Earth Day 2020

Poet’s Note: April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Earth Day is an annual celebration on which events are held worldwide to demonstrate support for “environmental protection.” There is a long list of requirements for this year’s celebrations… some of us may be taking part unwittingly.

by Susan Jarvis Bryant

I won’t drive my car, book a flight on a plane;
I won’t take a cab or a trip on a train.

I’ll shun fun beach picnics, each sea turtle’s nose
is safe from the peril my soda straws pose.

I won’t bless my butt with an angel-wing zing;
the scourge of compostable leaves is my thing.

I’ll rein in wild snorts with a mask; I’ll be spurred
to gallop away from the rest of the herd.

I won’t feast on meat, that sweet treat’s out of reach;
I’ll choke down raw beets and the odd garden leech.

I’ll mope here in blackness in blue Wu-Flu-ville;
there’s no hope in hell that I’ll pay my light bill.

I’m saving the earth, let the planet rejoice;
I’m Eco-Boudicca—I’ve no bloody choice!


Such Things

by Caud Sewer Bile

Though back in January some were censored and were mocked,
and chastised for the thoughts they brought forth, by the twitter mobs,
for raising just the possibility this plague’s disease
came from a lab in Wuhan, and leaked accidentally…
or otherwise.

But now it seems that scientists are joining the parade
of those who now believe that COVID-19 is man-made,
like Doctor Luc Montagnier, who discovered HIV,
along with Francois Barré-Sinoussi in 83…
and other guys.

Though Indian researchers tried to publish their results
that showed the genome had another virus in its midst,
they too were pressured and were censored; they had to withdraw
their paper and analysis; the pressure was too raw.

But others now believe it is the case it is man-made;
in order to insert the HIV sequence displayed
molecular tools are required, and that must be done
within a lab’ratory, like the one found in Wuhan.
Though many deaths may come because of Chinese tinkering,
the good news, it may die out; nature doesn’t like such things.





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12 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    My publication is a cry for freedom in rhyming couplets. It may not suit some, but it may speak to others. Who knows… it may even challenge the indoctrination we suffer every day from mindless media propaganda. I’m thankful for the SCP platform.

  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    Susan Bryant, your “Earth Day 2020” is timely and relevant, and a playful satire on the virtue-signaling absurdity of having a day to “celebrate the Earth.” We might as well have a day to celebrate the plant Mercury. It’s part of the solar system too.

    I like the non-iambic meter as well.:

    x / x x / x x / x x /
    I WON’T drive my CAR, book a FLIGHT on a PLANE

    That could be scanned as three spondees with a spare at either end, or as an iamb followed by three anapests. And you maintain the pattern throughout.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you for understanding the serious poet I am. With the controversial subject matter in mind, I am glad to find a platform for my words. Dr. Salemi, you inspire me… and that is what this site is all about – inspiration and freedom. I hope every member realizes just what’s at stake.

    • Martin Hill Ortiz

      I just wrote a short story celebrating Mercury so I guess that allows me to celebrate earth. Happy birthday. I read a year ago that the earth is 4500000000 years old. So I guess it’s 4500000001 today.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Indeed, happy birthday, Earth! Let’s fire up the BBQ, invite in all our neighbors, and get this party started. 😉

  3. Sally Cook

    Susan, I find myself in an odd position .
    Yes, the situation is very serious; soon we all could be shut into “homes for the disagreeable.” A little more indoctrination and everyone will see how nice it is when we all agree. Any time we don’t, it’s so upsetting. And we are considered the cranks, not they.
    And I think that is the reason you used the meter you did.
    Why can’t we celebrate something worth celebrating? Believe it or not, the earth has no personality, no consciousness. It really doesn’t care a fig what we think — it will go on doing what it does regardless of our posturing. This is a very good reason to write a poem about it.
    I think I must be in love with friendly vegetation, sunsets, changes of seasons, butterflies; all of these are being attacked on the one hand and :cared about on the other by the same groups.
    I don’t eat much meat, but that is personal taste; I feel no pangs of regret when I do. What is this earth worship and doom saying anyway, but one more attempt to frighten us into submission? That is obvious to rural people. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to spout off, by pointing it out in your poem, in which the meter frames the subject.

    • Sally Cook

      PS – I should have made myself more clear. Yes, you had to write this poem, the meter of which is expressive of what we both do not like. It is not my favorite meter, but it does effectively frame he job for the subject.
      I am in total agreement with you.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Hello Sally,
      Thank you so very much for taking the time to read and comment on my poem; I always appreciate your fine eye. I am a nature girl at heart and love your take on the vegetation, sunsets, changes of seasons, and butterflies. I celebrate the beauty of our natural world everyday and have recently fallen in love with photography. I love the wildflowers and birdlife in England and now I have a whole new world here in Texas delight in.

