Monday, April 21, 2014

Chat Between Two Poets - Susie Clevenger

Recently, my friends, a poem titled Bewitch the Oppressors, really spoke to me, with its ecologically urgent and environmentally aware message. Our own bright-eyed Susie Clevenger penned it, at her blog Confessions of a Laundry Goddess
I nabbed it for a Poem of the Week, and then we decided it would be interesting to have one of our poet chats about it. Enjoy the poem and the animated short - which is beautiful - and then join us by the fire for our chat.








Luna, bewitch the oppressors
who drench the earth with poison

that stills the bees’ flight
and leaves the garden barren.

Morning has grown silent:
Luna, bewitch the oppressors
pouring death into the wind
to rob honeycombs of gold.

Wildflowers no longer
turn the meadow into a bouquet.
Luna, bewitch the oppressors
who plunder the queen’s kingdom.

Please restore hope of another spring,
another summer, poppies touched
by velvet wings humming the song of life.
Luna, bewitch the oppressors.

©Susie Clevenger 2014



                                         Bee - 3d animated short from Vladimir Loginov on Vimeo.


Sherry: Susie, I love this poem so much! And the beautiful video that accompanies it. Tell us what inspired it.


Luna and Shaman Rabbit
by Toril Fisher


Susie: The poem, Bewitch The Oppressors, was originally sparked by the painting, Luna and Shaman Rabbit by Toril Fisher. Her paintings on the lids of abandoned bee hives are not only beautiful, but make a statement on how humans have lost their connection with nature.

Huge companies now control much of the farmland and production of farming.  Their practice of fertilizing with a 24d herbicide mixture containing 50% Agent Orange is senseless and, in my opinion, amounts to an act of war on all living things. This continued practice is causing the colony collapse of the European honey bee that pollinates many of the agricultural crops worldwide.


an act of war on all living things


Sherry: Agent Orange! I didn't know that is what they used, though I was aware of the decline in bees due to pesticides. This is really criminal. I can't believe it is allowed.

Susie: The word bewitch means to cast a spell on or gain control by magic. Throughout literature, the moon often is given the ability to bewitch. When I did some research I found information on moon planting, planting according to the lunar cycle. It is an ancient practice that is finding a contemporary resurgence. 




Sherry: I have heard of that, too, and of communities such as Findhorn, in Scotland, where the gardens are magical, due to the humans working closely with, and listening to, the nature spirits. I am loving this conversation, Susie!

Susie: Nature is so much wiser than man and, upon seeing the rabbit Shaman in the painting, I thought how appropriate it was this creature of fertility would lift a prayer to the moon asking for humans to realize, if the bees die, so do they.


if the bees die, so do we

Sherry: Humans are taking such a long time to comprehend the magnitude of this truth.

Susie: When I was doing some research for the poem, I felt such grief. I question the sanity of humans, that would poison soil and kill the very thing that insures life is regenerated. 

The lust for money blinds the soul, when it has no concern for the harm it perpetuates. I felt I needed to add my voice to the outcry at this atrocity. Thankfully,  I also found many who are working to educate and petition industry to be more responsible. 

Poetry often draws attention to the world's condition. I find myself writing more often with that thought in mind.

Sherry: Thank you for being that voice, Susie! And for inspiring us to add ours to the conversation.


Kids, Susie has provided links to her interesting sources, for any of you who wish to learn more.

Bewitch The Oppressors

Toril Fisher Art

Moon Planting

Colony Collapse


Many thanks, Susie, for this chat, and for your long-time loyalty to and participation at Poets United. And for your wonderful poetry, which graces our lives and adds depth to our days. Kids, I know you are aware that there are reams of wonderful poems to enjoy in Susie's archives. One could wander happily in there for hours.

Come back and see who we feature next, kids. Who knows? It might be you!


36 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the chat between two poets. It is true that we need bees as bees keep life
    humming. I have enjoyed many of Susie's poems. Thanks ladies for letting me in on
    the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
  2. cool verse susie...and thanks to sherry for pointing it out
    haven't seen susie in a while...

