Here are two poems about the immorality of fossil fuel. I welcome suggestions to improve them.

What's Sacred Now?

Fossil Fuel Fire

            burns away our future

            burns away safety

            burns away joy

 

Extinguish that flame

            to honor the Earth

            to cherish the children

            to love yourself

 

Impure flames - fossil fuel

Evil flames - fossil fuel

 

Not sacred now

            Never sacred again

 

Don’t light up a runaway greenhouse effect

            with the evil flame.

 

Blow it out - the evil flame

Turn it off - the evil flame

 

Before it’s too late

Before it consumes us all

 

What’s sacred now?  Sustainable energy!

Fossil Fuel - The Long Con

Don’t be fooled by its beauty

            that fossil fuel flame.

 

Disgusting, Revolting, Nasty

 

Don’t let its help entrap you,

            so easy,

            seeming so cheap.

 

All the while it’s invisibly

            burning up our future

            eating away hope

            turning climate against us

            making oceans sick.

 

Fossil Fuel Addiction is a lethal disease

            that ends civilizations.

 

First it makes you mighty.

            Then it turns all the forests to ash.

 

Fossil Fuel Flame promises riches

            and delivers death.

Tags: Fossil Fuel, The Long Con, fossil fuel flame, never sacred again, fossil fuel, the evil flame

Views: 75

Replies to This Discussion

These are good ones Ruth!

Very creative work.

While I agree with the sentiments I'm not convinced that the idea warrants two poems, perhaps because of their proximity and reading them one after the other.

Put the two poems together, condensed it would have more impact at the moment both seem like the first stage where everything around the subject deserves equal mention. Lineation tends to be a problem in free verse and can seem arbitrary,punctuation too needs care  and consistency,

I'm always reluctant to criticise but as you asked for suggestions! Trust your reader, if they give a damn you won't have to point out the detail. Remove all the unnecessary words. For instance: second poem, penultimate two lines would be better without the second 'it' which is redundant. 'Then turns all the forest to ash' incidentally better without the stop and the last two lines Promising riches delivering death.

Worst line? 'Forest Fuel Addiction is a lethal disease.' This reads as a line of preachy prose

I know I seem to be very negative about this but at least I took it seriously as a poem not just environmental propaganda.   

People's thinking about energy is infested with emotional conclusions not supported by facts. 

The book Sustainable Energy - without the Hot Air shows rational thinking applied to our energy situation.

Another discussion brought up the stealthy toxicity of candles, paraffin candles in particular.

... paraffin wax ... starts out as a byproduct of petroleum, coal, or shale. After it's extracted from the mix, the paraffin bathes in industrial-strength bleach ... this also infuses paraffin with dioxins. Another chemical, Acrolein, a compound linked to the risk of lung cancer from cigarette smoke, is added to paraffin as a solidifying agent.

... studies have shown that the burning of paraffin candles releases benzene and toluene — both known carcinogens ...

If you can't live without your candles, consider those made of beeswax or vegetable oils, and with natural dyes and perfumes.

I said there, "Many of us are indeed drawn to candles' flickering light! They used to be state-of-the-art technology, once, and have had many centuries to become associated with light and warmth, celebration and memorial and romance.... Should we be burning fossil fuels for pleasure, decoration, and ritual?"

(Alan Perlman on the profligate recreational use of fuel: "no society that is serious about climate change burns fossil fuels for its own amusement.")

I'm still emotionally drawn to the old technology. While there's quite a difference of scale between lighting candles and, say, car racing or jet skiing, making conscious choices of new symbols can help the primitive, social/emotional brain make new associations, which can reinforce the larger choices we make.

Flames give a warm, complex, shifting, interesting, appealing light, which a simple electric bulb can't match. There are some decent LED "candles", especially those where the "flame" is hidden, and many mediocre ones. We can come up with other kinds of interesting lights. It's simple to put a light string in an attractive clear container; even better if the lights twinkle or shift colors. Powering LEDs with renewable electricity would be a Good Thing.

I like it!

Do you suppose progressive Unitarian Universalists might adopt an LED-lit (rather than flaming) chalice anytime soon? :)

(Of course, one could argue that an equally strong UU symbol is the coffeepot!)

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