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

 

 

NaPoWriMo Day 6:

I’ve been on a big kick about complaining about plastic waste and pollution of the oceans lately in my poetry. For me it’s one of the most disturbing environmental trends because it’s so easily preventable and has such a profound effect.These poems may sound a bit like a broken record. I wanted to write one more about the whales I keep seeing talked about on facebook and the internet news sites. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-35926455 — this is just one of many reports. It’s so upsetting because whales are facing enough problems in the ocean, and this is so easily preventable. It’s simple–do your part to be mindful of the waste you create, and don’t allow it to be dumped into the ocean!

I think tomorrow I’ll try to write about another topic…

It’s our fault

Dead whales wash ashore

People rush to solve the mystery

Opening its stomach

Inside lays a heap of plastic garbage and such

Gulped up

Too big to pass through

Polyethylene terephthalate

Is not a nutrient

 

It IS our fault

But it WAS preventable

We are complacent

But we can take action

We need to

Before

The Earth

Becomes a graveyard

 

Day 2-NaPoWriMo

Live with Less

Consume, Consume

Buy, Buy

What do we do with all this stuff when we die?

 

I want, I want

I need, I need

In the Lorax these things are called “sneeds”

 

Excess, Excess

Waste, Waste

Containers for everything, from shampoo to toothpaste

 

Piles of crap

Everywhere

We need to start to care

 

Less is more

Make your legacy greater than your pile of rubble

Leave the earth a better place, with less trouble

 

 

NaPoWriMo-30 days, 30 poems. Day 1

Well, I have decided to participate in this. So, I’m going to write 30 poems in 30 days and post them here daily. This site feels like a fitting place for me to share them on. Here is more information on it! http://www.napowrimo.net/

And here is my first poem:

trash heap

Child From 2050

The shores are filthy

Covered in trash

We play in plastic sand

 

The ocean is acid

Dead and devoid

We swim in sterile pools

 

The forest is barren

Silent and still

We gasp for air

 

The mountains are snowless

Ashy and gray

We do not know any better

 

This could be the future if you let it be

Despair and destruction

We need your help now

 

 

 

 

Nature field trip #1

Nature field trip #1

Hey! So I just revamped this blog that used to be about my thoughts I had while running. I decided to turn this into something less specific with a focus on sharing my own journey to caring for myself in the hopes that people can relate to it.

I got this idea, partly because I wasn’t keeping up with the blog because I can’t run right now due to an injury, and partly because I am a new graduate student studying humane education…and self care is what I found myself surprisingly needing to focus on first to do well and be a productive student. I am also always thinking about how I can teach others about self care, but I realized I need to take my own advice.

In one of my classes, environmental ethics, one of the assignments is perfect for self care. It’s to find a place in nature and to be mindful of the surroundings and to pay attention to it all. I am unsure if taking pictures can be part of this, but I feel like without pictures I am unable to remember what it was like as well. You will see these shortly.

This first trip was taken at the Claire D. McIntosh wildlife refuge and Jacobs Salt Marsh, in Bristol, Rhode Island and Warren, Rhode Island respectively. They are a short walk on a path a way from each other, and right near the border of the two towns.

I started at the wildlife refuge.

wildlife refuge

I went down the path, over a pond (there’s a wooden structure that passes over it) that was still partially frozen but also had bulbs opening up.

pond with bulbs opening

I stopped on the path and looked around and listened. I realized I was hearing some ducks. So, I went around the corner to see a large group of Mallard ducks.

mallards

Then I started walking to the bike path, heading over to the salt marsh area. I took note of this sign.

jacobs point salt marsh restoration

Then I slowly walked down the path I had taken in the past through the salt marsh and over to the rocky, sandy coastal beach area.

I was met by a bunch of different birds. There were various gulls, ducks, and a single swan.

ducks swimming

swan

The swan was hard to capture without it’s head in the water.

I walked across the shoreline, trying to observe what I was seeing. I became mindful of the material we are learning about plastic litter and trash in the oceans, and started to look for evidence of it here. I took photos of it. I wanted to take it with me and throw it out elsewhere, but there was a little too much and I didn’t have anything to put it in. I also don’t know what the rules are if any about cleaning up the area.

I sat on a rock for a bit right by the shore and watched the tide come in and out in front of me. It was quite relaxing and I tried to breathe in sync with it.

I slowly tried to make my way back to the path that brought me to this secluded area (it was just me and the birds) but I kept walking past the entrance to the path. I started to panic a bit because I was getting a little tired of going back and forth and still couldn’t find it! I guess I hadn’t been aware of my surroundings as much as I could have. I eventually found it and walked back to the bike path where I followed it to make one last destination.

Across from the wildlife refuge entrance, there is a boardwalk that goes into the middle of the marsh grass that grows all around it. I was admiring the grass, but then I realized I don’t even know the name of the species it is! If anyone knows, please comment. I tried googling it but had some difficulty identifying it. Here is a picture of what I mean:

grass stuff

I walked to the end of the boardwalk, that shows off a view of the ocean. It’s supposed to be impressive, but it didn’t compare to views I had when I was directly on the shore. I didn’t bother to take a picture there…I thought the houses and boats you could see in the water would tarnish the beauty of it.

On the walk back towards my car, someone past me and said “it doesn’t feel like it’s 50 degrees yet!” I laughed and said no, except to myself I was thinking I was so happy it was warmer out and that it had to be at least 50 degrees. I checked the temperature, and it was 52. The cool ocean breeze must’ve confused the other person.

When I got back to my car, I felt really warm. I had been walking a lot. In fact, when I checked my Fitbit I had stepped 8,000 steps. Considering I’m lucky if I get 10,000 steps by the end of the day, and this was before 1pm, it was a lot! But it felt so good. The salty air was so refreshing and I didn’t notice how stifling and stuffy being indoors felt for a little bit.

The assignment was to spend at least a half hour in nature. I told myself in the beginning that I would keep the first one short and to the point, but I got a bit carried away and spent over an hour there.

I had also never been here by myself. I had always gone with someone else. It was nice to be by myself and go at my own pace and only have myself as my company and internal conversation partner.

I think I’ll go back again soon, especially with spring on it’s way!