Saturday, 18 of May of 2024

Archives from author » admin

Wildeor: The Wild Life and Living Legacy of Dave Foreman

 

 

 

 

This compilation edited by Susan Morgan and John C. Miles are what those who knew him had to say at the time of his passing.

On September 19, 2022, Dave Foreman, champion of the wild and Wilderness, passed away at home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, surrounded by friends and family. Activist, conservationist, writer, orator, outdoorsman, historian, and friend to many, Dave leaves an important legacy.

The public knows him primarily as the head of the spear for Earth First! in the 1980s, but after those wild years he went on to be a co-founder of The Wildlands Project with many prominent wildlife biologists and conservationists, The Rewilding Institute, and other initiatives including the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, now New Mexico Wild. https://rewilding.org/support-rewilding/rewilding-books/

In the words of Terry Tempest Williams: “Reading what others have expressed reminds that he was involved in so many more actions and projects that I only knew about from afar. I have been swept away by the perspectives in this little book, one that Dave requested we assemble for him. I wish he could read it.”


Comments Off on Wildeor: The Wild Life and Living Legacy of Dave Foreman

2023 Watershed Poetry Festival

 


Comments Off on 2023 Watershed Poetry Festival

Book Review: Collected Poems of Gary Snyder

Gary Snyder in 1958

By Dennis Fritzinger

Gary Snyder is an ecosystem. His Collected Poems reads like a Field Guide, and like any good field guide touches the smallest and the largest elements in the field we’re studying. In the case of Gary, those range from the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Mount Saint Helens (or Loo-Wit), to the cobbles used to build a mountain trail, and everything in between, people, horses, you name it, not to mention stars and galaxies. But don’t let subjects like stars and galaxies make you think Gary only writes about the sublime, he’s equally, if not more, at home writing about such mundane things as fixing a stew or stopping at a service station to gas up a car.

None of us outlives the flesh and bones of the body we’re born with, so the most afterlife we can possibly hope for is our words and the words of people who know us. Collected Poems is so full of autobiographical elements like Gary’s trips to Japan, India, and Australia, that it’s easy to overlook how often he brings friends into the picture, and not just friends, usually through their names and a brief description, but influences, people he has read and absorbed or at least read about and acknowledges. Gary is like a cartographer drawing a map; he wants to get in all the essential features.

For me, some poems stand out, and others are best appreciated for what they add to the Big Picture of Gary’s life, the aforementioned ecosystem. Some poems contain just a few words; they are like Kokopelli’s word-basket when it gets light. Other poems contain many words, and they’re like Kokopelli’s word-basket when it’s at its heaviest. Mountains and Rivers Without End, Gary’s epic poem, is many word baskets strung together. To really appreciate it you have to make many trips back and forth over connected territory. Even when it isn’t obvious what territories are being connected, they are all under the umbrella, the ecosystem, of Gary’s life.

One of Shakespeare’s characters asserts that life has Seven Ages. Starting with the third, I’ll call them the lover, the soldier, the philosopher, the retiree, and the last stage. Collected Poems follows the progression in roughly the same order, since it follows the order of publication of Gary’s books, with only some uncollected poems and notes at the back. It’s a huge volume and a huge amount of work went into it. It’s also a huge gift to its readers, new or familiar to the poems, and with the carefully compiled notes at the back it’s like looking at a territory with a hand lens and a field guide at your fingertips.


Comments Off on Book Review: Collected Poems of Gary Snyder

10-15-22: Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival

Noon to 4:30 pm, free

Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park, Berkeley

Poetry, nature writers and speakers, music

(Berkeley, CA)  Poets, musicians, environmentalists, and community members will gather on Saturday, October 15, 2022, for the 27th annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, to celebrate Writers, Nature & Community, and to send an urgent message to consider the earth and climate change in our daily lives. Our belief is that we need the inspiration of poetry and music to meet our collective challenge.

The Festival begins with the Strawberry Creek Walk, poetry, nature commentary, and an easy walk along beautiful Strawberry Creek through UC Berkeley. To participate, meet at 10:00 am, at the southeast corner of Oxford at Center, on the edge of the UC Berkeley campus. All Festival events are free.

The Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival continues on the Main Stage, next to the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, at Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park, at Center Street, Berkeley, Noon to 4:30 pm. Please gather for a free afternoon of poetry, music, and nature writers in the park.

