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Contributing Creators Poetry ROOTS - MAR/APR 2019

The Broken Planet

Written by Sayyada Khaki

Sayyada Khaki (15) was born and raised in Moshi, Tanzania. This poem was originally written for a school project on human beings’ parasitic relationship with the world.

There once was a very lonely town,
With people no longer around.
I make it sound so sad,
But in reality, there’s nothing bad.
This is the story of the place,
That was called Balkanase.

Before the people left,
There was theft, people were stressed and depressed.
All the animals were sad,
Their hearts felt like they were being stabbed.
Literarily and metaphorically
They knew their end would come soon, catastrophically.

The issues they created were many,
The world became ugly and smelly.
They threw their trash without care,
They even began to poison the air
And everything seemed to go downhill,
You could buy anything with a one-dollar bill.

The trash began to take over,
There was no chance even with a four-leaf clover
People no longer seemed to care
There wasn’t even a single pear or bear only an empty snare
They saw the damage,
Even the animals had to scavenge

The demise of the humans came soon after,
The laughter seemed to disappear thereafter.
The humans finally began to suffer,
Life began to get even tougher

The trash was all over the ground, mountains and seas,
There were no more bees or even trees.
The trash was in piles and mounds,
The birds no longer made any sounds.
They had eaten all the trash,
The entire world was covered in ash.

Slowly but surely, we thought we reached the end.
There was no more money to overspend.
One by one the humans began to disappear.
The destroyers of our planet were leaving, we began to cheer.
We’d hoped the world would begin to heal,
And we slowly made a deal.

We began to plant trees,
We cared for our planet and slowly there was bees and even a breeze!
Prayers were made that those wretched humans were gone,
Found another planet to destroy by dawn.
We began living in peace,
The human’s impacts had finally begun to cease

Slowly we resorted our home the way it should be
The animals returned to the seas, we were carefree.
As long as the humans were never to return
Where they could suffer and burn.
I hate to sound so mean and cold
But you should have seen the situation I just told

Now it’s still a bit fragile and worn,
And sometimes we find the need to mourn.
This is the story we never will forget to tell,
The power of humans and our almost demise as well.
Don’t grieve children we say,
In the darkest moments, we found a way.

 

While I was growing up I had a fascination for Space Exploration however as I learned more about how much we’ve destroyed Earth, I realized the next generations could possibly not survive or live on another planet that has survivable conditions. As part of another school project, I wrote this short story/poem to express what I think would happen if we didn’t manage to save our planet (the human race would live on another planet but we soon make the same mistakes as we did on Earth). I wanted to raise awareness about how even if we find a survivable planet (if one exists), we cannot continue destroying planets and making the same mistakes.

-Sayyada Khaki

Article Contributing Writers ROOTS - MAR/APR 2019

Roots and Wings

Written by Alessandro Prest

While starting his article, I was wondering, “What are roots?”

What are the roots for us human beings, for mankind?

The more I try to find an answer, the more entangled the question becomes. Every human has them, yet they are totally different from individual to individual, a somewhat incomparable inter eos.

They are who we are, and why we are so; they are our past, our present and sometimes our future.

Roots describe our origins, the deepest shades of our soul. They are our values, taboos, and aspirations. They penetrate our life when we are young because we need a model to emulate. They are there, mutable in content and immutable in time.

Not Just Ties to Our Past

As adults we craft our roots in our own way, we interpret them, we make them, even more, our own. Nobody really takes them as set in stone, otherwise, the world would never change.

Each person has their own reasoning and we recall our roots in a unique way. We are capable of treasuring their content, taking them with us wherever we go, and applying them to the reality we live in. We see the best in them, then we discover their faults with new situations. The opposite is also true: we see a situation and our roots tell us how it could be improved.

There is a continuous exchange between our roots and the real world.

It’s true they can sometimes be our future, too; for instance, when someone remains glued to their home, their views, and habits. Without judging such conduct, I can affirm that it is a life that mostly reinforces one’s roots and makes them more resilient.

There is a saying back home in Italy: A people without memory is a people without history.”

That is what roots are. Our memories, our history, our culture, our traditions, our beliefs, and those of the social groups we belong to, be a that close family, a nation, a local region or something else. Roots are the quintessence of our Weltanschauung – they are the reasons we see the world as we do.

