Friday, March 1, 2013

Poetics: 0.1% annual species loss is not too bad

photo by paul nine-o

On I-64, in Illinois, we pass a thick barrel
tractor trailer truck, stenciled on it's side

             "Milky Way"

& a small, barely legible sticker underneath

           'Inedibles Only"

like a big rolling fortune cookie waiting to crack

torn tires, a pizza box, 1000 butts
of cigarettes & an old coke can convene
on a square foot of roadside before a field
of brown dead corn----filibust myths

black clouds roll from his smoke stack
as he gives it gas & on we go-----on we go

Over at dVerse Poets today, Fred has us writing micro-poetry---12 lines are less---so put it in the compactor and make it small, it is Saturday after all...smiles. Doors open at 3 pm EST.

95 comments:

Gloria said...

LOve this Brian, hope you have a nice day:)

Gloria said...

oh Im first:)

Jyoti Mishra said...

its sad that this such common scene everywhere

JANU said...

Yeah the sad state of affairs...the change happens with self. People should realize this.

Kelvin S.M. said...

...sooner or later (perhaps sooner) all living creatures, not only the polar bears or the likes, will be endangered... i say all... including us freak humans who, by some call of hell, continuesly doing freak things that are harmful to nature... what are we learning here...? indeed, we are learning to slaughter the earth... and we're, unfortunately, on the right track of doing so... and that's how you do it so keep on throwing pizza boxes, soda cans, plastic bags, cigarette butts, burned tires, diapers & napkins, etc... and together we die in vain & selfishness... what / how we come today in this stage is truly a big shame to the people of yesteryears...

black clouds roll from his smoke stack
as he gives it gas & on we go-----on we go... inhaling our nearing death... NO...

...strong & hardhitting Brian... no surprise here... smiles...

kaykuala said...

They serve a purpose. Monstrous but necessary. Thick billowing smoke, just one of those things! Nicely Brian!

Hank

alan1704 said...

black clouds roll from his smoke stack - Excellent picture - vivid images that open up the poem, you always make me think and stretch my boundaries.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"torn tires, a pizza box, 1000 butts
of cigarettes & an old coke can convene
on a square foot of roadside before a field
of brown dead corn----filibust myths"

Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing the photo by paul nine-o and your very descriptive poetic words [with 12 lines...I counted]in your poem:
"Poetics: 0.1% annual species loss is not too bad"

I also hope that you and your readers, have a nice week-end too!
deedee :)

Claudia said...

i just love how you embed a topic like species loss into an everyday scene.. makes me think of a speech i heard the other day about how nature is economical in principles and abundant in varieties..so smart and makes me sad that it's getting less and less..the filibust myths is clever as well and sometimes i wonder where that truck will go..

Lydia said...

Wow. Depressing. But I loved your poem anyway. The most descriptive word that I think of when I see/read farewell reports about species and habitat is mindfuck. Puts me in great despair when I think of younger generations, your kids, and wonder what they will witness in their lifetimes.

ND Mitchell said...

The carelessness of humans is brilliantly encapsulated into that box you describe.

SueAnn Lommler said...

Debi on the side of the road...there ought to be a law! Oh wait! There is! Ha
Loved this
Hugs
SueAnn

Mary said...

Ah yes, "on we go"....moving beyond those torn tires, 1000 butts of cigarettes, etc. and after a while it seems people get so accustomed to these things that they don't even see them any more. Sad!

Dave King said...

Yow! I read it as "Put it in the COMPOSTER!"

I also have to say my thoughts run along lines not dissimilar to Kelvin's. I also think this is a beautifully wrought poem which packs a punch far beyond its fighting weight.

Green Speck said...

Loved this piece ... well done !!!

Ravenblack said...

A prophetic vision of a wasteland comes to mind reading this. Rather bleak in tone. Clues of thoughtlessness are common everywhere unfortunately.

Mark said...

On we go, on we go, to certain doom.

Lorraine said...

Yikes...ever read Swan Lake from Robert McCammon, you should, you'll love it, you won't be able to put it down and this this you wrote: exceptional

John DeBellis said...

Excuses seems to be all that any one can give to solve anything.

the walking man said...

Ladies and gentlemen, My Friend Brian Miller: The Activist Poet!

izzy said...

Interesting...
Momentary pause- before the black plume resumes-
You say fortune cookie and I saw tootsie roll! Thanks-

Suz said...

sounds more like you were passing through Indiana

adeeyoyo said...

The 0.1% will surely grow exponentially each year. But there will always be denialists who, for one reason or another, find they will lose some of their creature comforts or suffer financially. They have no moral conscience. Good one, Brian.

