At the turn of the last century
the salt pans surrounding the island of Koper
This allowed for the expansion of the city
the expansion of industry and, more recently
many new shopping malls.
Koper has a historic Venetian old town centre
some pleasant parks
and many ugly cathedrals of commercialism
around the outskirts.
From some unnamed industrial source,
pollutants are sluiced into the sea
turning it orange.
But in spite of all of this,
nature still has its place:
there’s a wetland sanctuary in the belt of drained-swamp
around the city.
Egrets mate and swallows migrate to meet here.
In the sewers, water voles have found a
comfortable dwelling place.
They like to mark their territory with a shit-filled lake
not unlike politicians.
All is not lost
but to make progress
we need to get our shit together:
brown into green needs to happen.
© Experimentsinfiction 2021, All Rights Reserved
Written for earthweal
For this week’s earthweal challenge, Brendan has asked us to ‘celebrate Earth Day (22 April) with local affirmations of restoring our Earth.‘
I’ll try to write a specific poem for earth day. I did want to be positive in writing this, as Brendan so rightly points out in his essay, defeatism is one of the best weapons of climate-destroyers:
‘Inactivists know that if people believe there is nothing you can do, they are led down a path of disengagement. They unwittingly do the bidding of fossil fuel interests by giving up.’
I have certainly not given up, but I am still very upset about the orange algal blooms I witnessed in the Adriatic sea last week. Slovenia is a country with some great green credentials: a native population of both wolves and bears, over 60% forest cover, surviving virgin woodlands, and many designated nature reserves, such as Koper’s wetland sanctuary. But next door to it you find huge concrete car parks and a ridiculous amount of shopping malls. It’s very easy to see the dividing line between the ‘cares’ and the ‘care nots.’
I was pleased to see the water voles had found a home in the sewer pipes near the Bonifika arena, although it’s true they have a strange way of marking their territory:
‘Adult water voles each have their own territories, which they mark with fecal latrines located either near the nest, burrow and favoured water’s edge platforms where voles leave or enter the water.’ (source: Wikipedia.)