three selections, Lori, along with your comments, and I thought highly of Michele L. Harvey’s lines 2 and 3 in:
    .
    rising seas…
    the higher ground we must
    all come to
    .
    We need Richard Sharma’s “aligned minds” and certainly “to stem corporate profits” – Don Miller.
    .
    We need much, much more than endless COP25-type talks where climate change and other buzzwords remain just slogans.

    1. re. “I found it hard not to politicize the theme, nor to find much hope in such a bleak state of affairs” :

      “Grief requires us to know the time we’re in. The great enemy of grief is hope. Hope is the four-letter word for people who are willing to know things for what they are. Our time requires us to be hope-free. To burn through the false choice of being hopeful and hopeless. They are two sides of the same con job. Grief is required to proceed.”

      Stephen Jenkinson (quoted by Dahr Jamail in The End of Ice from “On grief and Climate Change” soundcloud.com/orphan-wisdom/orphan-wisdom-stephen-jenkinson-on-grief-and-climate-change.)

      You are not alone. Hope carries the danger of focusing our attention on some imagined better future, some hero “out there somewhere” who will save us, some miracle or scientific breakthrough. It distracts us from doing the work HERE and NOW to make the changes and sacrifices we must. Better to be hope-free, roll up our sleeves, and get the job–and the grieving–done.

      1. Autumn and Ingrid–
        Do you know Glenn Albrecht’s book, Earth Emotions? He coined the term “solastalgia” to describe the particular kind of grief we feel at the losses of climate change–a grief that is ongoing and has no closure. It’s more complicated than that, of course–and also relates to the “species loneliness” Autumn references in her powerful poem (in both versions! but, yes, a telling typo), and the meaning is still evolving, but it represents a way to talk/think about what’s happening that we lack in pre-Anthropocene language. We do need new language–the situation is unprecedented. But I’m also wary of the potential of new words to distract or hide the realities, which might be starker if articulated in familiar words.

        I agree about the hope-lessness of the situation, Hope is not an action, it’s a false lulling, a giving in to fear or laziness, perhaps. Often it’s just more of the continued reliance on new technologies to figure things out. Neither technology nor any other savior we’ve imagined so far is going to do it. I don’t know what is–I worry about this night and day and have woken up crying more times than I can count. At the risk of sounding misanthropic, I feel the real tragedy is that by the time we, humans, are gone, we will already have destroyed all else–and we will have done it by causing immense pain and suffering for every living creature.

        1. Laurie–thank you so much for the book reference. I was not familiar with Glenn Albrecht’s book OR with his term “solastalgia.” I’ve been using Eco-grief to describe the phenomenon. I will definitely add Earth Emotions to my ASAP reading list.
          *
          You are smart to be wary of cover-up words, especially as there are powerful political and corporate interests engaged in inventing language for just such an anesthetizing purpose. We also need to be wary of things like Superhero franchises that reinforce the idea of caped saviors coming to our rescue, as well as 2020 candidates who pose as such Superheroes. As long as profit continues to be our driving motivation, we even need to be vigilant for continued consumerism disguised as green solutions. Corporate oligarchs can and will commodify anything–including US.
          *
          Any sense of misanthropy is both understandable and relatable–at least to me. I struggle with having the sense that the best thing that could happen to the Earth is for humanity to hurry up and go extinct; and at the same time, deeply loving my children and wanting them to live happy, abundant lives. How does a mother find a balance between Earth love and Child love? I am sorry for your solastalgia. And at the same time, I am so grateful to know someone else is living with the same daily anxiety and sorrow I am over what is happening to our beautiful home. It is good to know we are in this together.
          *
          Autumn

      2. Thank you Autumn and Laurie; informative and sensitive comments, and I too will try to get hold of the literature.
        But it isn’t we who need to read these books and articles. It’s those who have the power to make changes. And they won’t. It’s too uncomfortable; they don’t want to take the responsibility nor the backlash that will inevitably come from those who profit most. Besides, those who do have the power do not want to lose their status and position. It’s a vicious circle of greed that ignores the voices of those who suffer most, including non-humans.
        Another thought, controversial though it may be . . . the trillions spent on civil defense and wars at such time of global eco-crisis, is insanity. We may have evolved into a species with a developed brain, but where is the common sense?

        1. Thank YOU, Ingrid, for reading and considering our comments. I completely agree with your that trillions in defense spending is insanity–as is billions on walls. Imagine how many solar panels we could buy with that money! Or how many carbon-sequestering trees we could plant. Or how many immigrant children we could feed! Or how many short form poets we could publish! ; ) It’s not just common sense that is lacking, it is basic human decency and compassion. Reading the quotes of those in power contained in Bill McKibben’s latest book, Falter, is eyebrow-raising to say the least; they do not see non-humans–or even the lower 99% of humans–as being worthy of survival. They are building a future for themselves–and a lonely future it promises to be, indeed.
          *
          Just to add one more to your reading list, if you are of an eco-mind, Dahl Jamail’s book, The End of Ice, is full of first-hand experiences and first-person interviews with those at the frontline/s of the climate crisis–scientists, indigenous peoples, etc.
          While Mc Kibben ends on the optimistic notion that all will be well if we mount peaceful, nonviolent protests and turn our attention to solar, Dahr Jamail (who was the original source of the Steven Jenkinson quote I included above), is more grave in his conclusions. He suggest that the best we can do is to hold a loving vigil and give our full presence to our Mother Earth in her time of suffering. Both books were useful to me in different ways–both offered affirmation of my long-held suspicions of just how close to the cliff we are, and both offered possible courses of action/non-action.
          *
          Very grateful for this conversation and for our shared views and questions.
          *
          ~Autumn

    2. Thank you Lori for including my effort among so many diverse and interesting verses.

      Ingrid, you’re right about the lack of words about overpopulation, and an issue I have always found people wanted to avoid, but is absolutely necessary. Even at an Extinction rebellion march one of the demonstrators mentioned that getting the air pollution under control was an absolute priority before he himself would have any children. Some look no further than their own personal wants and needs.
      There are numbers presented by scientists to ensure the survival of a given species, yet we have failed miserably to do this for, us, the most destructive animal on the planet.
      These environmental issues are not new, but lets hope better late than never, is the case.

  17. “taiga” is a direct reference to “tundra”.
    Although I consider “tundra” a concrete poem rather than haiku*, it is a well known work by another haijin. And as well as this external juxtposition there is also a literal juxtaposition of the tundra/taiga biome boundary, which will no doubt move with the climate.
    .
    Thankyou Lori for the highlight.
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    .
    * “tundra” certainly has haiku like traits.

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