Friday, January 10, 2020

happy green new year

As I have mentioned before, I've labeled myself a climate activist, and if there's ANY One Little Word that deserves sustained attention it's CLIMATE.  So bear with me as I use my #PoetryFriday posts also as #FridaysForFuture posts, as #FireDrillFriday posts.

My principal role as a climate activist isn't, of course, to be a scientist or even a striker, but to be a communicator, a teacher, a poet, so here is today's little nudge to action: according to my friends at Elders Climate Action, pro-environment citizens are actually LESS likely to get out and vote!  So ECA has gotten together with the Environmental Voter Project to PROMOTE THE VOTE.  They are training volunteers, including me, to use our cell phones to text pro-environment voters, state by state, primary by primary, and get them to use their voice and vote.  Here's the email I received this week.  I'm excited to sit in the comfort of my own home and use my expensive mobile phone plan to make an impact! 


You are receiving this email because you have registered as a volunteer with Elders Promote the Vote. ECA and the Environmental Voter Project (EVP) are working together to contact millions of pro-environment voters, especially those who need encouragement to get out to the polls. We have already done a lot. In 2018 and 2019, ECA/Promote the Vote volunteers completed more than 650,000 voter contacts. Now, we have a volunteer group of more than 140 people and growing fast!

As part of this Promote the Vote volunteer force, you give us the potential to make two to three million voter contacts before Election Day 2020, and generate tens of thousands of pro-environment votes that would not otherwise be cast.

Starting in late January, Promote the Vote will really gear up. EVP will be generating voter lists at a rapid pace for us to work with. The primary season kicks off with Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina in February, Super Tuesday on March 3rd, and various primaries continuing through June. We can look forward to almost 10 months of a high demand for our services leading up to Election Day on November 3rd.

In anticipation of all this activity, we are planning several on-line training sessions for working with the Hustle texting app, and a very special national call in January. The national call features Nathaniel Stinnett, founder and Executive Director of the Environmental Voter Project. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn more about EVP's innovative approach to identifying environmental voters and persuading them to vote in every election.

Save the date for this informative call: Tuesday, January 28th at 7PM (ET). Stay tuned for instructions on how to participate.

We have also scheduled 5 on-line orientation and training sessions. Please plan to attend one of these if you are new to Promote the Vote, or if you want a refresher. The trainings run about 90 minutes and include plenty of time for Q&A.

Tuesday, Jan. 14 12:30-2:00 PM (ET)

Wednesday, Jan. 22 7:00-8:30 PM (ET)
Friday, Jan. 24 12:30-2:00 PM (ET)
Wednesday, Feb. 5 4:00-5:30 PM (ET)
Monday, Feb. 10 1:00-2:30 PM (ET)

Please register for any of these 5 training sessions here. You will receive specific instructions for participating, and the latest version of the Volunteer Orientation Guide.  Thank you for being part of this campaign to activate pro-environment voters. We will keep you informed as things develop.

And ICYMI, I had an interesting encounter at Costco yesterday. End of Climate PSA!

"In January it's so nice, while slipping on the sliding ice..." 
 CHICKEN SOUP WITH RICE, Maurice Sendak, 1962

The 12 months of the year make a very fine organizer for a collection of poetry.  I like ONCE AROUND THE SUN by Bobbi Katz (Harcourt, 2006), HERE COMES THE YEAR by Eileen Spinelli (Henry Holt 2002), and WINTER FRIENDS by Mary Quattlebaum (Doubleday, 2005) is full of nice moments. Here are a few January-appropriate poems that might be new or forgotten to you, including one by me from PUMPKIN BUTTERFLY.

January | John Updike

The days are short,
The sun a spark,
Hung thin between
The dark and dark.

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor.
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door.

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace.

