Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hoar frost: Winter wonder
Hoar frost: Winter wonder     © harrington

To happily start this year with a large helping of local environment and art, please go to Writers Rising Up and download their free calendar. It contains the work of local poets (full disclosure: yours truly wrote the January poem) and local environment scenes.

There are additional reasons we can consider this a truly happy new year's day. First, it looks like Minnesota may be in for a large shift to renewable power. An administrative law judge has found that solar energy is a "better deal" for us rate payers. On another front, one that should provide both short and long term benefits for Minnesotans, the Metro Council, for the first time, has included climate change in their regional plan (another disclosure: some years ago I worked at the Council for more than a decade). I haven't read the document yet but streets.mn has an article that I think would be worth your time to review. And, on an issue that I suspect we'll hear a lot about this year, I think it's worth reviewing why Rebecca Otto, Minnesota's State Auditor, didn't support nonferrous mineral exploration. I fully support her position and believe the concerns she raises are directly applicable to the PolyMet proposal currently under environmental review. Wouldn't it be wonderful if 2014 became the tipping point year in which common sense started to prevail when balancing jobs and the environment. We need a better economy to build a bigger economy. Campbell McGrath (who has written my favorite prose poem) shares a perspective on things to keep in mind this year.

Purple fog: Winter wonder
Purple fog: Winter wonder     © harrington


Pentatina for Five Vowels

By Campbell McGrath 
Today is a trumpet to set the hounds baying.
The past is a fox the hunters are flaying.
Nothing unspoken goes without saying.
Love’s a casino where lovers risk playing.
The future’s a marker our hearts are prepaying.

The future’s a promise there’s no guaranteeing.
Today is a fire the field mice are fleeing.
Love is a marriage of feeling and being.
The past is a mirror for wishful sightseeing.
Nothing goes missing without absenteeing.

Nothing gets cloven except by dividing.
The future is chosen by atoms colliding.
The past’s an elision forever eliding.
Today is a fog bank in which I am hiding.
Love is a burn forever debriding.

Love’s an ascent forever plateauing.
Nothing is granted except by bestowing.
Today is an anthem the cuckoos are crowing.
The future’s a convolute river onflowing.
The past is a lawn the neighbor is mowing.

The past is an answer not worth pursuing,
Nothing gets done except by the doing.
The future’s a climax forever ensuing.
Love is only won by wooing.
Today is a truce between reaping and rueing.

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