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