No time to think about a bag for life,
I leave recycling the rubbish to the wife.
Cigarette butts and packets fly out of the car,
no time to wash my hands with a beer on the bar.
At work, it’s the same if I can’t find a bin,
there are cleaners to tidy the areas I work in.
I eat meat because I like it, that’s what it’s there for,
leather boots and jacket show what I stand for,
and a gun’s not a weapon, it’s a necessity
to protect my belongings and my family,
or for fun with my friends when we’re out on a hunt,
if you think otherwise, you’re a snowflake or a …
Kim M. Russell, 9th November 2020
My response to earthweal weekly challenge: Fiction? Don’t be a stranger!
Jim (stopdraggingthepanda.com) is hosting this week with an interesting, somewhat tricky, and challenging prompt, which was inspired by Vancouver’s Writers Festival. He says that this year it was an online event, mostly on Zoom, and what stood out for him was a panel discussion about the climate crisis/ emergency with Seth Klein, author of A Good War, which looks at how governments respond in war time and postulates that the same kind of action is required to combat climate change (all governments at the moment are essentially climate change deniers because the actions they are taking are insufficient); Sheena Lambert, whose book Petra is a fictionalized account of the life of Germany’s first Green Party leader and looks at the role of activism in taking on climate change; and Amin Maalouf, whose book Adrift examines how we got to where we are today, the decline of postwar socialism and the rise of capitalism.
Jim comments that poets tend to write from the view point of the poet, from a personal view point; they may create alter egos, but they rarely create fictional characters, which is why our challenge is to write a poem from the point of view of someone who is a climate change denier or a climate solution denier or someone who just doesn’t care because they won’t be around when it happens. We can choose any form or go with free verse. We should try to create fictional characters, which Jim says is more fun and liberating, as the key is to provide some insight into what makes the characters tick, how they arrived at that point of view, and consider their motivation. We can make them sympathetic or not and use satire if we want.