Climate poetry: “Letters to our Home” Zoom launch 4 May 7pm Perth time

Climate poetry launch Letters to our Home promotional image

https://www.facebook.com/events/1769757263163358

Climate poetry! Creative responses to the climate and ecological crisis from poets, writers and other citizens in Perth, Western Australia

Michael Williams, Liana Joy Christensen, Allan Padget, Tara Hurst, Deanne Leber, Natalie D-Napoleon, Jackson, Allan Boyd

Limited open mike

via Zoom

Monday 4 May 2020
7-9pm AWST (Perth, Western Australia: UTC+8)

PDF and print books will be for sale online, raising funds for the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) and the WA Forest Alliance (WAFA).

Hosted by Voicebox.
MC Vivienne Glance.

Details and links at
https://www.facebook.com/events/1769757263163358

‘Letters to Our Home’ was conceived during the Australian bushfire crisis in the summer of 2019/2020. It was inspired by the northern hemisphere publication ‘Letters to the Earth’ and like that publication we hope creative responses to the growing climate, biodiversity and environmental crises will help us come to terms with the situation we collectively face, nurture our spirits and inspire us to take, and to demand, action.

The contributors to this collection vary from school-age children to parents, workers and retired people, published poets and newcomers. They write from their hearts and are inspired by their passion to see art as a selfless act of giving, and as activism.

We hope you enjoy this brief journey around Western Australia’s unique precious places and how we as humans live within them.

Profits from the sale of Letters to Our Home will be split between the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) and the WA Forest Alliance (WAFA). The EDO fight tirelessly to protect the environment from legislative harm, and WAFA has worked for decades to save our old-growth native forests from destructive logging and other harms.

We’ll have 8 readers from ‘Letters to Our Home’, and short open mic brackets to start and end.

Thirteen ways of looking at an unseen bird

In response to “Learning the Name” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Read its name in English, such as crow or Swainson’s thrush.
Read its name in Latin.
Look at a picture of a bird of its species and sex.
Write an equation to model its flocking behaviour.
Add its decaying nest to your collection.
Find its bones among black nightshades in the ruins of a harvested field.
Look at the bars on your window, the iron latch on your door.

Study the tree where you think it hides.
Close your eyes and count the shape of its song.
Transcribe its cry into dots and sticks on lines.
Look at your own ears.

Measure the lips of the day-white moon. Threads of sunlight hanging between blue hills. Your eye in a raindrop. The face of a gnat.

Stand under the tree until it shits on the sphere of your head.

From A coat of ashes.
“Learning the Name” is on p. 121 of Finding my Elegy: New and Selected Poems by Ursula K. Le Guin, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010.

Among

Among the hundreds,
     one leaf hanging.
Pink hibiscus
     flowers, just showing
the sun their red
     tongues, their pollen-blobs.
Morning sun, the
     most lovely: that angle

of the rays, and the dust not
     yet as risen
as it is at evening. The world,
     the hibiscus bush,
the city: cleansed by darkness.
     The light making
a communion of shadow and shine
     among the gathering
of leaves, branches, blossoms,
     cobwebs, feathers.

Among the hundreds,
     one leaf hanging.
As she runs
     in her business suit to the train
a woman is brushing
     her hair. Above the street

a single bird has come
     to sit on a wire.
Its silhouette, a comma,
     underlined,
inscribes a dark pause
     on the whispering sky.

From The emptied bridge.
This poem won second prize in the Karen W Treanor Awards 2014.