Poetry at the end of the world*

July 17, 2019

Indigenous peoples do not believe the world is ending.
The world is changing, they say.
Even before the scientists named climate change
The shamans knew it
When they saw the snow caps melting
The earth quaking and tilting
Animals and birds leaving
The Ocean rising
They say: The Earth is Changing. For the sixth time.
The Inuit ask: When all the ice melts, who will we be?
In Vanuatu they say: We have nowhere to go in this island.
The Kogi says: The Younger Brother is hurting our Mother
The Syrian refugees say: The war is caused by drought.
The Indian farmer says: I cannot pay my debts; I’d rather die.
The white man in Texas says: I will build me a bunker.
The white man in the White House says: I will build me a wall.
The Silicon Valley techie says: I will build spaceships to Mars.
The media mogul says: Let’s make more reality tv spectacles.
The religious say: God will provide.
In the meantime —
Fire says: I’m hungry
Water says: I am thirsty.
Fish says: I am choking on plastic
Bees say: Your chemicals make me sick.
Monarch butterflies ask: Where’s our habitat now?
Chthulune, Anthropocene,
Biomimicry, New materialism
Agential Realism, Inter and Intrasubjectivity
Mental monocropping, Hybridity
Indigenous Cosmopolitanism
Concepts roll off the brain but doesn’t land on the skin
Poetry at the end of the world is:
Elegant Disintegration
Just. Be. Kind.
Tender and Generous
Go barefoot often
Salute the Sun each morning
Say Goodnight, Moon.
Eat local and in season
I keep going because I belong to a village
Pay my debt for the privilege of being here for a few moments
Live poetically even if I am not a word poet
English is not my first tongue
Grieve now while you can
Build beautiful altars to Death
Sing and dance your prayers
Resist the temptation of bright-sidedness
Do not meditate away your grief
Do not write another self help book
Poems, yes.


  • Published in: http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-bloomberg-rissman-and-richard-lopez-and-t-c-marshall/the-end-of-the-world-project/paperback/product-24012591.html and the second volume here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/john-bloomberg-rissman-and-richard-lopez-and-tc-marshall/the-end-of-the-world-project-continued/paperback/product-24012514.html

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