NaPoWriMo Day 20: Your Attitude

I’m stuck trying to write a poem about how being a mentor for someone to change their habits, actions, or ideas that effect the earth, their health, or another area of social justice can have a ripple effect. I can’t seem to come up with the right words and it keeps morphing into a different kind of poem. Here’s what I have today after pondering the subject. It’s not the message I originally set out to send.

Your Attitude

Your positive

Non judgmental

Meet-you-where you’re at


Can be more effective

Than a negative




The way you react

And treat another

When they are

“Not there yet”

Can make

An impact

On their ability

To make new choices

To help the planet


NaPoWriMo Day 19: The Present Will Become the Past

The Present Will Become the Past

It’s hard to be hopeful

With all the doom and gloom

It’s easy to give up

And become stagnant

Keep walking down the path

You may struggle to move forward

But moving backwards

Is awkward

There’s a reason

We cannot travel

Back in time

Or speed up to the future

Stay conscious

Of your actions in the present

Make the future

Better than the past

NaPoWriMo Day 18: Catastrophe

This poem is somewhat inspired by Elizabeth Kolbert’s book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe.


Climate stability led us to thrive

In a world that was once volatile and unfriendly

Our species was thriving, striving, always wanting more

Advancing to the point where

We are wreaking havoc on the planet

The emissions of our technological empire

Keep the temperatures rising steadily

Into climate chaos

Climate instability is may cause our demise


NaPoWriMo Day 16: Recycled Soul

This is another poem about my uncle who died when I was five but left me with so many life lessons in such a short amount of time. I am writing about him again because he has given me so much inspiration for the way I teach about caring for the Earth and its creatures and environment. 

Recycled Soul

You are no longer present

In your previous

Living form

But your energy is here

The organs

You volunteered to give

Before the accident

Brought new life

As with all things

Energy is reshaped and recycled

Never destroyed

You are still inspiring action

To have fun

To be present in nature

To be kind to all creatures

To respect the earth

You call me to teach others

In a gentle, caring way

Yet you were firm in your objectives

And so am I

There is no room for harm

From the teacher or the student

And in that sense

You live on in me




NaPoWriMo day 15! Half way point: Thunder and Lightning

Before I did this challenge, it had been ages since I regularly wrote poems to express myself. I gave up calling myself a writer in my first year of college back in 2004. I wanted to write poems and other stuff every day. But when I shared my writing, people would tell me my poems that followed a particular form were done wrong, or just said really mean things because they could. So in my immaturity at the time, I gave up! I’m really glad I’m doing this now though. I am hesitant to write any kind of stylized poem except a haiku, possibly because of the past, but also because I like to make my own rules or lack thereof. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing these and it’s a helpful and a nice way to think about the subject I’m exploring/studying through the poems.

I think after this is over I won’t limit myself as much to my poem subject matter and write on my own. I’ll share the ones I think are really good here still…but less frequently so I have room to write other things. 🙂 

Today I want to write a poem in honor of my uncle, who died when I was five years old. He was studying environmental science and taught my family about recycling before it was widely practiced. He also taught us to cut up plastic items that could strangle wildlife, and various other environmentally friendly concepts. He inspires me to continue on this path of educating others about the environment, animal protection, human rights, and all the intersections of social justice.

I think I might write several poems about him in the next few days or so. 



Thunder and Lightning

The thunder boomed

The lightning flashed

I cowered in fear, crying

You took me under your wing

I was safe

As we sat on the step outside

Watching the sky

My fear was replaced

With awe and respect

And every time the sky rumbles and flashes

I think of you


NaPoWriMo day 14: Put the Pen Down

So, this poem is more about our relationship with the environment through the products we use and produce which is also an important aspect of environmental ethics. I am always surprised by how little we know about how the products we use are made and what they are made of. The inspiration for this particular poem came from an assignment in my Environmental Ethics course, where I will be researching a certain pen’s impact on the environment and the ways in which it is produced. I am excited to eventually (hopefully) answer some of the questions posed by this poem.

Put the Pen Down

They say

That the pen is mightier than the sword

But could the pen

Be more like the sword itself?

What is the pen made of?

Solvents and alcohols…

Ethylene glycol and monobutyl ether…

Encased in an attractive, plastic package

Millions of them exist

Produced in a factory by people

Who likely shield themselves

From the contents

And can you breathe the air

That surrounds the facility?

How do they handle

The waste they produce?

Trade secrets

Proprietary formulas

It’s not a food

Don’t you dare ask the recipe

The writing utensil

Seems so innocent

Convenient and useful

We do not ponder the risk

Yet given thought

The pen could be like poison

Accurate information

Is mightier than the sword