Watershed will kick off with a “cli-fi” reading, works that deal with the impacts of climate change and global warming, by novelist and spoken word poet Aya de León, “Black Literature vs. The Climate Emergency” conference, Creative Director. Featured poets include: Robert Hass, Summer Snow, Pulitzer Prize-winner and US Poet Laureate 1995-97; Forrest Gander, Be With, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Twice Alive; Genny Lim, Paper Gods and Rebels; Caroline Goodwin, Old Snow, White Sun, and Trapline; Susan Cohen, Democracy of Fire; Tureeda Mikell, Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine; John Curl, Rainbow Weather: Poems for Environmental Healing; Gene Berson, representing Canary, a literary journal of the natural world; Rooja Mohassessy, When Your Sky Runs into Mine, winner of the Elixir Press Poetry Award; and Theresa Whitehill, A Grammar of Longing, former Poet Laureate of Ukiah, California. For updates, see: Poetryflash.org or https://poetryflash.org/programs/?p=watershed_2022_inperson.

California Poets in the Schools students will read with poet-teacher Maureen Hurley; Barry Finnerty Jazz Trio, with acclaimed jazz guitarist Barry Finnerty, will be the onstage house band. Hosts include Chris Olander, River Light, former Nevada County Poet Laureate; Kirk Lumpkin, Storm Warning anthology; Joyce Jenkins and Richard Silberg from Poetry Flash.

To read at the We Are Nature Open Mic, enter the lottery at noon (at the info booth) for three-minute reading slots. To exhibit your books, magazine, project, or organization at the Festival, tables, canopies, and chairs are available, email editor@poetryflash.org. Exhibit information will be posted on the Watershed page at Poetryflash.org.

Berkeley has a rich literary culture with poetry at its base. Poetry Flash has represented that base since 1972 with literary events, articles, and reviews. Since 1995, Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival has blended art, culture, and the environment to celebrate Writers, Nature, & Community in northern California. Robert Hass, the first U.S. Poet Laureate from the West, co-founded the Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival during engaged community discussions between environmental groups and poets. The first Watershed Festival took place in April 1996 at the Golden Gate Park bandshell, with over a thousand people in attendance to hear poets Joy Harjo, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, and many others. The late Mark Baldridge, for so many years, the Director of the annual Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival, left an incredible legacy of support for this Festival. The Watershed logo is a wood block print by Shane Eagleton.

Admission is free, and the Main Stage Festival is wheelchair accessible. Thanks to the Berkeley Civic Arts Program for their support, and to our community partners, Pegasus Books Downtown, the Berkeley Farmers’ Market and Ecology Center, and 100 Thousand Poets for Change.


Comments Off on 10-15-22: Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival

Midnight Musings by Dennis Fritzinger

When reading at the Rendezvous I always considered my audience. Who is the audience for “Bearshit on the Trail“? One always hopes a book will get a lot of new readers, but yeah, it’s Earth First!ers. And since Earth First!ers are getting older and dying, our pool of readers and prospective readers is shrinking.

The book is drawn mainly from the Armed With Visions page in the Earth First! Journal, with some of the poems obviously inspired by Earth First! campaigns going on at the time. These poems definitely have an Earth First! flavor to them. Other poems with an Earth First! flavor talk about monkeywrenching, usually humorously. Cutting fence, spiking trees, burning ‘dozers, each become topics at one point or another a poem hangs its story on.

Another thread that wanders through the narrative is respect for large, wild animals. Like bears, mostly, but also wolves, and especially Coyote, who shows up with his own Trickster narrative in hand.


There is an undercurrent of outrage driving many of these poems, usually below the surface but occasionally it comes up for air and we see it in full view. This is perhaps to be expected, since outrage is a typical driver of an Earth First! campaign.

A lot of things are exciting in the beginning and get less exciting over time, and editing poems for the Journal is no exception.

I took over during a time of upheaval when the entire Journal staff had quit and the new staff coming on was making up its mind what sort of magazine they wanted to publish. One of the changes they made was to drop the poetry page. Art  Goodtimes, the original editor, got a pink slip, and for an issue or two there was no Armed With Visions page, though poems were still sneaking in here and there.

I began to agitate for the return of the Armed With Visions page by writing an angry letter and sending it in, and to my surprise, it got published. I then decided to continue my campaign at the Summer Rendezvous coming up, and that’s how and where the Warrior Poets Society was born.

I knew that changes in the Journal would be discussed and argued over at the Rendezvous, and knew my proposal would have more weight with the backing of other poets, many of whom had considerable clout.

In short, my idea paid off and we got Armed With Visions back in the Journal. The downside, from my perspective, was no one else wanted to be editor, so I ended up accepting the job.

This was a heavy responsibility since I had no experience beyond a single issue working on a college magazine. Still, what could I do? Dive in and try my best.

