Poetry: cassidy Mcfadzean
THE END OF THE WORLD WAS ANTI-CLIMATIC
Bees waxed apocalyptic
Change came in drones
Cryptocurrency mining hurled the earth’s temp
over its two degrees stronghold
The permafrost thawed Iced Capps capsized
Ancient seeds sprouted primordial strains of disease
We were plagued by ennui
Gave thanks our daily laundry
to the teens practicing necromancy
We battened the escape hatch
Lowered false flags to half mast
Missed the last lifeboats
Setting sail off lost coasts
Cassidy McFadzean's new book is Drolleries (M&S 2019).
art: jessica joy Hiemstra
ARTWORK BY JESSICA JOY HIEMSTRA
POEMS BY KATHRYN MOCKLER
Part of a series of cathartic reactions to Kathryn Mockler's #thisisntaconversation poems: searing, pithy, moving and funny snippets of writing that put a finger on our collective nerve around climate crisis. Kathryn and I decided that we wanted to donate 100% of the proceeds from these prints to Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, a registered charity based in Georgina, Ontario. Licensed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Canadian Wildlife Services, SOH serves the GTA and areas throughout the South Central Ontario corridor. Their mandate: to nurture and rehabilitate injured and orphaned native wildlife with the goal of releasing healthy animals back into their natural habitats.
Prints are available for purchase from this series, and 100% of the proceeds go to Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge.
Jessica Joy Hiemstra likes what Paul Klee once said about art – that one eye sees, the other feels. Jessica works in a variety of mediums on many kinds of surfaces - from watercolour and thread on paper to acrylic on acetate to plastic bags sewn into canvas. Jessica’s also a poet and designer. One of the things people often ask Jessica is “what’s the difference between all the things you do?” Jessica doesn’t distinguish much between her mediums. She just chooses the best medium for exploring whichever question, concern or exaltation is most pressing to her in the moment - from delight in the body to sorrow and anger at how poorly we care for our world and each other. Sometimes she uses words, sometimes pencil, sometimes paint. A selection of Jessica’s work is available as limited, signed prints in Jessica’s online shop.
Kathryn Mockler is the author of four books of poetry and six short films. She is the Editor of Watch Your Head, Canada Editor of Joyland Magazine, Publisher of The Rusty Toque from 2011-2017, and she teaches creative writing at Western University. She has a poetry chapbook written in collaboration with Gary Barwin forthcoming from Knife | Fork | Book (2020) and her debut collection of stories forthcoming from Book*hug (2121). She is working on a TV series pilot called Yardbird.
Poetry: Nisa Malli
PRAYER FOR HOMESICKNESS
We brought tetrapacks
of scents so our children
would know the smell
of summer rain
on earth, video to show them
what life looked like before
and after the heat boiled
the rivers and soil was never
truly damp. In gravity
just loose enough to trip us,
our children lost their parents’
hooked-necked gait, their fixed
hip-flexors, their fixation
on shielding themselves
from the sun. They grew
leggy and light-kneed in this light
world, grew out of their
hand-me-down flight-suits. In their new
home, where there is no
way back, we wanted them
to know what it means to come
from and to a place.
WE SPREAD OUR MILITARY MISSION
in a thin serum of science, sent
our soldiers into the desert
with dictionaries, our exobiologists
armoured in exoskeletons. In movies,
first contact is almost always
a surprise: the alien
among us, unveiled by inhuman
behaviour; the ship shimmering
into rush hour. Ours had the formality
of a late-collapse climate
summit: everyone avowing commitment
to shared cause and collective
consternation, the real debate
ducked into side rooms and under-
mined by ceremony. All the safety
protocol of first dates or hiking
in bear country: begin
in daylight, in public, pull rank
on the audience of predators pulling
their tongues out in hunger.
Nisa Malli is a writer and researcher, born in Winnipeg and currently living in Toronto. She holds a BFA in Writing from the University of Victoria and has completed residencies at the Banff Centre and Artscape Gibraltar Point. Her first chapbook, Remitting, was published by Baseline Press in 2019.
© Copyright 2023 | Watch Your Head
Sign up for our Newsletter
Buy our print anthology Watch Your Head: Writers & Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis (Coach House Books, 2020).