A Sort of Poem by M. Lapin

–The UN Human Rights Council has concluded that human rights law sets certain obligations on States to guarantee that the right to enjoy a healthy environment is respected. The Monsanto Tribunal
hearings allowed for the gathering of testimonies related to various impacts on human health (especially on farmers), soils, plants, aquatic organisms, animal health and biodiversity.
–from The legal opinion of the Monsanto TribSo Bayer purchased Monsanto

So Bayer purchased Monsanto and believed everything would now be OK.

133 lawsuits in the tube moving against them.

A two billion penalty in a successful suit out of California.

No dam to stop the damage claims,
no river to back all of the garbage down the drain,
no train to carry the poisons to secret places,
no mountains to hide the guilt,
no snow to degrade the evidence,
but now the punishment goes to who started the punishing–
stakeholders, stock owners, corporations.

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Stick Woman

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

Her eyes
Ever focused
Upon the path before her,
Her frame bent
As crooked
The wood she has collected,
Twigs to ignite
The darkness ahead,
A fire warming some rice
To sate her growling belly.

She is Zo,
A marginal woman
Of a marginal people
In the highlands of Burma,

But the sun
Still rises here also,
To the cold mornings
Of these Chin hills,
And her eyes
Burn with the flame
Of the flowers on
The Buran tree,
Red with the fury of life,
Eager to wander the forests
Yet another day,
A barking deer
Stepping softly
Through the underbrush,

Gathering sticks
To survive another night.

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One Voice from a Mass Grave

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

When the men came and
dragged us to the edge of town,
father kept encouraging me
to be brave.

They made us dig this hole.
As dusk approached,
they lined us around,
allowed a moment to pray.

I saw father,
again whispering
from the other side
to be strong.
I saw him fall.

One by one,
men fell into the pit,
boys fell into the pit,
I fell.

They checked only once
for movement,
fired extra rounds
until satisfied
all were stilled.

I fear I was not so brave,
I fear I was not so strong.
Father’s death brought sorrow,
my wound brought tears,
the shovels full of earth
brought darkness.

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Artwork by Jesse Trevino

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Why Are You Walking?

A Poem by Carl Mayfield

Fourth month of what’s next: Vietnam.
My brother used plastic explosives
and a questionable fuse to coax a five
hundred pound bomb out of the mud, and when
when it was time he picked up his feet and ran.
The men he passed called out: “why are you
running?” His response saved them all.

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What the Barn Owls See

A Poem by Adrian Slonaker

From a ruddy brick alcove at
St. Francis Preparatory School,
a duo of barn owls with onyx eyes
witness the wisps of trampled grass
and pools of putrid brown:
another non-frozen January-
the fourth in a row-
click hooked beaks brimming with
stories of snowbanks once so bloated
they reached the branches
on the cherry trees that are sprouting
leaves out of season.
The birds heard of the hostilities of
humans responsible
for the brutal mobbing
the weeping girl with glasses
suffers from six mocking
hopscotchers who repeat their toxic taunts
during every recess,
for mangling the climate,
for planting the pesticides
that poison the nestlings
and the bombs and landmines
maiming and massacring homo sapiens.
Despite the slander
the owls damn with doom and death
the wingless hulking creatures of chemical,
cruelty, equal-opportunity destroyers.

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