The sky is low.
The wind is gray.
The radiator
Purrs all day.


winter haiku from
LION OF THE SKY | Laura P. Salas

we are knitted twins,
soft as kittens, warm as hugs,
waiting to hold hands

Wordsong 2009, illustrated by Jenny Reynish

(right) from WINTER FRIENDS

frost | Valerie Worth

How does
The plain
Of water

Sprout these
Lacy fronds
And plumes
And tendrils?

And where,
Before window-
Panes, did
They root

Their lush
Crystal forests,
Their cold
Silver jungles?

Our host today is living in another season--a scary fire season--that reminds us all to do every little thing we can to connect our daily, hourly, jerky-buying choices to global climate effects.  Thanks to Sally Murphy for the round-up today!


  1. I had no idea that pro-environmental citizens were less likely to vote! Go, Heidi! I 💕 the poems you chose. Beauties, all.

  2. Thanks for your post! I followed your link to your Costco experience and appreciated the practical example. And I'm wondering what happened to my copy of that John Updike book...

  3. Thanks for that update on your phone-calls to help get out the vote, Heidi. It's new to me, too. I drove people to the polls in '18, will do so this year, too, & more with the Dems. Thanks for the winter 'lacy fronds'. We had a bit when I looked out early, but now the sun has erased them! Happy New Year!

  4. Thanks for a wonderful post, Heidi. Like Ruth, I appreciated your Costco conversation and the nudge it gave me to consider when I can have such conversations. You've selected a wonderful group of wintry poems. The John Updike one has long been a favorite and Valerie Worth gets me every time. I was just marveling over the frosty confections on my window panes. Would that I could have expressed it as beautifully as she does!

  5. Helllllo Heidi! I love the energy in this post. So much information and determination and poem and poem and poem and poem. Thank you for being the activist that you are and for leading the way, showing us how. You are an inspiration!

  6. Love these beautiful winter poems, Heidi, and your advocacy for climate care--thank you!

  7. Bravo on your willingness to take action in such a positive way Heidi. I think labelling yourself a climate activist is brilliant - but actually putting that into action as you are doing is even greater. I loved your Facebook post about Costco. These small moments of enlightenment for those we encounter can lead to bigger shifts. And thank for the frosty poem collection. I think I will have to visit the USA in winter sometime - having never seen either snow nor your country.

  8. Heidi, you are an outstanding "communicator... teacher... poet," and so are prefect for the Environmental Voter Project. Like others, I'm surprised to learn that "pro-environment citizens are... LESS likely" to vote. I will do what I can in my town to make sure they do!
    Thank you for this lovely collection of January poems. I love the John Updike collection. I have the older version, with illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, whose work I adore. Your "frosted Epiphany Forest" is so inviting. I'd love to wander through it!

  9. Yeah you! I was inspired by your encounter at Costco and told several people about it. I hope to have conversations at Aldi--I love their food, but so much of the fresh produce is bagged in plastic. I keep looking for ways to make a difference and share them. You are an inspiration. And I love the January poems, too.

  10. Hello, Heidi! I've tried emailing you from the link on your contact page, and I can't seem to get it to through. I wanted to ask you some questions about Poetry Friday for my Children's Book Insider article. Could you try emailing me directly at kimberlyhutmacher at gmail dot com? I look forward to chatting. Thanks for your help!

  11. We need more Heidis in this ol'world! Thanks for your always-thought-provoking words and actions. :0) I'm inspired by so many in the younger generations, as you are. We need to do what we can to leave an environment they can exist in, not to mention so many animals and plants now, today.
    --LOVE this curated offering of January poems, yours and all the others. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Congratulations, Heidi! Your work is and will make a difference. Your poem choices are perfect and bring a smile to me on this cold January day.

  13. Hooray for you for your climate activism! My sister in Boston is getting involved with Elders Climate Action. I don't see a chapter in Wisconsin (yet), but I'm glad to see the group growing!

  14. Thanks Heidi for getting us all riled up to get out and vote and get others out to vote–I'll have to check out a chapter around Chicago. Love all the January poems, and especially "Chicken Soup with Rice" from Sendak's wonderful Nutshell library!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!