We have met the enemy and he is us

Happy Earth Day! Tonight I participated in a Science Cafe hosted by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, entitled Breaking the Silence The Role of Emotions in the Climate Emergency. I trusted Robert Lee Brewer’s prompt was going to be nature related, given the day, and I was not disappointed.

For today’s prompt from the Write Better Poetry blog, write a nature poem. Write about the natural world, sure. But don’t be afraid to delve into human nature or the nature of love or whichever other interpretation comes naturally to you. Poem on!

The show’s on YouTube, if you want see and hear me read this poem. I stole the title from Walt Kelly.

We have met the enemy and he is us

We know the science
we need to feel
the science

Let’s use poetry
the climate crisis
an ecological emergency
and the spiral of silence
allegorical alliteration
and the frog metaphor

We need scientists
setting their hair on fire
like our house is on fire

I want to see climatologists
with steam shooting from their ears

I want folks in white lab coats
sobbing like jilted lovers
shedding tears and raising the sea level

I’m not hoping for a weather Pearl Harbor
a meteorological 9-11
but we’re lazy and self-deluded
we need that kick in the ass

Fear and despair breed silence
Anger leads to action

No more silence
Get angry
Get active
and let’s all of us
Get loud

About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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6 Responses to We have met the enemy and he is us

  1. Lisa Tomey says:

    Powerful poem. Kicking myself for not attending.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JeanMarie says:

    Just watched the poetry performance. Great job Bart and also Tara Lynne and Anna!
    If anyone wants to skip the lecture (which of course not) the poetry starts at minute 52:20.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cassa Bassa says:

    Let’s get loud….

    Liked by 1 person

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