I did have the example of Art Goodtimes to go by, and that was a plus. Ten years of excellent poetry chosen, arranged and illustrated with indigenous graphics. Ten years of poetry that was part of the ferment of the first ten years of Earth First!

That was the example I had at my fingertips (since I had back copies of nearly every Journal to refer to), to emulate, be inspired by, and perhaps surpass.

As submissions started pouring in it became clear that interest in Earth First! had not subsided one whit. Poems equal to, or exceeding, poems from the first ten years showed up in my mailbox regularly. I laid out the pages using supplies from a local art house and mailed them in. And Armed With Visions once more was off and running.

The fortunes of the poetry page and the fortunes of Earth First! were hand in glove. The more active Earth First! was, the more poems came in. I also noticed how stories in the Journal seemed to inspire topics in the poems submitted. ELF stories inspired ELF poems, which I rejected. More prisoner articles inspired more submissions from prisoners, which I appreciated, as well as poems about, well, being in prison, most of which I didn’t use.

And over time, things changed. After the Save the Redwoods campaign trickled to an end, there were fewer and fewer campaigns of any size, and the number of poetry submissions likewise dropped off.

There were still Earth First! poems coming in, just not as many. I had to raid my pile of rejects just to keep the page full at times. I could see interest had dropped off, and I sensed the reason was things going on in Earth First! I had no control over. A good campaign creates energy, and energy is an important ingredient in Earth First! poetry.

Where we are now and go from here is anybody’s guess. Earth First! poetry is intimately tied up with Earth First!–mainly campaigns, but also biocentrism and, if only in legend, monkeywrenching.


Comments Off on Midnight Musings by Dennis Fritzinger

New Ecopoetry Book: Worth More Standing

 

Themes of connection, ecology, grief, and protection are explored through poems about trees and forests written by an impressive number of influential poets, several of whom have attended the recent Fairy Creek blockades and still others who defended old growth ecosystems in Clayoquot Sound nearly 30 years ago.

Contributors include ninth Parliamentary Poet Laureate Louise Bernice Halfe-Sky Dancer, GG winner Arleen Paré, Canadian icon bill bissett, Griffin Poetry Prize winner Eve Joseph, ReLit Award winner Patrick Friesen, Order of Canada and Order of the Rising Sun recipient Joy Kogawa, Vancouver Poet Laureate Fiona Tinwei Lam, Harold Rhenisch, Jay Ruzesky, John Barton, Kate Braid, Kim Trainor, Kim Goldberg, Pamela Porter, Patricia and Terence Young, Russell Thornton, Sonnet L’Abbé, Susan McCaslin, Susan Musgrave, Tom Wayman, Trevor Carolan, Yvonne Blomer, Zoe Dickinson and the late Pat Lowther.

For more information on purchasing: https://caitlin-press.com/our-books/worth-more-standing/

A masterpiece in cultural diversity unified with a call to action, Worth More Standing is a celebratory awakening to all Earth Citizens to see trees as far more valuable than in board feet of lumber. Our unified purpose must be to honour the old growth as we would our ancestors. Such forests and trees have been with us as long as we have been human. Their destruction means the loss of an essential component of our humanity.”

—Paul Stamets, award-winning mycologist, author, and bee protector


Comments Off on New Ecopoetry Book: Worth More Standing

26th Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival – Strawberry Creek Walk

Armed with Visions has been a long time supporter of this event. Our Editor-in-Chief has never once missed this event for 26 years. The pandemic has limited the event greatly in recent years, but nature finds a way to keep going, always!

    Please have a watch and enjoy the poetry!


Comments Off on 26th Watershed Environmental Poetry Festival – Strawberry Creek Walk

A Night to Howl

Buy it here: https://peacesupplies.org/products/warrior-poets-society-cassette-tape-set/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Night to Howl” by Neal in Austin

Yeeha! Awoooooo! I’m damn happy to introduce the recently released Warrior
Poet Society’s A Night to Howl, a new collection of Earth First! poetry and
music. This three tape set thoroughly documents two amazing evenings of
performance, February 3, 1994 in Los Angeles and February 8, 1996 in
Tucson. They contain over 80 songs and poems from 30 artists. This is a
watershed event, a high-water mark in the growth of Earth-honoring culture.
Many thanks to those who took on this formidable task.

These tapes do what art is supposed to do. They mirror, warts and all, the
diversity, passion, and intelligence of the community that produced them.
They explore the issues that have been at the heart of EF! activism in
recent years. In some ways, they tell the story of our collective life more
effectively than any EF! Journal article or Rendezvous workshop. No, they
don’t resolve the strategic and interpersonal issues that have plagued us,
but they do provide a clear picture of where we are right now. They do
what a healthy culture is supposed to do. They document and honor our past
and attempt to prepare us for the future.

