2023, Senior, Poetry & Spoken Word
Climate Hero: Aude Bourgine
Your silly pedestrian glass covers completely
The lungs of the ocean! They breathe beauty
Into your misery. Provide them with respect.
No, don’t call them coral. That’s morning song.
You know no beauty, no faith, no love, not…
Not without sweet faith morning song, a cradle
Of life and light. Wake up and welcome dawn
To the melody of existence. Easy, breathe in–
Breathe out. Through the lungs of the ocean:
Frozen in time (to the fools flying pride blind)
They hold the mortal world in their open palm
So easy to hold their hand, to hold it so close.
Gaze, but do not touch. You might hurt them.
Remember, that’s your spine. Breaks like teeth.
Remember, that’s your morning song. That’s
Your everlasting life and love cast in melody.
I be Gaia; Mother, Goddess, Cosmos, Existence.
Call me artist. Call me worship. Call me gardener.
In my aquarium be kept the lungs of the ocean:
Trinkets, toys, collectibles. Life is an amusement,
Yours is, anyway. Mine is a testament. Existence.
Well, existence be resistance, particularly to Her.
Her be Mutation, existentialism’s ecstasy. Extinction’s
lovely bride-to-be. Dear, I can hear the wedding bells!
You worked so tirelessly to sew her beautiful dress
All bleached coral and quartz, ground bone and gratitude
Or at least you coerced the third-world children to. She
Does look so pretty in white. Or is that thinned eggshell?
Oh, I can hear the wedding bells! A love story as old as
Capitalism. Smog and soot and sour; Industry and gain
and power. How could you not fall in love with a dream?
But, she’s death: all pretty in poultry, upholstery, plaster, and
Plastic. I guess I wasn’t good enough for you. I guess I was
Too good for you. I should have expected this when you
Tore the innocent leaf off that Oak. When you squashed
Mrs. Spider leaving her wife and kids. When you polluted
My seas. My skies. My land. My eyes. My soul. I’ve taken
To grieving many things over the years, but the worst has
Got to be losing you. You were so young. You had so much
Potential. And yet, you seem so set to make this marriage..
I guess I should have expected this. You always did choose
The patriarchy over progress. I wonder how you would feel
If you knew I was woman. If you knew I was seafoam and
Stardust. I suppose it doesn’t matter now, does it, dear?
I can hear the wedding bells. And they’re drowning out
The sweet faith morning song. Your lifeblood, your bone
Your thanks to day and Dante Alighieri and Todas Partes
That music is being snuffed, and your morning song is
Bleached that beautiful pearly white. It’s not my affair.
I will still be here, hearing when you’re gone. I’ll try not
Too hard to play bitter ex while I watch your death play
Over the organ music. You think a church is a fit venue?
I say skyscraper. Closer to the heavens. You be god,
Act like it. Accept your death in a holy manner. In wealth
And fame and ecstasy. Don’t be embarrassed, let’s gab.
You want a Wedding March for your procession? It’s your
Funeral. Sorry, I meant wedding. What a beautiful day,
isn’t it? The Brunsfelsia was a brutal choice. Yesterday?
They were violet. Rich with no riches. Today? Lavender.
Quickly fading from those terrible bells. And Tomorrow?
Oh, she’s coming, get ready. Here comes the bride,
All dressed in white–Wait. How did Lohengrin end again?
Oh, here she comes. Oh, those terrible bells are back and
They’re drowning the– They’re drowning
Morning song– I– Cheers—
Aude Bourgine is just doing her part to make more people aware of ocean-related climate change with her incredible art. After I decided to take inspiration from her and look at her pieces, I formed a story among four subjects, including Humanity itself. I found Gaia's voice really easily and her sympathy, anger, and sadness all fun to play with. We don't get the voice of Mutation in the poem; they are just an object of Gaia's frustration, which was another fun decision to only really humanize Gaia and Humanity as nuanced actors, and Mutation as almost not even real. Bourgine not only created sculptures, but she also embodied the greatness and terribleness of the actors involved in climate change.