Listen to Your Mother–dVerse Poetics

Photo: Salton Sea Wikipedia Commons Labeled for non-commercial use.

Photo: Salton Sea
Wikipedia Commons
Labeled for non-commercial use.

Listen to Your Mother

I smell the stench before I reach the shore—the scent of loss, of greed. Death surrounds me, enfolds me in his unrelenting grip. It might be too late. Can we reverse what we have done?

Corpses of silver-bodied tilapia gleam deceptively on the shore. Decomposition ruthlessly consumes the beached and poisoned fish, while inclement weather erodes abandoned buildings. No tourist haven, here—rather a harbinger of destruction, consuming dreams.

light dances silver

still waters, beds of decay

memento mori


The Salton Sea, in the deep Southern California desert, occurs naturally when the waters of the Colorado River rise, periodically. Years ago, human intervention created a man-made lake for the purpose of building up agricultural production. In 1905, an investment group jumped aboard with the purpose of created a tourist attraction. Without going into detail, interfering the natural course of things, messing with Mother Nature, has proved to be a disaster to the ecology because of unstable water supplies and changing salinity. Many legislative proposals, it seems, are ever before the California Assembly in an attempt to save it. This is an example of what happens when we don’t listen to our Mother.

I’m linking this haibun to dVerse Poetics. The prompt asks us to write ecopoetry. The doors to the pub will open Tuesday, 12 Noon, EST. Please join us.

Photo: slworking2 Labeled for non-commercial reuse.

Photo: slworking2
Labeled for non-commercial reuse.



35 thoughts on “Listen to Your Mother–dVerse Poetics

  1. 5h2o says:

    Very nice. And evocative.


  2. You capture the beauty and ugliness of nature–there is both and you make us see, smell, know it.


  3. thefeatheredsleep says:

    As others have said, this provoked a lot of thoughts for me, I wish I could say that better, but guess what? You already did! Your writing cuts to the purpose of things I love that.


  4. vbholmes says:

    “No tourist haven, here—rather a harbinger of destruction, consuming dreams” Your photographs underline your ominous words.


  5. Sumana Roy says:

    it’s strange that so much damage has been done still there’s not much awareness…a thought provoking haibun…


  6. sreejaharikrishnan says:

    It’s really hard to see such things…greed will destroy everything…

    Very thoughtful and beautifully written…!


  7. A haibun is a good way to express this particular ecological disaster. I must try it as there was a volcanic lake in the Azores that had become so poisonous due to various man made factors. And the knowledge has been there to avoid it.


  8. You’ve brought to light an important topic and your description in the closing haiku is so effective.


  9. I enjoyed the haibun, and can easily relate to the story that inspired you. So many ecosystems are irreversibly, and wrongly changed by humans!


  10. LoobyLoo says:

    A stark reminder of what is to come if we don’t act soon, and so eloquently written. Excellent.


  11. Your story made me think about the dust bowl


  12. kim881 says:

    I like the way your haibun contrasts the beauty of the lake with the horror on the shore – the haiku sums it up wonderfully.


  13. Kathy Reed says:

    Great haibun about the ugliness and starkness of death, the waste we humans are in the habit of creating and not cleaning up, with no real plan for the future. It’s a good question and scientists must know by now if there is enough time and technology to reverse the damage..I hope we all get instructions on how to do our part …


  14. Kate Mia says:

    Dead zones of oceans..
    bays.. inlets..
    where the
    dead sea goes
    to places only
    living before..
    fish feel
    the price
    for this..
    remains left
    on shore lines
    of hate and
    for the
    of Nature..:)


  15. Bodhirose says:

    What a shame that we have to wait for legislation in order to save what is left of our depleted wildlife. No, we humans can’t just do the right thing, we have to have a law passed that mandates we do instead.


  16. Bryan Ens says:

    The haiku reads one way if read by itself, but has a very different feel when taken in context with the rest of the haibun. Nicely done.


  17. Suzanne says:

    What a tragic event you recount here. Breathtakingly written in its intensity.


  18. Myrna says:

    So sad. We must start listerning to our mother. I am grateful to you for caring, for writing about this in such a sensitive way. I hope something can still be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. flower girl says:

    Perfect turn. Excellent haiku.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Candy says:

    we must always hope – hope that others are also listening to our Mother

    Liked by 1 person

  21. whimsygizmo says:

    “the scent of loss, of greed” — perfect statement, this. I can smell it, too. Wonderful piece about a terrible tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Grace says:

    What a tragedy to witness and see the devastation to the animals and its surroundings ~ The haiku shimmers the bed of decay powerfully ~ I fear the effects are irreversible, sadly ~

    Liked by 1 person

  23. kanzensakura says:

    Super haibun and the haiku is perfect. I remember my grandfather telling me of how the neighborhood was where I grew up and when he was a boy. More trees, beavers on one of a pond, thick with deer. When I came along, the pond was gone, filled in, and the beavers – gone. No deer in sight, fewer trees. Every generation of us humans seem to wreak some kind of havoc – killing off the buffalo, deforesting the trees. It is said when this country was first explored, the trees were so thick, squirrels could go from coast to coast and never have to touch the ground. We humans are a plague.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    Such a wise & profound verse 🙂


  25. And the poison spreads to wildlife who eat them, too…..I have been watching this my whole life, and what scares me most is awareness grows so slowly and taking action takes too long. I fear for the young.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Mary says:

    I agree with Glenn. There really are things of nature that this present generation will not see. I do wonder, however, if our grandparents could have said the same, as I imagine the world was even more pristine then. And perhaps the children of today will also think this about the world they leave to their children. Sad, I think, that humans hurt “Mother Nature” more than help — year after year after year.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Glenn Buttkus says:

    In many ways, what we boomers are witnessing happening to our planet is the greatest tragedy of our life; for we remember a more pristine environment; some our youth has never experienced.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I think that disasters, and how beautiful the word of death can be… it goes under you skin, and permeates you… a lot like that smell we see and understand what we are doing… We need to remember that also humans die… memento mori…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I thought twice about clicking “like” – but that’s for your caring concern. To perdition with the greed and its results.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. scillagrace says:

    Very thought provoking – as ecopoetry should be!

    Liked by 1 person

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