and Prose by JJ Johnson
Chapter 6: Mother Nature's Sun
Remember the saying “you can’t see the forest for the trees”? Now
the forest just ain’t there to see. It has become clearer than the sky that
the world environment is going through serious changes very quickly. Global
warming is the most dangerous of these, but it is not alone. For more than one
hundred years, humans have been putting the world through change after dramatic
change without doing nearly enough to fix the problems we have created or
replace the resources we have used. Even the trees that have been planted to
replace the ones we cut down are not plentiful enough.
of the recycling efforts that have been undertaken are too little, too late. The
pollution of our fresh water sources from acid rain and dumping of chemicals and
sewage has made it dangerous to drink or eat fish from. The population of fish
and other sea creatures we consume has declined as well. Even flooding, which
used to be more of a danger for drowning, is now more of a biological hazard as
waters wash through cities that have all sorts of hazardous materials in them,
not to mention what’s lurking in the dumps.
recall talking about these issues in school when I was growing up. We knew in
the early 70’s that we were causing environmental problems, but no one seemed
worried then, they just said nature would find a way to repair itself. Well, it
just might be true, once the environment can no longer support human life, we
will die off and nature will eventually get back on course. Chances are, unless
we have colonies on the Moon and Mars, Mother Nature won’t have to worry about
us messing up her world ever again.
was reminded of this after watching the move “The Day After Tomorrow” and
heard skeptics say that those scenarios would never actually happen, or they
were so many years away that we would have plenty of time to fix the
environment. But now, here we are, just a couple of years later and already
seeing extreme weather changes all over the world. But still, people called it
fiction. Now, Al Gore is telling it like it is in the film, “An Inconvenient
Truth”. No longer science fiction, the facts are presented for all to see, yet
some are still in denial. It makes me wonder what their agenda is.
is rare when I feel that a movie is truly a “must see movie”, but “An
Inconvenient Truth” is an absolute, gotta see it bring everyone you think
won’t want to see it. Believe me, they are dying to see this movie and they
don’t even know it.
Something I find ironic is that those people who consider themselves
conservative seem to be the least conservative when it comes to the environment.
Why are progressives the ones who are trying to preserve the environment, as
this is the group that strives for change? It appears to me that those who call
themselves conservative are only interested in maintaining the status quo when
it comes to religious and financial matters, but when it comes to human rights
and the environment, not only do they not want to save them, but would rather
ignore and waste them.
There seems to be no holding them back when human lives or natural
resources can be used for a profit. They don’t care about the effects that
environmental death will have on humans because they don’t care about human
beings either. The air, land and water don’t matter any more than poor people
and “un-Americans”, it’s all about having more money and gaining more
power. Future generations don’t matter, it’s about the here and now. They
won’t be around when their offspring are dying from the cesspool of death and
decay they left behind, so they have adopted a “Take the money and run”
attitude. And these people were elected to run America, run it right into the
Check the record of the Bush administration for the proof. They have been
hacking away at nearly every environmental law and standard since taking power.
I can’t list them here, but it is as simple as going to a search engine on the
internet and typing in “Bush’s environmental record”, or “report
card”. All sorts of news articles and scientific reports will show up. Take
the time to read. A little bit of research goes a long way. I wonder how
different the world would be if the election results in Florida had been
accurately counted in 2000. I wonder how different the world will be in 20 years
if we don’t do something to stop global warming. Perhaps the one creature that
can survive a nukuler, er-ah, I mean, nuclear blast will be the last living
thing on Earth.
On a positive note, after moving to California I heard about the “Spare the Air Day” program. When smog and temperature levels are high and create unhealthy levels of ozone, they ask people to cut back on fuel consumption and take mass transit for FREE. It may not seem like a lot to those outside California, but if you ever drive here and see how many cars are on the road, it truly does help.