Since this collection accurately reflects our diverse community and the
dire situation we face, prepare to be both inspired and challenged. Several
pieces go to the heart of the recent violence / non-violence debate.
Several pieces deal with gender issues that have been much debated in
recent years. Art that avoids difficult issues is insipid and dishonest. It
is to this collection’s credit that it directly addresses the thorniest
issues that we face. If you want art that doesn’t do this, you can always
turn on most any commercial radio station.

Since I don’t have room to comment on all the material in this collection,
I’ll just try give you a feel for its diversity. The LA tape opens with
Dennis Fritzenger’s “Agenda,” which is “something historically demanding,
simply love and understanding, put away thoughts of pride and pelf, and
simply love the Earth for itself.” Adam Bregman’s “The Greenpeace Store” is
an exquisite slam of eco-shopping. Anne Peterman relates John Bartles’ poem
“Calling All Humans,” a no doubt accurate portrayal of the non-human
perspective. Peter Bralver’s “About Trickster and Two Stories,” reveals a
sinister government plot to induce a “single agonizing controlled delay,
final and adjustable, catastrophic ecospasm.”

The talented and spirited Kids for Konservation will give you hope for the
future as they cover Walkin’ Jim Stoltz’s tune “A Kid for the Wild.” Janet
Allen demands that we “Extend the Circle” of our ethics beyond human life.
Dwight Worker’s poem “Wild Assed” provides the movement with material for
future gender dynamics discussions.

Side two starts with Mark Williams’ “Mesa Roja,” a brilliant piece that
relates a “fictional” situation in which the F.B.I. infiltrates an
environmental group. Adam Bregman’s “The Bears” is a hilarious tale of
renegade bears wreaking havoc in human society. Leeona Klippstein’s
“Stabbing at the Sacred” is a beautiful examination of the conflict
between modern technological society and ancient, feminine, Earth-centered
cultures.

The Tucson tapes open with Peg Millet’s beautiful “Medicine Wheel Song.”
Next, a biting song from Terry Stone challenges those who have “A Whole
Wheat Look and a Wonderbread Mind.” Dennis’ poem “High Explosives”
expresses his regret that the U.S. Army hadn’t prepared him to be a
militant environmentalist. And Pam Uschuk warns of a world “Without Birds,
Without Trees, Without Flowers.”

On to the next side — hope yer still with me. Lisa Tso’s “Up On Black
Mesa” tells of the conflict between the Dineh and Hopi peoples and Peabody
Coal. Leslie Helmstreet sings of the power of women’s cycles in “PMS
Avenger,” the power of shoplifting in “I Am An Anarchist,” and the power of
violence in “Fantasy.” Petey Mesquitey celebrates gardening in “I Dig.”
Mathew Hawn takes on the topics of animal testing, phony environmentalism,
nuclear waste, and the men’s movement.

Since I’m running out of space, I’ll just say that the last tape contains
excellent contributions from Janet Planet, Gerry Glombecki, Bonnie Abzug,
Seth, Peter Galvin, Karen Coulter, Sasha, Sue Ring, David Yerkey, Maya
Greenwood, James Lewis, Peg Millett and David White.

So what is the significance of this collection? What is its relevance to
EF!ers and society in general? To answer these questions, I think we need
to consider the history of EF! music and spoken word. In the early 1980’s
there were only a few courageous artists devoting themselves to this type
of art. Since then the number of artists and the quality and quantity of
their work has increased dramatically. Their efforts are reviving the
ancient and desperately needed tradition of culture that honors the Earth
and her defenders.

At the 1989 EF! Rendezvous, I first the power of this culture to give a
voice to the love I felt for the natural world and the rage I felt over its
destruction. It affected me deeply. It helped me to recognize the Earth as
my home and its life as my family. It inspired me to devote my life to
honoring and protecting the Earth.

As we approach 1999, Earth and activist oriented art is needed more than
ever. At a time when people are deeply alienated from nature, this art can
help people re/establish and maintain healthy bonds. For those who are
paralyzed by grief or rage, this art is powerful medicine. As we watch huge
media corporations gobble up every major form of media, this art keeps
alive the culture they are killing. These voices sing loud and clear in
open defiance of the destroyers. “How can we keep from singing?”


