Helen Moore’s eco-poetry

I had the pleasure last week of attending the launch up in London of the debut book by young eco-poet Helen Moore.

It’s called Hedge Fund & other living margins and, as you can probably tell from the title, it combines a critique of our current industrial/money system with a celebration of the real life that it is smothering and choking to death.

The impressive title poem does this in a very direct, and effective, way by alternating sparking descriptions of glorious nature with a flatter italicised voice describing the parallel death-world of finance.

The theme is also taken up in ‘capitalism, a Sonnet’, another of the poems that Helen performed on the night:

chemical Macaque      glaxosmithkline
roche       trepanned-brain Baboon

max factor eyes burning Cat      l’oreal
Rabbit      (the devil wears perfume)

o,dear        easyjet      ryanair
melting Reindeer, Polar Bear

but a bargain for mcdonalds‑
Earth’s rainforests        slashed

As Asians sweat for adidas
nike       the evil empire’s goddess

o, bless all ecocidal patriarchs‑so smart
in suits         armani uniforms

a cocktail of intellect and greed
hellish stuff        they puppet us to need

Helen clearly has no illusions as to the scale of the threat to our living planet posed by ‘The Cancer’ that is our civilization (as expressed in a piece of that name), and there is a certain inevitable sense of sadness running through her poetry – notably in ‘The Fallen’, which pays tribute to nine native species of British wildflower that have died out in recent years.

But she refuses to give way to despair and surging up through her carefully chosen words is a powerful message of hope drawn from the energy of life itself.

This is beautifully presented in ‘Pantoum on Planting Seeds’:

How I misjudge these smallest things‑
dull and dry as peppercorns,
when in my palm I hold
a potency waiting to be sown.

Dull and dry as peppercorns
and yet in dormancy they breathe,
potency waiting to unfold,
sensing fertile sun and soil.

And yet in dormancy they breathe
and slowly awaken‑
sensing fertile sun and soil‑
to rise with levity and purpose.

Slowly I awaken
to these living beings I hold;
seeking levity and purpose
they whisper, electric with potential.

Hedge Fund & other living margins by Helen Moore is published by Shearsman Books at £8.95. For details go to http://www.shearsman.com/pages/books/catalog/2012/moore.html
About Paul Cudenec 136 Articles
Paul Cudenec is the author of The Anarchist Revelation; Antibodies, Anarchangels & Other Essays; The Stifled Soul of Humankind; Forms of Freedom; The Fakir of Florence and Nature, Essence and Anarchy and The Green One. All of these have been published by Winter Oak Press - www.winteroak.org.uk. He is also a member of Shoal Collective, a cooperative of independent writers and researchers, writing for social justice and a world beyond capitalism.

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