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Poetry at the end of the world*

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: Silence 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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