      It’s heartening to hear you’re with me on the serious reason for my poem. I don’t like being told on Earth Day how to save my planet green-new-deal style. I don’t agree with the cause. I’m furious that it is automatically assumed that one’s political leanings dictate how one feel about the plight of the wildlife and the environment. We’re forced to green-new-deal style now and I’m certain we won’t change the climate as a result.

      Anyone who has a rather special relationship surrounding sea turtles and who loves The Owl and the Pussycat knows exactly where I’m coming from. We are birds of a feather 🙂 Thank you, Sally.

      I will admit this poem not being one of my finest, but sometimes a poet needs to vent. I know you understand.

  4. Wilbur Dee Case

    The poetry of the New Millennium continues to display the “chopped-up” vigour, especially evinced in Realists, like Whitman and Kipling, Modernists, like Eliot and Pound, and Postmodernists, like Dylan Thomas and Lowell; but which, of course, was inaugurated by Baroque poets, like Donne and Milton; the fluidity of Spenser, and Shakespeare (who was on the cusp), yielding to more rugged verse that many 17th century writers brought to the fore, seen even in the King James Bible translators of Hebraic poetry. Needless to say, the Spenserean strand continued, and flourished in PreRomantics, like Gray, Romantics, like Keats and Shelley, and Victorians, like Tennyson. The minor poem “Such Things” by Caud Sewer Bile is definitely not in the Spenserian strain.

    Like all verse (which so many critics over the ages seem to forget), “Such Things” has its flaws.

    Firstly, it is discursive, a style of writing that many Modernists and Postmodernists vigourously defied (even to the point of opacity). Such verse is thought to be unpoetic, because it seems so common (aye, it is) and ordinary (one of the main emphases of the Realists). Indeed, it lacks the fanciful frills of the sentimentalists (whom I personally think have been overly disparaged).

    Secondly, it lacks beauty, the striving after beauty one might find in New Millennium versifiers, like Gosselin, MacKenzie, Sedia, Tweedie and Whidden. There are other charichords where beauty in language and thought are at the fore; this is not one of those poems. This is a docupoem. Its purpose is to emphasize negative news, not the idealized journalism one might find in, say, Brice U. Lawseed. Caud Sewer Bile is a poet of the Swamp.

    Thirdly, the poem is not allegorical, or deeply metaphorical, nor is it ironic or satiric. Its tone is flat and factual with a dead-panned attitude. It lacks the spirituality one finds in writers, like Crise de Abu Wel or Sri Wele Cebuda. It lacks the hidden messaging one finds in writers, like Red Was Iceblue, inter alia. In short, like the Realists, it strives for a shallow surface and a banishing of depth.

    Therefore, where is the artistry? One must look elsewhere. Structurally, the poem is twenty lines long. in four stanzas. The dominant meter of the poem is masculine-ending iambic hexameter couplets with two lines of iambic dimeter, serving as a kind of refrain, and appearing at the ends of the first two stanzas.

    The title “Such Things” seems particularly bland, as in titles of American Realists, like Stephen Crane’s “An Episode of War” or Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek”. or those one finds in Modernist Countee Cullen’s “Incident” and “Tableau”. The title, in an undertone, downplays the subject matter. It is not brilliant understatement, as in the case of Ernest Hemingway, but flatter, like that of Stephen Crane in “I Saw a Man”.

    The diction is the extraordinary part of the poem. It is almost nonpoetic, whatever that might mean within the confines of a poem. Names, scientific terms, acronyms, and latinate words find their place amidst the anglosaxon vocabulary, as for example, in the first couplet:

    “Though back in January some were censored and were mocked
    and chastised for the thoughts they brought forth, by the twitter mobs.”

    Indeed, the Hopkins-like rhyming, alliteration and assonance has gone overboard, even in light of the slant rhyme. In some ways stanza two is even worse, thick with data. It is almost as if Caud Sewer Bile (whose very name suggests the vile) enjoyed sticking information into his short work.

    One central theme of the poem, dishonesty v. honesty in scientific work, plays against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic inaugurated in Wuhan, China. As well, around the edges, particularly in the “refrains”, there are suggestive asides. Overall “Such Things” displays an attitude, content, and structure that is almost in the guise of a report, and that is also, in topic and temper, far removed from even the Romantic poets of the early 19th century. The poem is decidedly New Millennial.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      My sentiment entirely. I was about to post a similar critique but you have outdone me by far. Thank you, Mr. Wibur Dee Case. 😉

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I have reread Such Things and the in depth and interesting analysis. The poem is most informative – a privilege for readers in a world full of censorship. I appreciate that. Having reread the interesting and enlightening analysis, I have a greater understanding of the form. It serves to highlight and showcase the grave subject matter. I apologize for overlooking this earlier and thank you for educating me. It is wonderful to be part of a poetry site that allows members speak about the atrocities of the world freely. For that I am grateful.


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