This is How to Kill a Polar Bear

  after M. O.


First, perform the "Human" acts twenty-four/seven.
Skyrocket excess emitted pleasure.
Settle down. Turn on the TV.
Watch, watch, watch
A white-fur-coated skin,
Poor image of an Arctic king,
Trying to survive on the melting ice floes.

Lastly, do "nothing."



- ksm / 2015


The poem This is How to Kill a Polar Bear is a sarcastic commentary based on the issue of "Polar Bears extinction" as succinctly layered by Mary Oliver in her poem Watching a Documentary about Polar Bears Trying to Survive on the Melting Ice Floes, published in Red Bird: Poems under Beacon Press, 2008. As opposed to Oliver's optimistic voice, the above poem aims to exhibit same "wake-up call" to readers using a rather pessimistic approach in addressing the issue.

This is How to Kill a Polar Bear is a re-work from the original version Evening News: This is How to Kill a Polar Bear, first published in March 2013, and has been featured at Poets United: I Wish I'd Written This by Rosemary Nissen-Wade.


20 comments:

  1. Hello Kelvin,

    As always... remarkable work! :)

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  2. Oh Kelvin.. the last line is the perfect one to the current state of human souls doing all the wrong thing without even feeling anything...

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  3. I too find the closing line perfect and a great wake up call. We sympathize but often only theoretically. It is fine to be against climate change, as long as it does not involve us.

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  4. can be applied to many other things too.

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  5. Whether it's polar bears or other destructive tragedies, the result, unfortunately, is the same, since we, as a human race, choose to 'do nothing'. Your last line, echoes tones of direction, where the need to abide by such rules, is scary, in itself.

    Poppy

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  6. What a powerful poem, Kelvin. We have been 'watching' this problem (on television!) for way too long....and doing nothing. Humans really need to do better than this and save the polar bears.

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  7. well done; good write Kevin
    thanks for stopping over at my blog today

    much love...

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  8. Do nothing, that sums it all ~ That's a powerful message Kelvin ~

    Hope you are well ~

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  9. Oh, wow. I went to read Mary's poem, which just totally slays me - "perhaps God's plan was that we would do better?" That just says it all. Holy crap! I love the succinctness of your poem, as well. Just putting polar bear and melting ice in a sentence says it all, how urgent and desperate the situation is. A wake up call indeed.

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  10. Do nothing - sad reality and I am afraid it will catch up with the world at some point and then there will be no turning back.

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  11. I think it is time to shake people up as we 'do nothing' and the world moves on and another species is gone....I am glad for your more sarcastic commentary.

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  12. Zoning out on TV can definitely keep us doing nothing. Great spin on Mary Oliver's work, Kelvin.

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  13. worst thing is to pretend that everything is fine. Well thought commentary-like poetry Kevin

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  14. lashing last line is indeed a wake up call....

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  15. What an amazing piece of social commentary - Turn on the TV sums up much which is 'wrong' with the world!

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  16. Kelvin,

    This poem sums up our instant reaction to so many sad and dreadful issues, which 'move us,' but only for a fleeting moment..So easy to lose the impact of that first instant...Human suffering, seals, bird life, whaling etc..

    Eileen

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  17. A wake-up call is definitely needed!! Your poem is indeed powerful, Kelvin. I find that more often than not, the TV is the reason we do nothing.

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  18. Interesting... you are on the right page :-)
    ZQ

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  19. Mary Oliver is one of my favorite poets. You did well echoing her voice & style. That last line "do nothing" sums it all, as indifference unfortunately is the root of the problem. Thanks for bringing it to awareness. We must save the polar bears! :)

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Thanks for the kind words!

- kelvin s.m.