Poetry is a great way to engage students in the creative writing process. However they take some time to actually bring into being. Each one is like an art piece, it has to spend some time in transit, from mind to paper. There is no rushing art or the creative process.
Salvador Dali is a surrealist painter from the early-mid 20th century. Since he painted so often in the surrealist style (of which he is probably the most popular contributor) a lot of his pieces are rather strange and slightly macabre. I chose to view several of his pieces through a climate change lense. Or rather, to imagine that his paintings are a climate changed reality. Almost a look into the art of a future where climate change has drastically changed the landscape and the human experience.

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The Anthropomorphic Cabinet” by Dali, 1936

Air unbreathableLungs scratch against each otherAkin to stuck drawers,Airborne pollutantsWiden fissures inside usSmoggy atmosphere,My body is notA storage vessel for yourForgettable toxic waste
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Unfortunately, today is no longer that day
There was a day that I once knew.
It was filled with green and laughter too.
The birds would sing and the grass would sway.
Unfortunately, today is no longer that day.

You could relax outside and read a book.
Maybe find a comfy place to nap if that was what it took.
Harmony and beauty were every which way.
Unfortunately, today is no longer that day.

Today we see nothing but sorrow.
Pain and anguish are what we look for in tomorrow.
People cry out, but there is no help in sight.
For today we repay for years of un-right.

We did this to ourselves for now we see.
This could have been avoided; it was up to you and me.
The days where people ruled and the grass was clear.
Unfortunately, today is no longer that day; I’m so sorry my dear.


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Melting Away
As the temperatures rise and the sea levels fall.
We begin to realize all the faults we’re made of.
A large world, hurt by people so small.
We will turn on each other, there will be no love.

The Earth is not as strong as we thought.
The damage is done, the heat is too strong.
Money was all that mattered, but lives can’t be bought.
We thought we were invincible, but that idea is long gone.

It pains me to say, that we are only to blame.
For, we did not care for the things we need today.
Some remember when the final day came.
But most of us had to hear about it in another way.

We too shall melt into one.
As death has power, and the living none.
When the Earth cannot support the damage we’ve done.
That is the day when we melt into the Sun.


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It’s In Our Hands
The time is now, to take action as needed.
For we belong to the earth, and it’s gotten quite hot-headed.
We’ve done the damage, but there may still be time.
To rally together and truly save mankind.

Don’t just sit there, get up and act!
The Earth is falling apart, and we too shall crack.
Be part of the revolution, so one day you can take your bow.
You’ll want to say that you helped somehow.

The changes are happening, faster still.
Sadly, our society seems to only focus on the bill.
We created this mess, let’s clean it up.
Before it’s too late, and all we can say is “sup.”

Our hands made these mistakes, we must find a cure.
Our hands need to fix this; they say that’s a boar.
Our hands hold the key to everything we need.
Our hands can be the tools to plant the first seed.


by Clara Peeters
by Emma Garber