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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Earth Day Haiku

Air Date: Week of

(Gregory Johnson)

We hear from a few of our listener poets in response to a shout out for environmental haiku in honor of earth day.


CURWOOD: It was NOAA oceanographer Gregory Johnson who kicked off our April poetry requests when he crystallized part of the UN climate science report into haiku. He sent in some more haiku specifically for Earth Day, and so did his mother, Joyce Johnson of Falmouth, Massachusetts, who writes:

Earth Day is the time to come to aid the Monarchs. Plant milkweed seeds now.

She wasn't the only one with stern instructions. On our website, for instance, Patti Linder-Dodd wrote:

Rusty tin sits spoiled Staining the view for us all Pick up already!

Some of you were more philosophical...

(Gregory Johnson)

DENTON: My name is Christopher Denton. I am a practicing real estate attorney in a little upstate city in New York called Elmira, New York. And I write poetry on my own, and I said, “You know, I’ll think about this. Maybe I can write something.” I’m always thinking about the environment, matters of land. So it was pretty easy to pop out.

Earth is mineral Man is biological All is chemical
CURWOOD: And we liked Bridget Carroll's thoughts as well, she wrote:

Environment. One
Syllable short. One mention
Not nearly enough.

CURWOOD: We agree. Not nearly enough, and poetry has the power to express deep thoughts in very few syllables.

EMERICH: I'm Carol Emerich, I'm a retired elementary school teacher, and I’ve lived and worked in the Santa Clara Valley, once known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight before it became known as Silicon Valley, all of my life. We’re in high spring really, edging towards summer, and all the spring colors are out and it’s quite beautiful. We’re in the middle of drought though which is a rather frightening drought. So any spring colors, flowers, greens...we’re celebrating.
I sing spring colors green stalks hold bright pink blossoms. They will not stay long.
And my second one:

Every earthly thing renews itself in springtime. For how much longer?
CURWOOD: Our final words today come from Eric Black who we reached on a rather scratchy line in Pittsburgh.
BLACK: For the climate deniers, this haiku:

Drought where it should rain. Super-storms setting records. It IS climate change.

CURWOOD: We have many more of your haiku. Thank you all. And we'll post as many as we can on our website LOE.org. And remember, we're always glad to hear from you - so get in touch at comments@loe.org. Once again, comments@ LOE.org. Or you can use our postal address it's PO Box 990007, Boston, Massachusetts, 02199. Or call our listener line at 800-218-9988. That’s 800-218-9988.



UN Climate Change Reports As Haiku


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