Featured below is the collective poem “Clarion Call for a Warming World” by members of the Scarborough Poetry Club in Ontario, Canada.
In response to the climate crisis, we, Anna and Jeevan, contacted members of the Scarborough Poetry Club with an invitation to participate in the creation of a collective poem that deals with the theme of a warming world. We were inspired by “Season 2, Episode 6: On Nature, Poetry and Creativity with Kim Stafford” of the Climate Change and Happiness podcast.
We invited Scarborough Poetry Club members to reply to a call for submissions email with one original line of poetry in English that responds to one of the following prompts:
- Your environmental identity: How did you interact with nature as a child? How do you remain curious about nature as an adult?
- Dimensions of the ecological crisis, such as habitat loss, species loss, pollution, etc.
- The healing properties of the natural world
The creation of a collective poem requires that each individual contributor relinquishes some control and trusts the process. The poem emerged from the individual lines being brought together by Anna and Jeevan to create a narrative from the responses to themes that we suggested as prompts. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about this collective poem. Thank you to Club member Sheila White for reading our collective poem at the Sunday, February 26, 2023 service at Don Heights Unitarian Congregation.
Addressing the climate crisis takes both individual actions and collective actions, which is why we wanted to cultivate some thinking and responding creatively as a collective of writers. Of course, beyond creative communication about the ecological and climate crises, there are the concrete actions that we all need to be taking in the personal, public and political spheres to effect positive change in our warming world.
Anna Nieminen and Jeevan Bhagwat, Co-facilitators, Scarborough Poetry Club
Introducing Embodied Climate Justice Fitness (ECJF) Poet in Residence Jeevan Bhagwat! This first poem titled “Early Morning Poem” is as much about my experience of engaging with creative climate communication through fitness as it is about Jeevan’s experience of poetry making. Metaphorically, this poem captures the compelling nature of the global call for climate justice and the inter-generational hope for fashioning a sustainable climate future for all. – Anna Nieminen
This second poem by Jeevan Bhagwat titled “The Linden Tree” is about his experience of relating to a particular tree over the years as if it were a family member or kin. Metaphorically, this poem captures the idea of anthropo-kinship and inspires us to reflect on our own relationships with familiar trees around our homes and in our communities. This reflection on the importance of trees in our lives may lead us to a desire to protect trees and the ecosystems on which we all depend. View and try “The Linden Tree” movement art activation, making any modifications for yourself.
This third poem by Jeevan Bhagwat titled “The Sandhill Burial Grounds (Yonge & Bloor) ” brings to light a little know fact about local First Nations history below this busy Toronto intersection where “these arteries/ still bleed ghosts.” It was included among the poems read during the “Living in Indigenous Sovereignty” Poetry Walk lead by Anna Nieminen during the Jane’s Walk Festival Toronto 2022. A self-guided edition of the poetry walk can be accessed on the ECJF Blog page.
This fourth poem by Jeevan Bhagwat titled “Circular City” was inspired by an article by architect William McDonough referenced in the text and a graphic in the blog post “Growing the Circular Cities Movement Through Cultivating Creative Climate Communication“. This poem and the blog post celebrate Canada’s inaugural Circular Economy Month this October 2022.
This fifth poem by Jeevan Bhagwat titled “Fast Forward” is a cautionary poem that warns us of a dystopian future “if we sacrifice tomorrow, today” by failing to take bold and urgent action on the planetary health crisis. To compliment the reference to “future shock” in this poem, I created the background by altering an image of the view from our balcony to make it appear as if our neighbourood was being consumed in a wildfire. It created a disturbing picture as a backdrop to unsettling words. “Fast Forward” was published earlier this year in ISSUE # 9 MAR 2022 of dyst Literary Journal. I make reference to “Fast Forward” in my (upcoming) blog post on climate emotions.
What is Embodied Climate Justice Fitness (ECJF)? With this poster I’m introducing some definitions, including what I call “anthropo-kinship“. To learn more contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Instagram @annanieminenecjf
Introducing notes for my first Activation Practice Demo, a 6min, mindful, climate-aware fitness practice with the theme “Keeping It Public for the People and Planet!”. This theme is inspired by the Council of Canadians‘ “We Decide: Green New Deal Communities Organizing Guide“. I invite you to follow along with the video on the Activations page (making any modifications you need to for yourself) and please feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback. You can email me at email@example.com. Follow me on Instagram @annanieminenecjf
Introducing notes for my first Movement Arts Practice Piece, a 6min, mindful, climate-aware practice with the theme “Relating to and Protecting Trees”. This theme is inspired by the poem “The Linden Tree” by Jeevan Bhagwat, ECJF’s Poet in Residence. I invite you to follow along with the video on the Activations page (making any modifications you need to for yourself) and please feel free to contact me with any questions or feedback. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Instagram @annanieminenecjf
Here’s a poster about Embodied Climate Justice Fitness (ECJF) at our workplaces. You can email me at email@example.com to learn more. Follow me on Instagram @annanieminenecjf