Sunday, September 24, 2023

mjlu still on hiatus...and grateful


Greetings, Poetry Friday friends. I just wanted to post a word of thanks to Catherine Flynn, who agreed to take over my hosting duties today while I manage the overload that crept up upon me this month.  I'll have to celebrate my 15th bloggiversary at another time. In the meantime, I am very, very grateful for my friends in this community, for the opportunities that I'm having, and for all those who are Doing the Work in an often sad and angry world.  May poetry prevail!


My house is currently overflowing with guests, some of them quite small and needy.  I'll be back when I've attended to everyone sufficiently.  Until then, go well, my friends, and may poetry prevail!

Friday, September 15, 2023

climate friday at mjlu: kids vs eu, us v fossel fuels, Thomas Edison

insert your beloved kids' faces here

Greetings, fellow citizens of Earth! It's Climate Friday here at the blog.  A month ago we all rejoiced at the success of a group of kids (now many young adults) who sued the government of Montana and won a judgment that the state had not protected their constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment.

Next up, on September 27, a group of six Portuguese youth are similarly bringing a case--filed in September 2020 against EU member states as well Britain, Switzerland, Norway, Russia and Turkey--at a hearing before the European Court of Human Rights for failing to do their part to avert climate catastrophe. They are seeking a legally binding decision that would force these governments to act against climate change. Read more at these links and share with others, especially those you know in EU countries who might advocate in support of their case!

And how did we get to the sorry state we're in?  You can blame it on the Industrial Revolution, or on Henry Ford, or on the Baby Boomers riddled with consumption (not me, despite my birth year of 1964; I resolutely claim GenX, equally riddled with consumption), or you can blame it on Big Oil--there's certainly no shortage of evidence that they knew what they were doing.  But here's my take on the culprit/s:

Being a woman, I will not avoid the real labor of thinking, and I'll be joining (not too far from Edison's Pearl Street Station) this Sunday's giant END FOSSIL FUELS March to the United Nations in NYC.

The United Nations is doing its part, calling on world leaders to take real steps to lead us off fossil fuels to protect people and the planet. On September 20th in New York, the UN Climate Ambition Summit will gather world leaders to commit to phasing out fossil fuels. This March is part of a global weekend of events that you can read about here.

We'll be there to demand President Biden take bolder action to end fossil fuels.  It helps that I have a daughter to visit in Brooklyn (who will march with us), but adding my body to the throng of bodies calling for the U.S. to lead harder in response to the global crisis feels like the right thing to do.  

Biden claims that "practically speaking" he's already declared a climate emergency, but as word people (and world people), we poets know that there's a big difference between policies here and there--even good ones--and actually standing up and announcing it publicly from a very high dais, preferably with a related required action.  If you'd like to participate in an action related to this March, go here to find an event near you. What should I put on my sign?? Suggestions in the comments, please.

Thanks to Rose for hosting us today at Imagine the Possibilities. Maybe try not to drive anywhere today....and don't forget to turn of the lights when you leave the room. 💡

Friday, September 1, 2023

incomplete syntax, incomplete challenge

Greetings and rabbit, rabbit to you all. This illustration is by my friend Robin Galbraith, who has been spending an hour protesting Supreme Court ethics violations for *56* days!  See her activism on Facebook:

Here in the mid-Atlantic the day is dawning sunny and pleasantly cool (with 98* predicted for next week, so let's not break out our sweaters). As it's the first Friday of the month, we kick off with the Inklings Challenge, set by Margaret Simon:

Jack Bedell is a former Louisiana Poet Laureate. His poem “Ghost Forest” uses the poetic element of enjambment. Write a poem on any topic using enjambment.
Here is the Poetry Foundations definition:

I applied my Definito preparation approach and read about the etymology of the word jamb.  Come on through, readers; the doorway's open

Maybe every poem (not just every poem by me) turns out to be about the body somehow, the source of all our metaphors.  You could test that idea that by reading DEAR HUMAN AT THE EDGE OF TIME, the climate anthology published by Paloma Press, edited by three distinguished folks and including 69 distinguished poets and me. The virtual book launch was last night and it was most enjoyable!  Pre/order your copy at this link--it releases at some point this month, and my paperback copy is very satisfying to have in hand.  The variety of the poems is wonderful, and you can watch the recorded launch reading here.  That challenge is pretty complete, although I hope to participate in another of the readings that are forthcoming.

My Sealey Challenge, however, is another matter.  I cannot seem to read a whole collection of adult poems at a sitting; it's all too intense somehow.  So I went ahead with my attempt to catch up my inbox full of a Poem-A-Day, and was what you might call moderately successful.  Unlike some of you all, it turns out that a deadline by itself (as opposed to a deadline-or-else) is not enough to marshal my self-discipline; plus, I've had to give into a routine of very much less routine and structure than I'm used to.  It's been a year and I'm still not that comfortable with it!

But I am going to order 4 books like I planned:

An older one, Lace & Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens by Ross Gay and Aimee Nezhukumatathil, two of my favorite poets;
One by Camonghne Felix, who was a political speechwriter before being a poet-- Build Yourself a Boat;
Swoon by DJ Savarese, and 
WELCOME TO THE WONDER HOUSE, poems by Rebecca Kai Dotlich & Georgia Heard.

You can see the rest of the Inklings' responses
to the enjambment
by clicking these 

Linda @A Word Edgewise
Mary Lee @A(nother) Year of Reading
Molly @Nix the Comfort Zone
Catherine @Reading to the Core
Margaret @Reflections on the Teche

Happy New (School) Year and honoring the Labor of all this weekend!