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.
Girls Write Now On the Other Side of Everything: The 2023 Anthology
Do you know what it’s like to communicate with your family across a salty ocean’s divide? Do you want the sun and moon to enter your home with stories written in embers? Do you seek voices that will punctuate the darkness? Welcome to the other side of everything. It’s the other side of silence, the other side of childhood, the other side of hate, the other side of indifference, it’s the other side of sides, where the binary breaks down. It’s a new paradigm, a destination, a different perspective, a mindset, a state of openness, the space between the endless folds in your forehead, hopes for tomorrow, and reflections on the past. This anthology of diverse voices is an everything bagel of literary genres and love songs, secrets whispered in the dark of night, conversations held with ancestors under the sea.
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.