He Who Laughs Last Will Be A Fertile, Mutant Cockroach
When I look up in the air
I can see the wind blowing
I can see the trees dying
From the tears the sky is crying
It'll take much more than care
To ease Mother Nature's pain
To wash acid out of rain
Oil is a quiet hurricane
Show them all the evidence
But they won't believe their eyes
Even now they still deny
Water is not all that clouds the sky
When a doughnuts hole is gone
There is nothing left to eat
When ozone’s hole is complete
There won't be anything but heat
That's no way to heat our home
We need an alternative
And more initiative
The bottom line is that we live
If we murder Mother Earth
Count now what your money won't be worth
No one will laugh, no one will wear the final smile
There will be no one to put on trial
Created On: 03/03/1990
I wrote the poem “Sleep” for my friend and long time obsession, Lisa,
after visiting her one night with my friend Nate. We were supposed to be going
to a Pink Floyd concert at Giant Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands, however,
due to unforeseen circumstances we had some last minute changes of plan and
weren’t able to go to the concert. But since we were already in New Jersey, I
decided to give Lisa a call and see what she was up to. We wound up meeting at a
rest area in Jersey and then drove into New York City to go out and have fun.
did indeed have fun and it turned into a very late night of perusing the shops
and eating something forgettable at an all-night diner. While we were at the
diner, Lisa was drinking a demitasse when she asked me to write her a poem about
nature. She told me she had to write one for her college English class but she
couldn’t come up with anything. It didn’t take any arm twisting on her part
to get me to agree, even if it was technically cheating. Lisa was the perfect
muse for me! A large portion of my next book will include most of the poems I
wrote for her during my obsessive years.
Since it was October, I wrote about the Fall as I looked out the window of the car while Nate was driving us up the New York State Thruway back to Schenectady. It was in the very early morning hours after a long night of exploring the city. Being tired from a lack of sleep helped come up with the title as I began thinking about what to write for her. I would have rewritten the Bible for Lisa if she had asked me to. I sure could have used the “A” she got for my poem in my own college grades. Imagine that, the best grade I got in college and I gave it away. I hope I don’t get us in trouble for cheating now.
Sleep (Hiding From The Touch Of Death)
Created On: 10/11/1987
“Leaves” is one of a handful of poems I had lost and forgotten about from a
notebook that got packed away during a move from one apartment to another. I had
to do some editing and rewriting on this one, as it appeared I hadn’t finished
it before the notebook got packed up in a box. At least it wasn’t much more
than a few lines of observations on leaves falling from the tree outside my
window that seemed poetic but disorganized.
Fall is something of a jumbled time of year, so it’s not surprising the poem reflects that. The change from the hot summer to the windy autumn is quite dramatic and makes a mess of everything. It looks really beautiful at first, but once the leaves have changed and start to fall, it’s not only a major chore to shore up the yard, but it seems so much colder after the dog days of August. I am looking forward to the more moderate temperatures in central California.
Created On: 11/08/2003
Womb Crescent Moon
Created On: 04/28/2004
I began writing “Moon & River” in the afternoon before hosting my first open mic poetry reading. A new café in Schenectady was opening that night and I had long been trying to find an appropriate place in town to start up a reading. When I heard, nearly a year before it opened, that a café was coming to the Stockade, I made some inquiries as to who to contact about potentially holding an open mic night in it. As it turned out, the owner, Richard Genest, had previously had a couple of cafes in Albany where poetry readings had been held and was very open to the idea.
So when the day came for the café to open, I was very excited and wanted to write a poem for the grand opening to read that night. I went for a walk in the park by the river and noticed the Moon was out in the daylight and I could see its reflection in the river. I then made a pass through the Stockade on my way home to prepare for the evenings upcoming event.
I started writing “Moon & River” shortly after arriving at home, but it was getting late and I didn’t have time to finish it before I had to leave to start the reading. It wasn’t until I got back home later that night, after the open mic, that I was able to put the finishing touches on the poem. The title of the poem comes from the name of the establishment, The Moon And River Café where I have been enjoying hosting the poetry reading for over two years since its opening on May 1st 2004.
Because I moved to California on July 2nd , I hosted the open mic at the Moon & River Cafe for the last time on the first of July, 2006. The experience of organizing the readings and participating in them has been something I would not have passed up for anything. I have learned a lot from other poets about writing styles, how to present poems from a spoken word perspective, and how much poets appreciate having a venue to breathe a voice into words that might never have been heard. On paper or the internet, writers can only hope someone stops to read their work. But at a poetry reading, the words can be heard to in just the way the poet wants them to be heard. Listeners may still interpret the poem as they wish, but now the nuances of the spoken word can fill their ears with artistic inference that might otherwise have been lost in black and white.
