Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ed Abbey

Ray Zimmerman
(Previously published in the Earth First! Journal and Hellbender Press)

An old black vulture landed in a tree
overlooking Chickamauga Creek;
gave me a sidelong glance.

I thought of Edward Abbey,
critic of government agencies,
professor, and park ranger.

Abbey is buried in an illegal grave;
a cairn of stones to cover
his remains.

His friends saw to his request,
wrote on one stone,
“Edward Abbey, no comment.”

The nemesis of Glen Canyon Dam
didn’t want a memorial,
got one anyway.

He always said he’d come back
as a vulture next time,
just seemed fitting.

I looked up into the oak,
said “Hey there Ed,
looks like a good day for flying.”

Abbey didn’t say a word
just gave me that sidelong glance,
the old buzzard.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Technology Blues

Technology Blues

In heaven there's a thousand tiny cell phones
In heaven there's a thousand tiny cell phones
They ring all the time so you're never alone
In heaven there's a thousand tiny cell phones

In heaven there's a thousand cpu's
In heaven there's a thousand cpu's
They've each got a mouse and a keyboard too
In heaven there's a thousand cpu's

When I get up there and see all that
When I get up there and see all that
I'm askin' St. Peter for a baseball bat
When I get up there and see all that

Friday, January 22, 2010

Equal Rights

Equal Rights

With politicians now for sale
and corporations spending
there'll be no end to larceny
or all the rules they're bending.

Could growing corporations
someday get the vote
or even hold an office
with all that loot they tote?

So vote for Goldman Sachs
and bar the courthouse gates
when Enron is the preisdent
of these United States.

Corporations now are people
and they have equal rights
the Supreme Court said its so
resolving all the fights.

Kennedy wrote the opinion
that surely sealed our doom,
turned the voting booth into
a high priced auction room.

Justice Roberts and Alito
went along for the ride.
Clarence Thomas cast his vote
upon the rising tide.

Justice John Paul Stevens
is a true American hero
but his dissenting opinion,
it just counts for zero.

That old man Ronald Reagan
is smiling from the grave,
says bury freedom beside me.
Her virtues you won't save.

Senator Mitch McConnell
is a coal company whore.
When King Coal pays him off,
he just asks for more.

McConnell liked the ruling
and so did all his cronies.
When it comes to saving freedom,
They're just a bunch of phonies.

Alexander Hamilton created
corporations with his pen
but Franklin didn't like it
don't go there said old Ben.

Vice President Aaron Burr,
he wasn't all that bad.
In a famous duel he killed
the corporation's dad.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Gospel of Nature

The Gospel of Nature
Is a short booklet by John Burroughs, an early American Naturalist. This is an excerpt from Chapter 3.

I do not know that the bird has taught me any valuable lesson. Indeed, I don not go to nature to be taught. I go for enjoyment and companionship. I go to bathe in her as in a sea; I go to give my eyes and ears senses a free, clean field and to tome up my spirits by her “primal sanities.”

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Three Degrees

From my Cape Cod Days chapbook.

Three Degrees at Race Point

Its was three degrees, but
they were three good ones
when I coaxed my car to start.

I drove the frozen wasteland
empty and desolate as only
a tourist town in winter can be.

We walked half a mile
across the frozen breakwater,
cold water on either side.

Falling in could mean hypothermia;
perhaps death before rescue
from the cold Atlantic water.

Perhaps the tide would come in
stranding us at the Race Point Light.
We might not come home.

The adventure took us onward,
the point of the whole thing
being a snowy owl seen out there.

It was at Race Point,
the far end of the Cape,
beyond the breakwaters and roads.

The bird had sense enough to fly
further South than usual,
sense enough to keep warm.

It was the coldest winter in years.
Having more sense than me,
The owl got the point.

We arrived at Race Point
and missed the point,
the snowy owl that is.

The owl abandoned Cape Cod to us
and to a short earned owl
an unusual sighting in its own right.

The short eared owl was not
a lifetime achievement for me,
or for my friend.

My friend’s wife had warned us
not to go and wrung her hands at
our impending death and doom.

She said “I always thought
you bird watchers were crazy,
and now I know for sure.”

Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

So the sun has run its course,
turned to northward once again.
Winter chill is in the air.
Southbound cranes give rattling call.

Solstice gone and Christmas here,
I greet the winter chill with cheer,
feel reborn as icy winds
massage my skin restore my strength.

When the stars break through the clouds,
aimless ships set loose by wind,
horizon reddened by the moon,
Bracing winds restore the soul.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Earth National Park

Earth National Park
Poems by Dennis Fritzinger
Poetry Vortex Publishing
Crescent City, California

if I knew how to do it
I’d arm all the bears
so there’d be bear militias
in the mountains somewheres

So begins the poem “Support Your Right,” a personal favorite from Earth National Park. In this short volume of poetry, Dennis Fritzinger introduces numerous nonhuman protagonists such as “Mother Vulture,” “Angry Red Squirrel,” and “Ambassador Frog.”
Most common of all are the bears. A Black Bear with a pilfered radio listens to the traffic, spying on the humans. A human in a restaurant eats blackberry jam and turns into a bear. The bears in “Support Your Right” tote guns and protect the wilderness from humans.
Several of the poems are polemics on direct environmental action, while others are statements of the author’s earth centered philosophy. These two threads are interwoven with the poems written from the animals’ various points of view. Each of the three threads compliments and amplifies the other to make a unique whole.
Earth National Park is a delightful collection of poems by Dennis Fritzinger, moderator of the Warrior Poets Society list serve on Yahoo Groups and editor of the Warrior Poets Society page in the Earth First! Journal. From the introduction, “A New Pledge,” to the final poem “The Yellowstone Fire,” Dennis emphasizes his philosophy of nature knows best.