Letter to the Earth in a Time of Crisis by Ashraf Fayadh
I know that you don’t understand the language that I speak,
Nor my hopeful efforts to make you read and understand my letter,
And I really envy you for that.
In fact, you are not even interested in such a letter,
From a miserable creature like me,
Who has had enough of his existence on your surface.
But you have no other choice.
Well, I will write this letter anyway,
Maybe just to complain about everything that happens on your surface,
Based on a mutual feeling that I believe we both have,
That we are not happy about what we see and especially what has been done by my kind,
The ones that believe that they don’t even belong to you,
That they just landed from somewhere in the sky,
Just another illusion,
A lie like the other lies that their pathetic, sick minds believe.
You are incredibly beautiful,
There is nothing to match your beauty,
Not in the limited range of our realization, our limited knowledge,
Not in what we have seen so far on the other planets that we have discovered.
There is no match to your charm and your temptation,
The colors of your sky,
Your seas and oceans,
Your forests and rivers,
The creatures on your surface,
All the harsh beauty that is ruled by a powerful chaos.
Let me tell you a small secret,
I am not amazed, nor surprised by your discipline that comes only from spinning around yourself and your master, the sun.
I am just amazed by your ability to survive everything that has happened to you,
Starting from a small explosion that brought the first carbon atom to your still, cold air,
The carbon that is the genius director of your endless epic.
You know very well what happened then and no one else does.
You are the genius planner,
Totally unique and very beautiful.
This beauty carries all the harshness, pain and suffering,
Carries all the conflicts between all the creatures that live in you,
And of course all the battles that you have every second to survive this endless futile universe,
As a small luminary that barely can be seen.
You are not innocent. You are completely guilty.
And you always find a way to achieve a deadly revenge on your miserable children,
When they go too far hurting you and consuming your precious resources,
When they tried to rig the system that took you millions of years and huge efforts to build,
Using your simplest systems to accomplish that revenge
I am writing this letter as one of the last generations who will live this era
An era that is full of stories and changes.
I am going to leave one day or turn into another existence,
Some carbon atoms maybe.
I’m going to disappear and melt into elements that you will assume in the next million years,
And I am going to give you a warm farewell in your current status,
Wishing you better luck in your next adventures with the universe,
After you are done with being a hot planet completely covered with salted water, cement and steel,
That invaded you in such a brutal, ugly way,
And that will last for a long time as a witness on this stage.
I think it could be the worst thing that ever happened in your long history,
Without even knowing who should apologise for what he has done to the other.
Your loving son,
GLOBAL POETRY PATCHWORK PROJECT second edition 2021
Call for participation
Rucksack, at Global Poetry Patchwork is an international art installation project. It consists of two macro-works: an installation featuring a large bag, the Rucksack, made of dried tea bags collected by the participants and an exhibition of short poems written by poets from all over the world. A video loop installation provides the public with the opportunity to listen to the voices of the poets reciting in their mother tongues. The installation currently is on show at the Il Piccolo Museo della Poesia Chiesa di San Cristoforo, in Piacenza, Italy. In 2021 it will be shown in other countries like Macedonia, Ireland, and India.
The work brings together a great number of people, places, visions, languages, emphasizing the value of closeness, so significant in this historical moment marked by distance and confinement, by the acute precariousness of the human network.
WHY TEA? WHY POETRY?
Tea bags have a long history dating back to the eighteenth century, when the Chinese started sewing small square bags to better preserve the aroma of the different teas. Tea bags continue to be one of the smallest containers that we use and find in every home. Carrier bags were among the first tools used by women and men to carry objects and memories. Our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, but actually gatherers were predominant, given that 80% of their food came from collecting seeds, roots, fruits in nets, bags and in any type of light container. Bags were important tools for transporting goods, yesterday just like today, as we can see bags being used as shopping containers in the supermarkets. This is why we decided to place the tea bag at the center of attention, as the heart of a cultural meeting, and the Rucksack as a trace of our bond with nature and migration.
However, we cannot but wonder why are depiction of great hunting scenes predominant on the walls of caves rather than people busy harvesting and carrying bags to collect food? This question also occurred to Ursula K. Le Guin, a science fiction writer who wrote the so-called Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, based on the Carrier Bag Theory of Human Evolution by anthropologist Elizabeth Fisher. Le Guin noted that it is difficult to tell a story about how seeds are extracted from the peel, day after day in the same way. Hunting, on the other hand, is a real adventure, full of dangers and surprises, its final apotheosis being the killing, when a huge mammoth, for example, falls to the ground. This is material for an action story and it is what our ancestors probably told each other sitting around the fire. But also, tragically, it marks the beginning of the normalization of violence and of a narrative focused on it. The act of gathering, on the other hand, had little narrative potential; at best it was suitable for poetry dealing with the world at the margins, that few cares about. However, on closer inspection, poetry tells us about a different look at the world, of an alternative to the monopoly generated by a single story. This is the reason why the project includes the Rucksack made with recycled tea bags, a collection of short poems by the participants and an audio loop.
The Poetryismypassion initiative is curated by Antje Stehn (Germany), Mamta Sagar (India), Viviana Fiorentino (Ireland) and Igor Igor Pop Trajkov, Violeta Kalikij and Daniela Andonovska-Trajkovska (Macedonia)
The project takes place in collaboration with:
Little Museum of Poetry Chiesa di San Cristoforo in Piacenza,
La macchina sognante(Italy)
The Dreaming Machine (US)
Letters with Wings (Ireland)
Time of the poet Republic (Zimbabwe)
How to participate:
Send within 20.12.2020 to Antje Stehn per mail: email@example.com
- a short poem (5-10 lines) in your language of origin about one of the subjects the project is talking about ( Distance- proximity, crossing borders, — immigration, global circulation of goods – tea is all over the world, gender problems, ( carrier bag – hunting weapons) ….. and finally, recycling, reusing goods…. whatever comes into your mind in free association?)
- A very short creative Biography (to be published under the poem)
- A creative photo made with used teabags (For publication on FB)
- A video, reading the poem in your mother language, send this on WhatsApp 00393284016107
- Facultative: If you use teabags or know people who use them, and have access to post office, send used, dried teabags within March 2021 to the following address:
Via Juvara 12,
Anyone can participate in the project. Participation is free of charge and does not involve any obligation. The work should document the importance of cultural, linguistical diversity. The rights to your poem remain entirely with the respective author.
The Rucksack Project is a globally inclusive project based exclusively on the subject matter proposed to interested poets worldwide. The participating poets have no individual responsibility for the choices made by the Project organizers. The project has chosen to disregard political considerations or conflicts based on the poets’ origins, giving priority to the importance of poetry as a primary symbol of freedom of expression.
Best regards from PoetryismyPassion and the
Antje Stehn (Germany),Mamta Sagar (India), Viviana Fiorentino, Letters with Wings (Ireland), Igor Igor Pop Trajkov, Violeta Kalikij, P.I.House of Culture “Kocho Racin”, Daniela Andonovska-Trajkovska ,Magazine Rust (Macedonia)