Comments Off on A Night to Howl

Weekly Poems for Warriorpoets 7

—————————————————————

Click Here for Quote of the Week:

http://blog.armedwithvisions.com/quote-of-the-week

———————————————————————————————
 
 

Lone Wolf Circles – Gaia Bless

Gaia Bless all those who try, succeed or fail, those who always act decisively, but never out of hatred; yes… those whose every living breath asserts their pledge of Love. By our hearts and our acts may we be Worthy. Gaia Bless. Gaia Bless. http://armedwithvisions.com/2012/09/14/lone-wolf-circles-gaia-bless/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Alley Cat Rutabaga – Pedaling Thru

We are choking or drowning; when we finally reach out our hands we may find only our cousins, kudzu & honeysuckle reaching over & over & over the land… http://armedwithvisions.com/2012/04/17/alley-cat-rutabaga-pedaling-thru/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

D.H. Lawrence – Snake

But suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in undignified haste. Writhed like lightning, and was gone into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front, at which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination. http://armedwithvisions.com/2014/07/27/dh-lawrence-snake/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Kirk Lumpkin – The Mystery

Where the waters of fear and love snake trembling through the streambed night, where bare limbs are antler dancers and the stars look back with bright buck-eyes, something rustles the underbrush, a wind pushes back branches…http://armedwithvisions.com/2013/02/18/kirk-lumpkin-the-mystery/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jenny McBride – Aisles Where the Dead Sleep

Fur matted into blood bone absence the green roadsides are emptying, aisles where the dead sleep take us from driveway to driveway. http://armedwithvisions.com/2012/08/01/jenny-mcbride-aisles-where-the-dead-sleep/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Gary Lawlesss – Little by Little

Too many bears, now following avalanche chutes, glacier lily, early spring. Caribou in old growth spruce, lichen, banks of snow and fog. Bear tracks in the mud. http://armedwithvisions.com/2012/07/29/gary-lawlesss-little-by-little/

 
 
——————————————————————————————————–

To sustain and inspire all this please send ecopoetry books and $tuff to:

Warriorpoets c/o Deane Rimerman PO Box 2640 Oly, WA. 98507

——————————————————————————————————–

Find all our poems here: http://armedwithvisions.com


Comments Off on Weekly Poems for Warriorpoets 7

Weekly Poems for Warriorpoets 6

—————————————————————

Click Here for Quote of the Week:

http://blog.armedwithvisions.com/quote-of-the-week

———————————————————————————————
 
 

Stephen Wing – Under An Incandescent Sky

Waiting for a late train the world curves away in rectangular fluorescent panes, flat light riding the curve of the rails past the red light, changing in the intersection below. The west is burning. Two towns evacuated, the administration may soon abandon its controversial “let burn” policy. http://armedwithvisions.com/2013/01/22/stephen-wing-under-incandescent-sky/

 
 

Philip Levine – Our Valley

You have to remember this isn’t your land. It belongs to no one, like the sea you once lived beside and thought was yours. Remember the small boats that bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the men who carved a living from it only to find themselves carved down to nothing. http://armedwithvisions.com/2015/03/01/philip-levine-our-valley/

 
 

Paul Watson – Shark Angels

Seventy million sharks die for our foul greed, stealing from the seas the golden seed. What we do to them we do to all, removing the sharks will cause us to fall. Three angels sing their song of praise, portraying the sharks in ways to amaze. In serving the sharks they benefit us all, if only enough can hear their wise call. http://armedwithvisions.com/2013/02/20/paul-watson-shark-angels/

 
 

Jen Eddy – Close To Nature

Men sweat heavily. Behind the behemoth crushed fern, bruised spruce, uprooted cedar, cleat-chewed ground. Smells mingle. The ‘dozer spreads earth like frosting. Contours flatten. Where once old logs lay, decaying base for lichens, lizards and pungent fungi, all scattered. http://armedwithvisions.com/2011/12/16/jen-eddy-close-to-nature/

 
 

Robinson Jeffers – Oh, Lovely Rock

And wolves have howled in the snow around a new Bethlehem: this rock will be here, grave, earnest, not passive: the energies that are its atoms will still be bearing the whole mountain above: and I, many packed centuries ago, felt its intense reality with love and wonder, this lonely rock. http://armedwithvisions.com/2011/11/21/robinson-jeffers-oh-lovely-rock/

 
 

Michael Adams – Longing

I cut my wrist on barbwire yesterday. There must have been something there– the breath of a deer, longing of an antelope, a snatch of coyote song–hung up on the wire. http://armedwithvisions.com/2011/09/18/longing-buffalo/

 
 
——————————————————————————————————–

To sustain and inspire all this please send ecopoetry books and $tuff to:

Warriorpoets c/o Deane Rimerman PO Box 2640 Oly, WA. 98507

——————————————————————————————————–

Find all our poems here: http://armedwithvisions.com


Comments Off on Weekly Poems for Warriorpoets 6