Planet Earth. Home to thousands of species and lifeforms. Its delicate soft earth covered in grass, sand or ice with rivers and oceans running freely throughout its veins. A world of green, blue, life and death, the very place we all thrive and have inhabited for thousands of years. So why is it that we have taken an inordinate amount of our mother planet and plagued it with our selfish disregard for its other inhabitants? Why do we seem so intent on destroying our own home? Why?
Today lovely readers I am on the blog tour for Planet in Peril, (Hardback published 7th September 2019) an anthology for our time Poetry and Photography Edited by Isabelle Kenyon. The Foreword is written by Dr Michelle Cain, Science and Policy Research Associate, Oxford University and Features Emily Gellard Photography and a commissioned poem by Helen Mort. Basically, a really, really good mix of creative, talented artists. I am reviewing just one of the many inspiring sections in this breathtaking anthology, The Arctic/Our Oceans. As always a big thank-you to the publishers Fly On The Wall Press for a copy to review and also for the invite to take part. Always appreciated, thank-you.
Planet in Peril
When the sciences and the arts begin to work together, a powerful force is created. This anthology was founded on the belief that words have the power to change. Through poetry, photography and art, creatives across the globe, from the age of 8 to 80, have united to express the urgency of global warming, facing the facts but never losing hope.
“A new metaphor is as useful in the climate fight as a new solar panel design. We need poets engaged in this battle, and this volume is proof that in fact they’re in the vanguard!”
20% of the profits from this book will be donated to The Climate Coalition and WWF.
About Fly on the Wall Press
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Fly on the Wall is a social enterprise company and a not for profit publisher. We publish high quality anthologies on pressing issues, chapbooks and poetry products, from exceptional poets around the globe, with socially conscious themes. To hear more about the press, we suggest subscribing to the mailing list!
The Arctic is often seen as a cold vast landscape that offers little light and is blanketed in a pure white sheet of snow. Home to the polar bear, this part of the world is often neglected as the harsh realities of its habitat are slowly melting away into the ocean. An ongoing stretch of gentle blue, bobbing up and down, sometimes calm, sometimes wild. Earth has more water than land and if we are not careful, our fate could be sleeping with the fishies (bad pun I know, sorry!). As much as I would love to sing and dance with a talking crab, I don’t see how the whole breathing underwater thing would work.
The reader is given a short informal introduction to the tricky situation the Arctic and our oceans finds itself in. Its future looks bleak and uncertain as the threat of climate change, mining, shipping, oil and gas development, and overfishing is ever growing. We learn that the Arctic is warming twice as fast, impacting life on the ice and in sea. There is little food for staving polar bears who wonder the ice weak and tired. It’s shocking to see what the world has become at our own hands. It is not a place to be proud of.
These poems speak of the the peril that the Arctic and oceans face, should nothing change. How radioactive waste and oil pollute the waters, that the ice cap is disappearing quickly like drawings in sand. Blink and you will miss it. It’s heartbreaking to read that this is what we have done to our beloved home. BUT also inspiring and a massive wake up call to the world that this is happening, right now, this second and we need to do something about it. I applaud all who took part in this project, you should all be proud of yourselves and the difference you are trying to make. Well done.
“Your perfectly preserved husk
Sheets of glass
Protect your shroud from
Arctic hare and polar fox,
Their footsteps vibrating gently
Against the windowpane of
I was a blubbering mess reading Nanuk, her Babies and the Broken World By Jane Burn. I absolutely adore polar bears, always have done since I was a child and it breaks my heart to know there are so few left. Burn’s voice of the mother bear is perfection, it’s loving, and concerned for her cubs as food is scarce. I wanted nothing more than to welcome that little family into my home and give them a decent meal. It left me feeling helpless and wanting to do something, anything to help.
They cry with their eyes closed. I curl around them,
skeleton in a sack. Wrap my babies best I can.
The imagery is so strong and striking, the vision of this thin polar bear, a skeleton with loose fur wandering the ice in search of food. It’s not right is it dear reader? A polar bear should be big, cuddly and have plenty of meat on them. It’s a disturbing and unnatural sight to see these beautiful creatures reduced to skin and bone.
Loose pelt hangs from my spine. I am gowned
in surplus skin. My body is shrouding itself.
These magnificent animals are worthy of so much more than what the humans have dealt them. They deserve a chance to hunt, have full bellies and live in peace. When I learned that Nanuk is an Innuit word for a Polar Bear and means ‘Animal Worthy of Great Respect, I started sobbing all over again. Because they are worthy of great respect. Polar Bears live in one of the coldest places in the world and battle against not only the elements of the harsh environment but also the damage that we have done.
The photography in this anthology is absolutely stunning, they need no words. The photos speak for themselves. You can see the fine details of the polar bear’s fur, the struggle, the fight to survive captured in one raw moment. The sadness in the eyes hits you right at the core. It should be an honour to share our planet with these creatures, indeed with all life. We are truthfully not worthy of their remarkable presence.
“The Antarctic ice sheet is actually a glacier and has existed for at least 40 million years. If it were to melt in its entirety, sea levels would rise 210 feet worldwide, according to the U.S. Geological Service. A single glacier ice crystal can grow to be as large as a baseball.”
I give Planet in Peril a Five out of Five paw rating.
A collection of poetry and photography that when combined is a force of nature, one to be reckoned with. These poems are raw, honest and speak only the truth of the state of the planet. The poets/photographers are passionate about such an important topic that needs to keep being discussed, brought up and heard. Shouted from the rooftops if needs be. And most importantly, acted upon! It forces you to wake up and see the reality of the situation. Our Planet is in Peril and only we can help change this. We can’t just sit back and hope the problem will go away. We have the power to change things now, to help towards our future. We can do this. A world without polar bears would feel empty, cold and one I can not accept. I refuse! We’ve already lost so many glorious creatures, enough is enough.
The sad news about this project dear readers is they have had 5 failed grant applications. If you can help support this wonderful charity endeavour and the school workshop programme with any amount, even the smallest donation will make all the difference, click below to help.They would be very, very grateful to you! Spread the word, tell family, friends and let’s help each other out. Thank-you.
Where can you buy it?
Ebook: Released through all retailers on November 1st 2019
Paperback: Released through all international retailers on December 1st 2019
Help support this outstanding project
WWF Facts. Find out more
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