Looking at Pollution

Yes, I’m still thinking about this poisoned planet. I’m just as guilty as the next person. I traded my old car for a hybrid. But that isn’t enough. I’ve tried to reduce my waste and increase my recycling. But I’m not making even a tiny dent in the problem. I buy most of my clothes second hand. I reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as is comfortable. And that is the crux. I don’t want to be uncomfortable. I still want my internet, and the electricity that powers it. I insist on my cell phone, the microwave, the refrigerator, the air conditioner, the hot water heater… All the billionaires that are in a race to make space travel a commercial enterprise have one goal – to colonize space and escape the mess we’ve made of this planet. Why not empower the people here to develop clean technologies, to replenish the planet, to renew the forests, revive the lakes, rivers, and oceans?? What if…

If only I were so gloriously incandescent
As the sun at noon or when the moon is full
I am only a child of the mud is my lament
To be a star child is the greatest pull
Like the moon spat out from Theiaโ€™s union
Instead I defile this conjoined rock dull
Ruin my home and natureโ€™s communion
Work to excise this gravity and from the planet cull
My soul into galaxies light years away
Among the other stars find truths and lies awful
When Iโ€™m rejected because this planet I betray
Judged and convicted for crimes and branded unlawful

This is a poem form called The Cycle. It was invented by Paul Emile Miller as a classroom exercise in meter and rhyme. It consists of 3 quatrains, The meter is complicated: L1 & L3 are tetrameter composed of a trochee followed by a dactyl and 2 iambs. L2 & L4 are iambic trimeter. The rhyme scheme is abab cbcb dbdb
To be honest my poem is a bastardization of The Cycle in that I used the rhyme scheme and I initially attempted to follow the metrical instructions. After many starts and stops, I gave up on the meter and just went completely off the rails and did my own thing…

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53 thoughts on “Looking at Pollution

    1. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment! The destruction of this planet is ongoing and we are all complicit. It will take everyone doing a little bit to make it better…

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    1. Thanks Carol Anne. It is a hard thing to face – that I am as guilty as any in what is happening. It will come down to having to choose what we want more – a healthy planet or material comforts…

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    1. True. Flying is a convenience not dreamed of 100 years ago (for the common man). I prefer to drive but it isn’t an option many times. A friend of mine is so afraid of flying that she’s never flown! Then again she doesn’t travel much anyway… I suppose if we decided to forgo any form of transportation except those that don’t rely on fossil fuels, we wouldn’t be a “global” community!

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    1. I had started the poem before I decided to just do what brings me joy… When I felt my level of frustration rising I ditched the meter struggle and just went where the words led me. As for doing more – I’m working on it. I’m trying to see if we can sneak a compost pile into the yard without the Home Owners Assoc. finding out! My sister has one that is great and doubles as a worm farm….

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  1. Any thinking person knows they are part of the problem. We need leadership to really help us make the changes necessary. And a lot less greed.
    Personally, those egocentric rich men can’t leave fast enough for me. Send them to Mars tomorrow! They will not be missed. (K)

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  2. My head is spinning with the boundaries you had to bump into for this form! I’m glad it was a bit of fun for you to play with.

    I struggle with my responsibility, as well as my ability to comply (no recycling available for my apartment complex). I avoid using plastic, don’t travel by plane, and try to group my errands for less driving. Everything else is a costly option, or not possible for me.

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    1. I hear you Dodi! Our recycling went from picking up almost anything to being very restrictive! They no longer accept aluminum foil. At one time they took the milk bottle caps but no more… I’m buying things in bulk to reduce the packaging, I recycle many things and reuse a ton more. I am proud to say that all my juice glasses are repurposed glass jars (Kraft cheeses), and I’ve never purchased a Glad/Zip-loc storage container (I once got some lunchmeat on sale that came in those) so I’m still using them and they seem to last forever! Also I don’t feel any trepidation sending them to others with goodies in them as it doesn’t matter if they come back!

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  3. I am a recycler of plastics and paper products, but found myself this winter thinking of composting and trying to use far fewer plastic storage bags. I’ve bought reusable freezer bags and containers, but it’s a work in progress. As far as composting goes, I live in an apartment and do not have anywhere to go with it. I also tend to shop for clothes now at thrift stores not buy any additional knick-knacks or pictures for home. There is so much that big companies can do to help, but they tend to go only so far so as not to infringe on their profits. It’s human selfishness that we don’t worry about climate change when positive change can be effected, but rather keep our eyes close and leave it for future generations to deal with. I hope humanity doesn’t wait until its too late an the beauty and life of earth is in danger.

