Climate Change Poem 16
Volunteer cherry tree, July 2011
Two global events are occurring on September 24, 2011:
1. Moving Planet, a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis.
2. 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a demonstration/celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change.
I thought: Why not do both?
Barring an emergency, I am posting from midnight to midnight, one poem per hour (at any time during that hour). That's starting from 00:00-01:00 and ending at 23:00-24:00 Eastern Time today.
All the poems are sonnets. Each takes its cue from an article dealing with climate change. The articles had been posted beginning on September 15 -- the date of the 24-hour Climate Reality Project that inspired me to do this -- to September 19, the day I drafted the twenty-fourth poem.
The poem for Hour 16 takes its cue from "Receding Sea Ice Chases Walruses to Alaska Coast" (Wynne Parry, LiveScience, Sept. 16, 2011).
When twenty thousand walruses or more
Had made their exodus from Chukchi Sea,
They settled on a north Alaskan shore.
Their offbeat movements caused perplexity,
For normally they camp upon the ice
That settles near a continental shelf.
That shallow water offers them a slice
Of dining habitat, which in itself
Yields clams and snails and worms on which to feed.
The promised ice has simply stayed away.
On land, they face the risk of a stampede
If startled. Noisy planes are kept at bay.
Their mass migration patterns fluctuate
While for their frozen home of old, they wait.
Part of the Solution website (chosen at random)
Environmental Defense Fund