Environmental poetry and the Random Ten

I mentioned yesterday, amid the ranting about our Orwellian free speech zones, that Amy and I did a reading on the Davie campus. It was a small part of a program called "Focus the Nation," and we were asked to read poems about the environment. When I was asked a few months ago, I agreed--but I didn't have any poems that I considered "environmental." I had some that I figured I could squeeze into that category if necessary--poems set in or about natural surroundings, for instance, but nothing that I thought really got into the relationships between man and nature, or more importantly, for this reading, that showed the damage we can cause. So I had to write something.

Fortunately, I'd been in a bit of a writing funk lately, so this forced my hand. I wrote a couple of new pieces for the reading--one is a prose poem, but I don't know how to format it so that it won't come out looking all wonky on blogger, so you get the villanelle instead. It's only the second one I've ever written, and I'm not generally fond of the form, but it seemed appropriate to me for this sort of subject, since it's as much a rhetorical statement as anything else.


Today my neighbor went into the pool.
January, even in Florida it’s odd
that winter has come, and yet it isn’t cool.

The water’s cold enough. You’d be a fool
to swim outside right now. Just the thought
of my neighbor swimming in the pool

gives me chills. And yet the sun’s so full.
On Christmas Eve I drank cold beer, not toddies.
Winter has come and yet it isn’t cool

enough to bundle up in wool
socks, thermals, gloves. I’m still in shorts, and God!
my neighbor, swimming in the pool.

We crossed the line somewhere, we broke the rules
of nature’s balance; now we’re staying hot.
Today my neighbor went into the pool.
Winter has come, and yet it isn’t cool.
I closed with that poem, and it was received well, I'm glad to say. It was received a bit better than my opening, which was part rant about the free speech zone in Boca. I just can't leave that alone, can I?

Here's the Random Ten. No special theme for me today--just the first ten songs to pop up on shuffle on the iPod. Here we go.
1. Odyssey--Lazlo Bane
2. I Took Your Name--R.E.M.
3. Big Chief--Dr. John
4. The World's Fair--Dave Brubeck
5. The Jessica Numbers--The New Pornographers
6. Children's Story--Black Star
7. Romeo and Juliet--Mark Knopfler
8. The Distance--Cake
9. If You Leave--Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
10. Martini Five-O--from The Tao of Steve soundtrack

So, how's the weather?

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