Poem a Day Challenge #1

Over at Two Writing Teachers, Ruth and Stacey are hosting a Poem a Day Challenge.  My students are writing poetry in writing workshop and I want to follow their awesome example.  That means being brave and sharing my own poems!

While watching Oprah the other day, I was dumbfounded by her segment on the great landfill in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  I was inspired to write a poem using the Concerns about the World Door (Georgia Heard).  

 

Just because we don’t see it,

does that mean it isn’t there?  

Stretching

across the Pacific,

twice

the size of Texas…

A sea of garbage.  

An ocean of waste.

The briny deep now a slimy heap.

Fish entangled in plastic bags

plankton strangled by lack of space,

sea turtles choked by bottle caps.   

How do we live with ourselves?

How do we ignore it?

Chemicals spilled on the pavement fall into the sewers

run into our rivers

race to the ocean

and make their way into the skin, the gills, the lungs, the prey

of whales, fish, birds.

Cancer.

Our waste is cancerous.

What sickens the food chain 

cycles

cycles

cycles

back to us.

Eventually.

Who will step up and take responsibility for the clean-up,

before it’s too late?

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. Very powerful! I have a student doing an individual Inquiry of landfills, I will have to let her read your poem. I wonder how bad the disaster will have to be before we change the way we live? Even with my students…they are such little activists and yet when it’s hot they are the first ones to beg for the air conditioning or they lazily toss paper in the trash instead of the blue bin. Wastefulness is such a part of daily life we don’t even think about it.

  2. Strong feelings about an important topic — perfect backdrop for a wonderful poem! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  3. Loved this poem-I missed this Oprah show but your poem says it all!

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