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Monday, April 18, 2022

Rainbow Weather


Coming this Fall...

RAINBOW WEATHER

by John Curl 

These poems are songs for the road ahead, as climate change transforms how we live on earth. Today we find ourselves hurled all too soon into a future where all living things must adapt, and human society must change rapidly in order to survive. We have no choice. We must change the ways we live. Through poetry, the art of words, destructive energy can be dispersed and transformed into constructive energy. We're in a long-term and short-term social and cultural crisis, with the fate of our planet at stake. This is a time for poetry.

People have such a long history of destruction, yet at the same time people have also always risen from the depths of despair, overcome the challenges of their time and reshaped the world. If we go back far enough, we all have ancestors who lived in good, sustainable ways, respectful to their environment and to their neighbors. Only history will know how human society will look when this century is passed.  This is a century for poetry.

The climate crisis marks the end of a cycle that began with the industrial revolution. Since every ending also marks a new beginning, here are some capsules of energy to take with you into the new beginning, energy in the form of poems, poems to transform the world by unleashing the power in words.   

~ John Curl

 

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In the poem Making the Invisible Visible John Curl could be describing the work of poets. It is so much easier to expect the details of the world than to actually see them. The poems in Rainbow Weather challenge the reader to release expectation and received hierarchies and in exchange, to retrieve wonder. Current circumstances being what they are, the treatment for collective malaise is probably complicated, a combination of things with many moving parts, but somewhere in that combination  there is certainly space for the calm, understanding observations in this poetry collection. Curl's poems stand with grace, sing with power, and may be part of the cure.

 

~ Kim Shuck

7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco Emerita


With a single, ancient, unfashionable word, “Lo,” John Curl changes the game plan of the planet: “Lo! The circle is drawn around us. / The candle is lit. The power of water enters….” “Now,” he argues, is “the ancient boiling point…now/ the ancient flash point of rebellion.” These poems are not so much a call to arms as they are a call to thought—and, beyond thought, to action. “Every place is the center of the world, / and everywhere is our place of origin.” At a moment of confusion on all levels, Curl realizes (and makes us realize) that the ancient, despised, mostly ignored art of poetry is the key to recovery. As the Trumperians know, words can shock. Words can heal, too.

 ~ Jack Foley

author of When Sleep Comes: Shillelagh Songs


John Curl’s passionate, heartfelt poems for the Earth in Rainbow Weather are wake-up calls announcing the environmental atrocities that surround us: clear-cut forests, pollution, radioactive waste, ubiquitous plastic. He doesn’t turn away from any of this, but pleads instead to see everything more clearly: “Let the scales / fall from my eyes. / Lift the veil. / Awake, arise!” And this brings hope, for once the scales and veils are removed, both he and we are bathed in “the healing light of reality.”

 

~ Lucille Lang Day,

coeditor of Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California

and author of Birds of San Pancho and Other Poems of Place