Earth Day + Poetry Writing Month

I have been writing poetry and following writers of poetry this month of NaPoWriMo, aka, April. And so, my post includes a poem I wrote and posted for Earth Day.  Today’s challenge was to write a georgic, “a poem dealing with practical aspects of agriculture and rural affairs”, says Encyclopedia Britannica.  Here is Virgil’s lengthy georgic for comparison.  Mine deals with today’s Earth issues, as you will see.  Also, I include a photo of myself at the 5th Ave Easter Day Parade last weekend, which turned out to be all about the vintage dress I had on, a Leslie Fay original, pleated waist with matching belt.  Given the extreme and bizarre heat of Easter Day, my poem feels all the more apropos.  Enjoy.

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EARTH DAY GEORGIC

After Virgil

INVOCATION
Oh Gods of Earth and Sky, hear our prayer,
grant us wisdom to tend to that which has been
bestowed upon us, let us be wise stewards,
give us strength and courage to be so.

EXORTATION
As the sun looms ever hotter
and the weathers are raging or dull;
now that the water in the land is
poisoned and we drink it so;
And the land is barren of nutrients,
because, and despite, of its multitudinous crops,
and we must give it and ourselves vitamins,
it is mete to take care and caution,
to not use our water flows as garbage drains,
to stop the cycling and circulation of plastics-
of bags, packages, containers and such.
Let wrappers not fall discarded from our hands
to the Earth, even paved Earth. Leave not our cars
to idle while waiting in them. Such is foul to the air.
Let us compost our soil rich again.
Likewise, demand that solar and wind powers
be harnessed post haste, and that these many cars
and machines of dirty, greedy oil
be converted to their truth.
It is best to buy wisely those fibers and materials
that are natural to the Earth. Our very clothing
both comes from Earth and poisons Earth. As does our food.
Thus it is, that we need Earth, and she needs us, too.

BENEDICTION
Let us grow shade and plush fields,
let us cherish our soil more than gold.
May our water sparkle brighter than rubies,
emeralds, even diamonds, and not be bought or sold,
but treasured and purified, revered.
May our Earth be restored to balance
through our blessed efforts.
May our efforts live in harmony with our Earth.

-EJP

Story N˚5: Earth Day month

As the month of Earth Day closes, I remember a summer dress I bought a few years ago at a boutique near Orlando, Florida. My sisters and I had just celebrated my mom’s retirement by spending a week at New Smyrna beach. I had a few days alone with my mom, and on a shopping trip, we each bought a tie-dyed garment. My mom’s, a deep blue tunic with colorful tie-dyed patterning down the sides; mine, a strapless smocked-bodice dress in cotton gauze. Both pieces were made in India, I hope in decent working conditions.

I wore this dress to an Earth Day event in 2012. I was at the end of my marriage, feeling fragile and alone. I was determined to go out and enjoy the day. The downtown Orlando event was set up around the edges of Lake Eola. The weather was Florida perfect: sunny with a bright blue sky full of chubby white clouds. The turn-out was great: lots of musicians, artisans, vendors, kids and a humane society visit with lots of animals to love on. My dear friend, Erica, showed up with her girls and we played with pets, sampled treats and got henna tattoos. Mine said “guerrera” which is warrior. I needed some strength, or better, a reminder that I am strong. We also tried some unforgettable vegan smoothies made by some awesome Rastas. My dress conjured my hippie soul with its bands of color and flowing skirts. I felt alive and beautiful, and still do every time I wear this dress.

This is how I love to celebrate Earth Day, in community, outdoors and aware of this incredible planet we share. May we always look for ways to care for and protect our Mother Earth. (One of those ways is, of course, knowing who made our clothes and how.)

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