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    1. Mary, I think greed is totally a big factor. And as you said selfishness factors in too since most humans are very self-centered. As for positive change, it is going to take everyone to save the planet…

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  4. Love the form and powerful message! I am in the same boat– trying to make a difference, but it can feel like such a small drop in the bucket, and, of course, there are some things we are so accustomed to that they are difficult to let go. I hope we can see some difference from people working together in these little ways.

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  5. It’s hard not to feel hopeless when even people who care as we do, make such puny efforts. It’s going to rain today and already, I’ve decided not to ride my bike to work while people in the Netherlands ride everyday even though it rains frequently. We cherish our comfort above all else.

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  6. I so get you. I too want to do my bit for the environment but I have my pet comforts I can’t live without. Off the grid living is so not me (neither is camping) either. At the end of the day, I think it’s important to simplify our lives but only to the point we can be happy, we can bring joy to others and not spend our time fixating on how much we can save.

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  7. Fixing the planet is a mammoth task but I am a big believer in the ripple effect. So Muri, don’t give up on making those little ripples. Those little ripples can become bigger ripples….. With Easter only weeks away I’ve Spinach seedlings to place into the Little Community Library and have made rabbit shaped cards using recycled cardboard in which I have attached flower seeds. 500 seeds in a pack for $2.35 a pack. Not only do these actions foster community, but I’m focusing on promoting healthy gardens, sustainability, and bees. More bees, please.
    Keep rippling……

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    1. I am a big fan of the honey bee! I’ve got a packet of wild flowers that I got as a gift last year – too late to plant. But this just might be the perfect time to plant them!! Thanks for the reminder!!

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  8. It’s hopeless but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I no longer use bottled dish soap and I use detergent sheets that come in a small cardboard box. I don’t use plastic bags to store leftovers, but when I get one from someone (holding cookies) I wash it, reuse it and can’t deny its convenience. Still a lot of the things I need and normally use don’t have options like that. And then? I pay for recycling but (between us) I doubt my landfill actually recycles anything. The whole situation makes me very sad but I keep telling myself (a lie? the truth?) every little bit helps.

    This poetic form is like a merry-go-round. You did well!

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    1. Thanks much Martha! I’m tickled that you liked the poem and the form… I gave it my best effort with the meter before I gave up. I stopped using fabric softener awhile ago. I use tons of Tupperware and Pyrex storage containers. I don’t use too many plastic bags anymore. I think I’m turning into my grandmother and mother! I always laughed because they would save every bread bag and all the plastic liners from the cereal boxes to use as storage, and now I’m doing the same thing!!! I’m considering the laundry detergent sheets but I have serious sensitivities so I’m reluctant to switch since I found something that doesn’t make my skin crawl! Does it have scents? Does it rinse out completely?? I’d be interested to know…

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  9. I try my best to recycle right down to the empty toilet rolls. Hubby has now started tearing them up and putting them in the trash. Who understands the dementia mind?

    As for poetry muri I understand little about rhythm ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. I save my toilet rolls too and use them for animal enrichment for the mice and rats. It is a symptom of dementia to pick at things. My Pastor’s wife had dementia and they had to put all the kleenex out of reach as well as the toilet paper. If she got hold of either shed tear it into tiny pieces and it would look like it was snowing inside. I hope Wil is contented with tearing up the TP rolls and not the TP itself! As for the poetry, Bonnie I’m not an expert and this form really caused me to struggle!!

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  10. I share your pain. Prescribed rhythms are a difficult thing to stick to. I tend to work my rhythms by ear when I pay attention to them at all. And then, I am only looking for a poem that flows smoothly off the tongue. But I need to pay closer attention to my rhythms. When you avoid rhyme–like I tend to do–a strong rhythm can go a long way to make a poem sound like a poem.

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    1. I think there is enough food to feed everyone – if only greed and politics didn’t get in the way! As for the pollution – it will take everyone doing a little to stop the destruction…

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  11. Here I sit, with an SUV in the carport, and knowing I fully intend to use it on road trips-but I keep it maintained, will turn the engine off whilst idling (something I noticed that people do in South Florida) and I limit my showers to 3 minutes, have no microwave and turn my phone off at 9 p.m. So many big deals I do-NOT ENOUGH, but something, at least.

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