Av Daniela Gioseffi
There’s a blueprint to butterfly cocoons
stored in genetic memories.
Only our imaginations can save hummingbirds
as the polar bear dreams of ice.
Infants’ cries hold social systems together.
We wake to dictatorial slaughters of babies,
hungry people’s haunting swoons. Bloody faces,
swollen bellies fill our nightmares with weeping tunes
of grieving mothers, massacred fathers,
school children riddled with automatic bullets.
News of horrors travels at the speed of light.
Emotional reservoirs grow shallow with horror after horror.
Automatic guns sold everywhere to anyone,
filthy fossil fuels making famines, floods,
tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, nuclear accidents,
melting glaciers, drone attacks
in flashing pixels dull our senses.
There’s art to growing dreams anew in the young.
Dancers tell of feelings; singers offer shared emotions;
scientists fulfill hope or horror even as Gothic Gods can be
expelled from medieval thrones to stop us waging wars
in their mythic names. Fanatics send wounded cries rising
from Earth’s surface as people are chopped in pieces
to praise Allah; crucified to satisfy Jesus;
threatened with vengeance by Jehovah;
and starved children are raped by priests.
We stand on graves of those who built paths before us.
Our dreams are in the genes of our children.
They’ll make our choices when we’re in cemeteries.
Those who visit us will keep our urns or scatter our ashes,
call our time “The Age of Murdered Imaginations.”
They’ll groan of what we didn’t do,
when their bodies are wounded by polluting crimes,
their dreams turned to oil well slime,
their hopes become coal dust, gas drills poisoning their waters,
while clean geothermal, solar and wind energy was left unused?
Will our apathy be defined as shellshock from witnessing
the destruction of everything we loved,
until our psyches were numbed?
Will graves become more attractive
to our children than city streets; sad defeat their only emotion?
Revolution without purpose is evolution with amnesia.
Real revolution reclaims resources, rallies peace.
We can envision ourselves in a healed world,
on a glowing green globe of swirling blue waters?
We can fall deeply in love with dreaming an Earth renewed?
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on.”
La Vida Es Sueno. We can dream the “impossible dream,”
of Don Quixote, the “rarer action in virtue” of Prospero.
We can dance, paint, write an eco-philosophy,
absent of medieval deities whose “ignorant armies clash by night.”
We can make compassion more desirable than numbness.
Nature and imagination are our truest gods.
It’s so much easier to criticize than love.
People driven by affirmation have emotional power.
They don’t burn out, as histories tell us endless times.
Those who harbor visions of love wage beauty over war.
Our American Empire’s a blink in the eye of our ancestors.
We’ve been told that gravity is real and dreams are not.
We believe we deserve bruises, beatings and abuse
in the streets and from the state. What would we do
if gravity was an illusion and oceans fell off the earth?
Would rain clouds float to other galaxies?
Can flowers sing to their seeds while birds listen enraptured?
Will we last longer than dinosaurs?
What should we exhale into our atmosphere?
What would the Earth be without atmospheric balance,
or photosynthesis, primates with opposing thumbs,
the day after the last prison and insane asylum has closed?
Grip your spirit like a hand grenade! Let the world see
how resiliently fierce, gorgeous and dangerous
a militant sunflower can be. Wage beauty
as the polar bear dreams of ice!
About the Author Activist Eco-feminist: Daniela Gioseffi is an American Book Award-winning author of 16 books of poetry and prose. Her anthology of world literature, On Prejudice; A Global Perspective, from Anchor/Doubleday, NY, 1993, received a World Peace Award at The UN from The Ploughshares Foundation. Her anthology, Women onWar, International Voices for Survival in the Nuclear Age won The American Book Award in 1990, and was reprinted by the Feminist Presa at the Graduate Center of The City University of NY, 2003. It’s been in print for over 25 years as a women’s studies classic. In 2007, she won The John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry, after having won two grant awards in poetry from the NY State Council for the Arts and publishing six volumes of poetry, the first Eggs in the Lake from BOA Editions, and the last Blood Autumn, from VIA Folios/Bordighera Press, at the City University of NY; Queens College, 2007. She edits www.Eco-Poetry.org/ combining literary and visual art with climate crisis essays, articles and action alerts. Her verse, along with Walt Whitman’s was etched in marble on a Wall of PENN Station, NY, in 2002. She works in the divest New York City pension funds from fossil fuels campaign with http://www.350nyc.org/a global movement to divest from fossil fuels founded by Bill McKibben, the environmental activist from the Sate of Vermont. 350 refers to the amount of carbon emissions per million parts of Earth’s atmosphere that the climate can stand for halting global warming so that life can endure on our planet. The atmosphere is currently being measured at 400 parts of carbon emissions per million by scientists in Hawaii. More than life on the planet can stand for its endurance. There’s only about a decade left to save habitable Earth from climate crisis.
“Waging Beauty as the Polar Bear Dreams of Ice” (C) 2013 by Daniela Gioseffi, All rights, including electronic, are reserved by the author. Printed by permission of the author.