Turning: a climate grief poem

It's grief,
alright.
the same burning arrow
through the heart's gills
the same stone weight
of emptiness
		— loss
	of words
	of what to do
	of a place
 
     that doesn't ache

the way the living room,
the bedroom and the kitchen
ache

we are accomplices
to our own undoing
everytime we flip
	a switch
 		we flinch
each cup of tea
	each text

a word burning in the air

	will we ever heal again?

our fly-covered hopes,
the dreams 
we stole from others, our dreams —

are kindling for the Great Disaster

we scratch at chimneys
the smoke that bleeds 
from them, our blood.

	words can't heal this
	they never could.

but if we turn, as one —
	a murmuration 
	or a school of herring

We might staunch the wound
And quench the burning 

the things that
creature bodies know
(we need each other)

the things that words,
 	together, know,

they cannot heal us
but they can turn us —

one mind in many bodies,
a wise mindlessness
or mindful bodyness

toward the cool 
places
where undying 
grace is.
Painting by Ildiko Nova showing a woman crying a river, a city, mountains, airplane

Broken Harmony by Ildiko Nova

Anna Quon

About Anna Quon

Anna Quon is a Halifax poet, novelist, and budding filmmaker who likes to make short animated films of her original poetry. She is also a Baha'i, a middle-aged, mobility-impaired, mixed-race Mad woman, a writing workshop facilitator, and maker of messes.

About Ildiko Nova

Ildiko Nova is an artist in Winnipeg. Her artistic background includes various mediums and experiences, from painting to digital design. She loves to paint portraits, city scenes, and animals. Her illustration work is about storytelling and juxtaposition; she enjoys putting elements together that are unusual or unexpected. She asks questions about the growing urban setting and its effects on wildlife. She also likes to experiment with different materials, and tries to reclaim recycled objects. As a community worker and activist, Ildiko reflects on lives of underprivileged people and aims to address societal issues.

About Broken Harmony:This digitally hand-drawn image represents nature and its distress. The peaceful character is disturbed by different environmental pollutants and damage. The intention is to depict the sad reality of the climate crisis and to bring awareness.

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