DJan said...

Sad but true. "only .1"% is sad, too. Nice visuals, even if they were a bit on the grody side. :-)

Pat Hatt said...

Have an excuse
Come out their caboose
Even blame a moose
As they play fast and loose
Who cares what happens all around
As long as they get that extra pound

Fred Rutherford said...

nice Brian. You got a lot into this, love that. Fits the theme perfectly. Great write. Thanks

Grace said...

The trash that we collect is never-ending..tires, pizza boxes, cigarette butts. Someday all of earth & milky way will be smelling of trash.

I thought the stickers are clever.

Happy Sunday ~

Laurie Kolp said...

The fact that you can take one little thing, like a truck you happen to pass by, and make such a statement never ceases to amaze me.

Eva Gallant said...

Cigarette butts are the worst...

hedgewitch said...

My first husband once made a remark that I've remembered for forty-some years now, about a similar sort of situation: "The world is your ashtray," uttered with total contempt. It's how we treat our planet, and we will pay for it--a very heavy price, someday soon. Great short piece,bri.

farawayinthesunshine said...

Which ever length of your poem, your writing takes us in the world the way you see...Thank you for sharing your gift :-)

Other Mary said...

I like this very much Brian! And the picture with it is priceless.

Myrna R. said...

A sad scene you describe. And yet on we go. The picture is great. It goes so well with what you wrote.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Littering is my absolute #1 pet peeve. I often go on nature hikes and I even see litter along the hiking trail. Sometimes people have no respect for Mother Earth. Great poem Brian.

manicddaily said...

Ugh. Filibust myths is really a wonderful wonderful phrase - the milky way gone sour. Really well done. k.

Maggie May said...

Humans have a lot to answer for, don't they! I am one too but hope I don't leave litter.
Maggie x

Nuts in May

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

first - the photo is sadly hilarious. Your poem reminds us of what we have to lose and where we are in saving it. Sad commentary. K

Leovi said...

  Very good micro poem!

Valerie said...

Gosh, you have that sort of thing in the States? Amazing, and I thought it only happened here....

annell said...

And yet, make it small, you have said it all! Thanks Brian.

Mama Zen said...

"like a big rolling fortune cookie waiting to crack"

Great image, Brian.

Rebecca S. said...

On we go...sigh. Yes, we do, and just what will it take to make it stop?

I'm thinking of you today as I'm off to a poetry performance workshop with a Vancouver award winning slam poet named Chris Gilpin.

Marina Sofia said...

Well-observed little snippet of life - sad one, perhaps, but very compelling, Great title too.

jane hewey said...

excellent.
your four line stanza could stand on its own.

Gretchen Leary said...

I love the fortune cookie reference. Strong imagery - strong message.

Rene Foran said...

Don't ask what's inside of a hot dog...
Cool, Brian

pandamoniumcat said...

On we go...on we go, doing the same old same old, as if waiting for a miracle to happen... love a big rolling fortune cookie waiting to crack... A lot of Queenslanders are beginning to realise all is not well... some towns, farms flooding for the fifth time in two years, and if this rain keeps falling staring at a sixth time but on we go...with the same old same old... another poignant poem for the zeitgeist.

rumoursofrhyme said...

A short piece from you today Brian - as Fred's prompt requires - but it deals with a massive issue and pakcs a powerful punch.

Friko said...

Life on the road, in all its grisly details.

Brudberg said...

You cn do poetry even of the worst backyards of society. And we just pass... Sad sad

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Great imagery and comment in your words Brian. Excellent.

Anna :o]

sjb said...

very strong--espec. the trash scene--all too common a sight.

loved the truck signage.

Betsy Brock said...

and here I was imagining a truck full of rejected candy bars...

if only..ha.

Susan Daniels said...

Sigh. So much garbage. Not the poem, which is fantastic in it's stinging accusation.

Jessica Lynn Lang said...

Love the imagery. The line breaks in first part of the poem are nice--it gives you time to process the visual.

henry clemmons said...

We actually wrote on similar themes but on different vehicles. Thank you for kind comment and I do like yours better. I like how yours was like or could be an every day event, where mine seem sort of clatoclismic )sp?) Anyway, superb job again!

Hilary said...

As the saying goes.. the hurrier we go, the behinder we get. Or something like that.

aprille said...

Getting scary over a few millenia though.
Irony-laden and audaciously titled.

Vicki Lane said...

Less can be more -- packs a punch!

Cloudia said...

so God is a trucker?




ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° > <3
> < } } ( ° >

Sheila said...

waste is everywhere...our city is now forcing everyone to recycle. Hope it makes a difference.

Ruthiey said...

It is a little discouraging isn't it? Can't wait til all things are made new :)

Bodhirose said...

Yeah, those stats for species loss aren't that bad until it's your turn! You said a lot in those few lines, Brian. I love your kind of laid back conversational way that you lay out some very important implications.

Vesper said...

on we go-----on we go

We have to... these are our lives... Too bad we cannot be more careful, more compassionate for our home, planet Earth.
Your poem and the photo give me such a bizarre feeling, loss and resignation, yet also with the hint of a foolish hope.

Ginny Brannan said...

Always love the way your words can capture a moment in time, Brian. Well done!

Poet Laundry said...

...& on we go...yep. The tires, pizza box, cig butts and can of coke are so vivid. Great capture!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

You always tell interesting stories. This one is more of an intriguing glimpse, but is no less powerful for that.

Susan said...

We do go on, don't we? great snapshot, sad snapshot . . . and where we stop nobody knows . . .

Uneven Stephen said...

Cool form, Brian. I love how you are able to include so many details in a cutting social commentary in only 12 lines. Very descriptive.

ladyfi said...

Oh, you write with urban grit!

Meester Uttley said...

Ejoyable and sobering.

Paul said...

You've captured our environment with some lovely but filthy poetry!

Marbles in My Pocket said...

As usual, you bring the scene to life in a way only you can. Nice!

A Cuban In London said...

Micro-poetry for a micro-world. I really loved your observations, especially the first couple of lines:

we pass a thick barrel
tractor trailer truck, stenciled on it's side

"Milky Way"

& a small, barely legible sticker underneath

'Inedibles Only"

like a big rolling fortune cookie waiting to crack

Greetings from London.

Tom said...

from space you can see the mounds of garbage. Big brown marble.

dsnake1 said...

on the road in america! such vivid imagery. loved the way you bring out the grit and decay. :)

Daniel said...

Your start reminds me of a Hitchhiker's Guide reference.

kkkkaty said...

Nicely done, Brian; filibust got to me because I think so much more can be done by congress and..well, what can I say? Also, it hurts me to think of what our grandchildren's children will be faced with ;)

ayala said...

The change has to come within... People still refuse to believe how unkind we are to mother earth, and there is always the excuse that one person can't create change. :( a great capture.

Eusebia Philotes said...

Says much about how little we care for others until we end up being the "others." Thoughtful, tight write, Brian.

cloudfactor5 said...

An interesting perspective gleamed traveling on the great American highway.....& "on we go "
Nothing quite like the taste of diesel smoke to shine a new light ( if you can see thru the black smoke )
on things

Lolamouse said...

The title is a real attention getter, Brian. Short but very powerful!

Polly said...

It's all been said Brian, but will just say, you've encapsulated so much in twelve short lines ...

Alice Audrey said...

So.... is it 55 words? Certainly compact, yet vivid too.

I find Milky Way bars completely inedible anyway, though I used to love them.

mywordwall said...

I do not want to be anywhere near that truck. I will freak out and scream in the car otherwise. :-)

Seasideauthor said...

From what I can see several mountains have been added to the Appalachians and many more. No one was paying attention. How many mountains ranges are you really looking at? Was that hump there 15 years ago or not? Plant a tree!
Pizza can be in recycled paper boxes but boxes are recycled here. There are no plastic in our landfills, etc. And we are still stuck seeing new mountains in the mountains? Just saying.

Jenny Woolf said...

Good poem and most thought provoking and clever photo.

William Manson said...

this is a subject close to my heart Brian, we are destroying everything, and soon there wont be any animals left :(

Susan Deborah said...

I guess the Milky Way will be rendered murky by the rate we are going on.

Be the change . . . but most of the the times we have to change.

After all 0.1% annual species loss is not too bad. I wish 0.1% of human species loss will be no big loss.

Joy always,
Susan

Goat said...

I am a fan of the short poem! Nice one.
MORE MORE!

Cressida de Nova said...

It says everything about people who are blind to this type of environment.There are no such thing as slums- only slum people!

Akila G said...

and on we go and on we go....continuous indiscriminate behaviour...hpe is the spirit of life..hope it ends sooN for life!

Heidi said...

I agree with Claudia that you can take a huge issue and work it into an everdqay scene. I think it is what makes this poem to wonderful and terrifying at the same time. Our own destruction has become so common that we no longer recognize it as such.

Goofball said...

that picture is brilliant



"inedibles only" on a barrel truck? i'm confused

Sue said...

*sigh*