Photo by Elijah Boisvert

A Necessary Hindrance

I would say roots are needed to shape an identity. Having a model to emulate or some values to achieve makes life much easier.

Our roots, they hold us tight and we hold tightly onto them; they strengthen us. They are our way to confide in our capabilities, our way to build up our knowledge.

Nevertheless, we all have this urge to fly away from them, to soar the sky, to dare something, to fight our fears. That’s our way to try and grow up, to follow our hearts and to start living our own lives.

When we become adults, we transition to a new social group and we step out into the “big world.” It is a very weird sensation (at least for me).

In order to make a place in the world, we must fly away from our nest, which – after all – rests fixed upon roots. The tree remains there, stuck to the ground, a solid reference forever in life.

If you do not know where to go or what to do, you know you can go back to your roots then return rested to the world. Roots are the very first yardstick in the confrontation with our lot life, but they are just and always the starting point.

The Interaction and Exchange of Roots

I have asked myself whether roots can change, and I have come to the conclusion that their mutation is of an addictive nature.

As soon as we step out in the big wide world, we are confronted with people who are different; we will inevitably make a comparison and that comparison will have consequences on our views.

We may find someone else’s habits or conduct weird or illogical, but we may also discover a new and improved way to do something, something we never considered just because we weren’t aware of it. Whenever this alternative is positive, the odds are high that it will become a new habit, a new root.

Roots are added on to, one after another. As long as life is lived it is a learning process. This learning process is sometimes unconscious; we see what is better and what is worse, and we try to achieve the former.

Photo by Matthew Kerslake

Giving Rise to New Shoots

Personally speaking, I must say I interpreted some of my Italian roots differently since I moved to the Netherlands, for good and ill, and I have added some Dutch roots to my luggage.

Roots are important because they can help us improve: we must know where we come from in order to celebrate the achievements of our progress.

Alas, we often forget that.

Art ROOTS - MAR/APR 2019 Tuisku "Snow" Kolu

Chomp Chomp

Art and Text by Tuisku “Snow” Kolu

a hippo bites a zebra

Chomp Chomp by Tuisku “Snow” Kolu

CHOMP CHOMP goes the Hippo!

The Zebra kicks and squeals!

An instinctual action can have consequences beyond your realization, beyond your momentary lapse in judgment.

Action will always be followed by reaction.

Poetry ROOTS - MAR/APR 2019 Sybrand Veeger

Expansion and Contraction

Written by Sybrand Veeger

Expansion and Contraction:

I wasn’t the first to observe:
Nature expands through light
And contracts through gravity.

If this is nature’s music, her chordal root,
I’d like to dig deeper,
To play further:

Time’s movement cannot be linear.
It must follow the reality of light and gravity.

Perhaps timelessness, infinity,
Could be thought to resemble contraction.
Maybe timeliness, finitude,
Could be thought to resemble expansion.

What lives, grows and dies, is that which expands,
That which swells reality.
What is and is perpetually, energy, for instance,
Bears upon the finite,
Forcing it to yield,
Like gravity does on light!

The Spirit and Matter of history,
As Hegel and Marx observed respectively,
Dance tango to a pulsing beat:
The rhythm of Time’s dialectical feet.

If we listen closely to the music of history,
We detect its movements:

The allegro of Antiquity,
An adagio in early christianity,
A lentando into the middle age,
And a renaissance crescendo into an enlightened revolution – Accelerando!

Then modernity produced industry,
Which in turn swelled inequality,
Poverty, crooked morality:
The total misery of humanity.

Although there’s some delight in science, technology, globality!
Thanks to which nationality has lost some gravity.

History, then, moves accordingly:
Like an atom, chord and strings,
Expansively and contractively.

There are some tunes left in the chord root of Nature:

The body, human or otherwise,
Follows the tempo of a pump:
The neck’s pulse, the heart’s thump,
Allows for breath to dance likewise.

Exhalations, inhalations,
The vibrations, my pulsations.
Expansions and contractions
At the core of all sensations.

All that’s left is the spirit, the mind,
I hope it tango’s á la divine.