In this new collection, RAINBOW WEATHER (Poems for Environmental Healing), acclaimed writer and poet John Curl confronts the ever-looming crisis of climate change as a clarion call for action, with poems that provoke and entice the reader to both thought and action in the face of a future that is upon our doorstep.
These poems are songs for the road ahead, as climate change transforms how we live on earth. Today we find ourselves hurled all too soon into a future where all living things must adapt, and human society must change rapidly in order to survive. We have no choice. We must change the ways we live. Through poetry, the art of words, destructive energy can be dispersed and transformed into constructive energy. We’re in a long-term and short-term social and cultural crisis, with the fate of our planet at stake. This is a time for poetry.
People have such a long history of destruction, yet at the same time people have also always risen from the depths of despair, overcome the challenges of their time and reshaped the world. If we go back far enough, we all have ancestors who lived in good, sustainable ways, respectful to their environment and to their neighbors. Only history will know how human society will look when this century is passed. This is a century for poetry.
The climate crisis marks the end of a cycle that began with the industrial revolution. Since every ending also marks a new beginning, here are some capsules of energy to take with you into the new beginning, energy in the form of poems, poems to transform the world by unleashing the power in words.
“In the poem “Making the Invisible Visible” John Curl could be describing the work of poets. It is so much easier to expect the details of the world than to actually see them. The poems in Rainbow Weather challenge the reader to release expectation and received hierarchies and in exchange, to retrieve wonder. Current circumstances being what they are, the treatment for collective malaise is probably complicated, a combination of things with many moving parts, but somewhere in that combination there is certainly space for the calm, understanding observations in this poetry collection. Curl's poems stand with grace, sing with power, and may be part of the cure.” —Kim Shuck, 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco Emerita
“With a single, ancient, unfashionable word, ‘Lo,’ John Curl changes the game plan of the planet: ‘Lo! The circle is drawn around us. / The candle is lit. The power of water enters….’ ‘Now,’ he argues, is ‘the ancient boiling point…now/ the ancient flash point of rebellion.’ These poems are not so much a call to arms as they are a call to thought—and, beyond thought, to action. ‘Every place is the center of the world, / and everywhere is our place of origin.’ At a moment of confusion on all levels, Curl realizes (and makes us realize) that the ancient, despised, mostly ignored art of poetry is the key to recovery. As the Trumperians know, words can shock. Words can heal, too.”— Jack Foley, author of When Sleep Comes: Shillelagh Songs
“John Curl’s passionate, heartfelt poems for the Earth in RAINBOW WEATHER are wake-up calls announcing the environmental atrocities that surround us: clear-cut forests, pollution, radioactive waste, ubiquitous plastic. He doesn’t turn away from any of this, but pleads instead to see everything more clearly: ‘Let the scales / fall from my eyes. / Lift the veil. / Awake, arise!’ And this brings hope, for once the scales and veils are removed, both he and we are bathed in ‘the healing light of reality.’”— Lucille Lang Day, coeditor of Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California
Poetry. Environmental Studies.
John Curl is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Revolutionary Alchemy and Yoga Sutras of Fidel Castro, and has published in numerous anthologies and magazines. His translations of Inca, Maya, and Aztec poets are collected in Ancient American Poets. He is the author of two novels, The Outlaws of Maroon and The Co-op Conspiracy; his historical works include Indigenous Peoples Day and For All the People; Memories of Drop City is his memoir of the 1960s. He represented the USA at the World Poetry Festival in Venezuela. He is a member of the Revolutionary Poets Brigade of San Francisco and co-editor of their anthologies. Jack Hirschman wrote, "John Curl has earned a place among the foremost revolutionary American poets since the end of WW2."