By Paromita Talukder
This poem is a climate change activism piece that follows Mother Nature’s crystalized tears as they pelt down on Earth, causing a blackout in a hospital where a guilt-ridden man awaits death.
the manifestation of mother nature’s sorrow thunders across the sky as her beads of tears coagulate, turn to slivers, firing pricks on her own membrane. Each shell plotting a revenge, in hopes that a civil war may transpire once they strike the ground–a blizzard. a battle between progeny. The storm wreaks havoc, plundering, pillaging, pulverizing. a perpetual game of mimicry between posterity. It is a pain strong enough to pick oneself apart, chewing one tooth at a time, carving out one eye-ball at a time, stretching apart the bellybutton to take a peek at what your body is doing to itself. A rancid boiling of stomach acid, gurgling up pipes and down cavities, cooks tender flesh until there’s nothing left to suck on but bones. Bones that are used, by the womb, like skinned sticks and branches to light a fire that cremates the womb–by the womb. The apoptosis of an organism. All the while–a man lies covered in sheets as white as the fossilized fluids outside. I will die of natural causes, he thinks, as he remembers sucking the sap from the fathomless flesh of the Earth. Rocks he turned to oil turned to gas turned to asthma. I will die of natural causes, he thinks, as his body sips blood from a bag, and white and blue rubber ribbons bolt to a screen display the electricity coursing through his body. I will die of natural causes, he thinks, as the bullets of the storm outside sink into power lines and encase, flood, man-made generators of energy. I will die of natural causes, he thinks, as he seeps into darkness, the whirring of machines goes mute and the pumping of blood and air from plastic bags rests. Perpetrators turned bystanders– dependence for wealth turned dependence for survival– grants no exoneration. Blame is a burden staining the shadow that follows the soul through reincarnation.
Taking Root: The Girls Write Now 2022 Anthology
For more than two years, our young writers have weathered an adolescence shaped by an ongoing global pandemic. But a harsh climate can also produce work of rare depth, complexity, nuance and humor. The Girls Write Now mentees in this collection have found new ways to build community and take root. This anthology is a catalog of seeds—each young writer cultivating a shimmering, emergent voice. In short stories, personal essays, poetry, and more, they reflect on life-altering topics like heartbreak, self-care and friendship. The result is a stunning book with global relevance of all this generation has endured and transformed.
I was inspired to write this piece after learning in my AP Environmental class about power outages and how they affect hospitals that rely on electricity to sustain patients. I read various climate activism poems to gain inspiration for imagery and learn about the real-world damages of global warming. Many of the poems I read also explored topics outside of climate change such as Ocean Vuong’s “Essay on Craft” which I used as inspiration for themes seen in this poem surrounding birth-giving and motherhood. Many of the techniques I used to develop the imagery were methods I learned in Girls Write Now’s poetry workshops as well as my creative writing class in school. Though the idea for this piece was fun to execute, it was a gut-wrenching process as I delved into how I would feel if my body was torn apart and burnt as our planet has been for decades. Working on this piece was truly an emotionally creative journey.
Paromita Talukder is currently a junior at a high school in Bronx, NY. She has always harbored a love for creative writing that focuses on dissecting language and art that transcends language. She was intimidated by poetry until working with her Girls Write Now mentor and now writes poetry whenever she can. Talukder is a staff journalist for The Science Survey—an award-winning student newspaper—and hopes to continue journalism and poetry in college.
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