Moon & River
A bright and steamy afternoon
Beside the shady path, I sat to rest my weary legs
As I looked up a lonely glimmer caught my eye
And I thought it odd, mixed in the blue, the moon seemed out of place
Next to the path, the flowing river
Filled the air with the peaceful rush of quiet water
Between the ripples, the pulsating shimmer rolled
While the orb of night tumbled over waves then faded out of sight
Rising from the green of ground
Fading with the Sun, behind my steps, the splashing drowned
By cars, where horses once strode over cobble stones
Along the way are reminder signs of history and bone
These ancient streets exclaim their story
Between the walls of homes much older than old glory
Clouds fill the empty sky, daylight casts a final sliver
Walking home through the Stockade streets, I saw the Moon and River
Created On: 05/01/2004
To view excerpts* from other chapters, click each Chapter Title below
Each Chapter excerpt presented on-line contains two poems and prose from that chapter.*
Information on purchasing this book can be foundbelow the index.
Seeds & Weeds main page: Seeds & Weeds index(click link)
Chapter 1: Pride & Prejudice* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)
1: Pride Is One Seed
2: Seeds & Weeds - (prose)
3: 3 Seeds ** (onmain index page)
4: 4th Independence
5: Matthew 5:5
6: Knot In The Loop
7: Segregation *
8: Separation *
9: Where Will You Aim Your Hate?
10: NYS OCFS Graduation Speech, Parker Training Academy, 12/10/99 *
11: The Boyz At Tryon
Chapter 2: Power & Peace*(click Chapter Title for excerpts*)
12: 1000 Keys *
13: Pay For The War *
14: Like Father, Like Son
15: Pride Blinds Biased Eyes
16: Nation's Pledge
17: Empty Arms And Burning Flags
18: Stars And Stripes
19: There's More Than One Way
20: Rush To Judgment - Judgment To Rush
21: God's Children / One Family We Are
22: Do Not Die For Me
Chapter 3: Faith: Search Within & Beyond* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)
23: Great Unknown *
24: Pass On True Freedom
25: A Question Of Faith
26: Have You Heard?
27: Faith In What I Don't Believe
28: Unwilling To Let Go
29: This Dream I Dreamt Last Night
30: The One On My Shoulder - Never Succumb
31: No End To The Flesh
32: Invisible Light
33: Touch *
Chapter 4: Dysfunctionality & Family* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)
34: Ro-Ro Rows Her Boat *
35: Quarter-Life Crisis
36: The Family Way
37: Within Me - Beyond Me *
38: The Task Undone
39: A Ray Of Sun From A Pot Of Gold
Chapter 5: Introspection* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)
40: Life Is An Ocean *
41: Self Portrait
42: Forgive Not Forget
43: Two Faced
44: Constant & Changing
45: Walls And Bridges
46: Desire To Fly
47: The Man I Am No One Else Knows
48: Blind To The Me Others See
49: Stock Room Blues
50: But Does God Trust in US?
51: Struggle Against Success
52: Every Eden Has It's Apples
53: See Through Inner Eyes
54: I Am
55: Under The Bridge *
Chapter 7: State Of The Artrocity* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)
62: Death Of A Virgin *
63: Artificial Artists (State Of The Art)
64: Artificial Artists (X-Reprise) *
66: Artists Are Lonely
67: Where Is My Muse?
68: Philosophy Therefore Poetry
69: A Test
Chapter 8: Broken Bonds* (click Chapter Title for excerpts*)
70: Drive Home *
71: Even The Best Of Us
72: This Quiet Cemetery
73: A Ghost At My Door
74: Soul Silhouette
75: Where Are You Going? I've Seen Where You've Been! *
76: A Door Too Close To Closed To Adore You
77: At The End Of Every Rainbow
78: Eye Of The Pirate, Heart Of A Thief
79: Sometimes Wishes Come True
80: What Happened To Us?
Chapter 9: Loose Ends*(click Chapter Title for excerpts*)
81: Big Hair
82: Across The Miles
83: Hidden Alterations
84: Unspoken Thirst
85: Daylight’s Darkness
86: Two Color Souls One Color
87: Someone's Drowning In Your Pool *
88: Aisumasen Renee *
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And Weeds is a philosophically
expressive compilation of poetry and prose, offering progressive views on
politics, peace, nature, fate, faith, family, friendship, introspection, and
Publishing of Seeds And Weeds is through BookSurge, an Amazon.com company.
click the cover banner above
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ISBN # 1-4196-3309-0
Copyright © 2006 Joseph F Johnson
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Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth has been nominated for an Oscar award for Best Documentary. Just a few weeks ago, it was reported that scientists now overwhelmingly agree that Global Warming is due to man-made causes. If you have not already seen this film, please purchase a copy, you owe it to yourself!