    Poetry often draws attention to the world's condition

    hoe very true...and as ones that notice i would say it our responsibility as poets to draw attention to those things...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brian...I have been writing. I just don't seem to get to all the places on the web I would like to. I keep trying to shine a light on the things I am passionate about.

      Delete
  3. I agree, Brian - Susie's poem speaks to a serious problem, and her research added info I might not otherwise have been aware of. It is hard to remain hopeful , the more we come to know. But I do think adding our poetic voices helps to spread awareness, at least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sherry for inviting me to sit down and chat. It is hard to remain hopeful, but hope we must. It is with hope we step out. I have learned so much in the past few years about living with hope when my personal world has been hit with hard knocks.

      Delete
  4. Amen. AND LOVE THE POEM ANDTHE NEW FORMAT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan...I am so happy to be part of it.

      Delete
  5. a beautiful and strong voice of a poet here Susie....our present time is in need of the voice...thank you Sherry for featuring Susie and her blog...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sumana...I do try and speak out on issues that I feel strongly about.

      Delete
  6. A poem with a strong and important message, Susie. Sherry, really enjoyed the conversation you had with Susie over this poem. It is good sometimes to reflect on the world's condition and also on ways to improve it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a good thing to do- to bring your voice to such a vital issue. Thanks to Susie for this fine poem and may it be so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mary. We just can't sit back and be silent or not try and so what we can to work for change.

      Delete
  8. Lovely conversation in here, so nice to find this morning as I sit at my desk plotting my day. Thank you so much, Susie, for this poem and chat. And you are right, without hope we are truly lost, so we must - as I always say - live in hope!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sherry, thank you so much for asking me to take part in the chat.

      Delete
  9. an appropriate post on Earth Day. a lovely poem and timely message.
    ecosystems can be fragile. it can be like a domino line, one tile falls and the rest follows. :(

    ReplyDelete
  10. I enjoyed your poem, Susan. Great message, form and rhythm. Sherry, thank you for featuring it for us on Earth Day.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful conversation... and your site susie (your works) are just as interesting and filled with excellent pieces of art and words. :-)
    ZQ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I try to communicate visually as well as through my poetry.

      Delete
  12. Informative and extremely scary.

    The small family farms must remain or we will never survive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true Gail. I have such admiration for small family farmers. They are so vital to us.

      Delete
    2. We need a return to the family farm. But factory farming will do all it can to prevent it, sadly. Small farms are the way back to a world more in balance, for humans and animals. And plants and bees, for that matter!

      Delete
  13. Deeply interesting informative and engrossing Chat.Thank you Sherry for such a wonderful knowledgeable conversation. Bees played a part in my life when my son then 8 years old was caught in a disturbed swarm. We lost and found him after 4 hours.Prayers and a miracle saved him. Unforgettable incident.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That must have been truly frightening. Am thankful prayers saved him. A miracle indeed, especially given the length of time from the attack.

      Delete
  14. Intense imagery a reminder of Keats in the poem' words like 'drench' and poison' and 'rob' denote the level of 'treachery and destruction of nature'...very well expressed.Best wishes Dear Poet Susie for more beautiful poetry.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a wonderful exchange of views. A delight to read. Thank you Susie and Sherry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jo-anna. Sherry is the best when it comes to an interview.

      Delete
    2. It is truly my pleasure, my friends. These chats are a kind of cool new direction. I am enjoying them very much!! And of course this topic is so close to my heart.

      Delete
  16. A very beautiful poem, which at the same time perfectly expresses the seriousness of the situation. I enjoyed the chat too, which lent added depth to the whole thing. I too was unaware that Agent Orange was being used, though I knew the pesticide was destroying bees. Yes, appalling greed and insanity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rosemary. The more I researched the topic the scarier I found it. So thankful I found people who are working to bring change and hope the bees can be saved.

      Delete
  17. Thanks for sharing Susie's lovely poem and for spreading awareness on this issue. What a wonderful chat. Great job, ladies! :)

    ReplyDelete