Tag Archives: water is life

EARTH FIRST! 

GWP encourages our writers, artists, freelance staff, readers, and interns to send us their writing so we can put it out on our blog and publish it there for all the world to see (and our legions of followers!) Here is a powerful poem by GWP author, Irene Skyriver:

Irene Skyriver and her daughter Summer Moon at the kayactivism in Seattle.

 

EARTH FIRST!
(I named this poem after one of the few modern movements that made sense to me)

What will we do for the love of our Mother Earth?
I say it is not the time for silent retreats and meditations
Did, or do the victims of:
Climate change
Vietnam
Wounded Knee
The Klu Klux Klan
Did they have time to meditate on ensuing chaos or demise?
Did they have time to understand
Just before they were swinging from the limb of a tree?
Or just before their children were gunned-down or forced to cross barren deserts
Did they have time to contemplate
those “leaders”, or soldiers, or white supremacists
as perhaps being their miss-guided but lovable brothers?
Our Earth Mother is Black, she is Wounded Knee, she is a child gunned down in Viet Nam
She is a rape victim
Now is not the time to tread gently or to tippy toe
Now is not the time to try to understand the Hitler’s or the orange ones of our species
We need to be as unapologetic and powerful as the Earth herself
We need to be as relentless as the grind of a glacier
We need to be an earthquake to tumble the fortresses of greed
We need hurricane force winds of change
We need to be flooded with purpose
We need to be like the blaze of an incoming comet to turn this tide of suicide
We will recharge in the serenity of the Sun’s dip and rise
We will carry on with the knowing that others are dying for rhinos, elephants, butterflies, trees…
And by knowing there is too little time for meditation and silent retreats  

~~~

Irene Skyriver, Pacific NW Coast author/grandmother/farmer/activist
Because of the good life I live on my farm in the San Juan Islands, I must convince myself as much as anyone, to leave the comforts of our homes, families and life as we know it, to RIZE UP and fight for the Earth and Sky. Even our children know, we humans have our heads in the sand, as we blithely carry on in our consumptive, unsustainable lifestyles, leaving them to the wreckage of our defeatist inaction.
Although I am not a hardcore activist, I’ve taken action at important events and I’m readying myself for deeper involvement in our local environmental issues (which are profound) as we prepare to fight huge increases of Canadian tar-sand tanker shipments through our already decimated Salish Seas. With our local Orca whale population on the brink of extinction and salmon runs failing catastrophically, I see my life as a grandmother, best spent fighting, and dying if needed, for the dream that perhaps a sea swelling of hearts and minds will awaken and turn the tide. We need to step out of our comfort zones and fight for the environmental health of every biome of this planet and sky. •

You can order Irene’s book at your favorite, local independent bookstore, or here at Indieboud!

 

Our Basin of Relations: The Art and Science of Living with Water

Vermonter Mike Sipe began photographing the pristine waters of the Lake Champlain region about fifteen years ago. His initial vision was a coffee-table book, sharing the beauty with the world with one hundred, sharing-quality images. He captured thousands of images, with thirty-five images to be included in OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS, The Art and Science of Living with Water, coming in early fall from GWP.

About five years ago a weightier purpose for the book, hit Mike like a brick—WATER QUALITY—the lake water quality is deteriorating with dangerously high levels of phosphorous, toxic enough to close swim areas, threaten drinking water, and maybe even harmful to breathe! Blue Green algae is not that good to look at, either. This algae bloom problem is not unique to Lake Champlain.

A few years ago, Mike got involved with the Vermont Clean Water Network, realizing that most of us aren’t aware of the issue, and he was eager to learn how to help preserve the Lake Champlain’s watershed ecosystem.

I believe we want to help protect what we love…. and we love…. and value, water. Knowledge and inspiration empowers us, producing resolve. —Mike Sipe

Editor Trevien Stanger on the shoreline of Lake Champlain.

A couple of years ago, after Mike joined the Vermont Clean Water Network, he became aware of an article in the Burlington Free Press, called Thinking like a Watershed. The article was written by environmental teacher, writer and poet, Trevien Stanger. According to Mike, he loved the article and knew he had to marry his photos with Trevien’s word wizardry—and do his part for clean water—albeit small. When Mike and Trevien came to GWP publisher Dede Cummings, she immediately jumped at the chance to publish the book but explained to the intrepid team of environmentalists that there was no budget for such an expensive book. After much discussion, the publisher came on board and will also donate the design and layout fee of $2,000 to the project. The book will be available in the late summer of 2019 if the fundraising goal of $10,000 is met.

Trevien Stanger is the curator of nearly fifteen articles by water quality advocates in OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS, The Art and Science of Living with Water. Trevien wrote the introduction to the book and it is reproduced on Mike’s website, www.MikeSipe.com, under the tab OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS.

Please help clean water
We invite you to read Trevien’s introduction, be inspired, consider some level of sponsorship to help publish OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS and have proceeds from the sale of the book go to clean water projects. Book sponsorship details are at the end of this article and there will be a list of sponsors in the book (and logos of organizations). GWP is a LC3 which means we can partner with nonprofits with no tax. Individuals wishing to send a tax-free donation, can contact us and we have an umbrella nonprofit/fiscal agent for this project.

OBOR COVER.jpg

If you wish to help us fundraise for printing this gorgeous book, we will mail you a 16-page BLAD (Basic Layout And Design) of OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS to help you decide about sponsorship of the book. you can also view the BLAD by clicking this link: Our Basin BLAD inside Dec21 lo res and downloading/viewing the PDF on your computer.

Thank you,

Dede, Mike & Trevien