I’ve been tuned in to the bassline
of my every day, a solitude tuned so low
it vibrates in my gut. Above white noise
(or is it tinnitus?), the strident call of a crow
and the pigeons’ throaty coos counterpoint
a blackbird’s song: they have formed the baseline
of my Covid day for so long that the drone
of an aeroplane passing overhead
fills me with surprise, and a feeling of dread
at the thought of boozed up sun-seekers
unleashed on the planet once again,
curving carbon emissions like a vapour trail
across the atmosphere. And so it goes:
“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” *.
Kim M. Russell, 13th July 2020
My response to earthweal weekly challenge: A Song for Shifting Baselines
Brandon says the scope of this week’s challenge is to observe shifting baselines in our world, in climate change, our nations’ governance, the pandemic. How are we changing? What has been lost? Is there an experience which demonstrates the vanishing act between generation or in our own life stories? Or write about the importance of poetry in a vanishing and increasingly silent world. What has the tradition of poetry lent to our lives and the world about us? How have we passed it on to the young? How can poetry’s voice and authority be preserved?
* ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’ An epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (The Wasps).