Monday, September 21, 2020

Big Oil

I am participating in EthicalELA's September 5-Day Open Write

Today's poetry challenge is by Denise Krebs, who prompts us to find a news article that resonates and to try to make sense of the content through poetry.

The news source of my poem is an NPR article on how plastic is not really recyclable.

I wrote an acrostic.

Damning details of deception by Big Oil and Gas.

Unsuspecting consumers convinced:

Plastic is recyclable.

Lies ongoing, more than 30 years now.

Internal documents by industry indicate infeasibility of recycling

Cheaper and easier to make new plastic out of oil

Image of recyclable plastic purposefully promoted for enormous profit

Tempting consumers to buy more, while plastic litter languishes in landfills

Yogurt tubs, water bottles, milk jugs, bags, containers, packaging, take out . . . .

I received these comments on the Ethical ELA website:

Gracie Eggleston

Maureen, what a creative approach to the prompt! It has been so long since I have seen a poem in acrostic form. The word you chose, duplicity’ is so powerful in connection with your article. Thank you for sharing 🙂

Denise Hill

There is so much to rant and rail against in this discovery, seeing it condensed here does nothing to stem the anger I feel in reading it. Love the term Duplicity and format, helping to keep the messaging focused. This alliteration is powerful: “litter languishes in landfills.” I feel like we are ALL languishing in one giant landfill of lies. The last line ending on “take out…” reminds me of “take out the trash” but also how we have all been “taken out” by this mess. Oh, how to reverse this. What now? A great piece to both reflect and force forward thinking.

Glenda M. Funk

An acrostic is perfect for your poem. There’s an environmentalist (forgot his name) who said nearly twenty years ago we recycle “diddly point squat.” I shared a video of him w/ students many times, and every time a kid wanted to write a paper on recycling or offer recycling as a solution for an environmental problem I pushed back and made them learn about the reality of recycling. Truth is much recycling produces toxins and waste that leach into the environment. The only way to deal w/ our plastic problem is to stop using plastics. Anyway, Ted Talk over. I love your poem. Thank you.


gayle sands

Maureen—this is great! It should be shared with every science class across the land. Duplicity. We have all been duped…

Jamie Langley

Love the acrostic; well chosen words define the word along the margin. Sharp and clever. Tone is powerful thanks to well chosen words. Focus narrows.

Denise Krebs

Oh, Maureen,
What a powerful acrostic and strong word you chose. You riled us up with your beautiful poem of this news story. Thank you for shedding light on it.

As LLP said in her poem today, we are in a “gutter of greed” thanks to systems like big oil and all the ties with government. How many of us would have to refuse their plastics and demand more plant protein plastics?

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