“Dear Sky, Dear Blue Planet” is the AGU22 Community Poem that invites YOU to speak to the integration of artistic and scientific modes of inquiry.
Listen to the Poem
I remember icy ankles in your northern waters. And awe.
There, camouflaged and delicate, submerged nets of caddisflies
flutter—both of us open-mouthed, clinging like lichen to rocks.
Who are their tiny eco-engineers? Artists. Architects of flow.
In the silken minutia where wonder breaks, we waken—
between worlds of measure-taking and mystery-making
(search for languages woven with science and kinship).
With willow hoop and sinew, I honor another of your intricate webs,
dew-drenched orb in the half-light of gossamer stories—
Anishinaabe Spider Woman, spinnerets weaving in the mythic garden.
Is she creating safety with dream catchers or trapping pathogens?
My fingers imitate, pattern with spokes and spirals an airy strength.
All belief is kinetic energy—a formula of tension plus vibration;
We share aadizookaanag—to tell the sacred that passes between us.
Bodies accumulate in the Anthropocene. I grieve my friend trapped by Ian:
hurricane, a bare bathtub, no power, cell service—no hand nor voice to hold.
We say farewell to old knowledge of weather—au revoir, ciao, ta.
Like dying stars surrounded by nebula, our lives a series of goodbyes—
so long Sanskrit, Yahi nation; adieu glaciers, adiós, splendid poison frog,
long-nosed river dolphin, little blue macaw—namaste each gone beauty.
Oh blue blue planet, how do we restore balance, mend this broken?
Dear Sky, bless the do-overs. Let us metamorphosize—like cosmic dust;
like nymphs, unfold new fragile wings amid the ancient regalia of air.
Seven Grandfathers teach zaagi’idiwin; say love is also belonging.
To fly, we must make a shield of sky—practice translucence.
Dream with me this oikos, where even now in the lateness of autumn
auburn tamarack tips rise—tapers, light layered on darkness.
Kimberly Blaeser, past Wisconsin Poet Laureate and founding director of In-Na-Po, Indigenous Nations Poets, is a writer, photographer, and scholar. Her poetry collections including Copper Yearning, Apprenticed to Justice, and Résister en dansant/Ikwe-niimi: Dancing Resistance. A citizen of White Earth Nation, Blaeser is an Anishinaabe activist and environmentalist whose creative work invokes Traditional Indigenous Knowledge and scientific observation within poems of spirit and witness. A Professor Emerita at UW–Milwaukee, and Institute of American Indian Arts MFA faculty member, her book, Ancient Light, is forthcoming from University of Arizona Press in 2024.
The AGU22 Community Poem provides a space for conference attendees to speak to the integration of artistic and scientific modes of inquiry. Choose a prompt on the right in response to the model poem, “Dear Sky, Dear Blue Planet,” by poet Kimberly Blaeser and share your voice on the interactive community poem website.
Artists are observers of the natural world, and engage its materials, learning from them, as do scientists. The ArtScience manifesto developed by Bernstein et al. (2011) stresses the power of connecting and synthesizing artistic and scientific modes of inquiry and aims to re-humanize and re-integrate knowledge. ArtScience provides a framework that includes elements of inspiration and engagement and allows for the emergence of new knowledge and insights. Join us in this exploration of ArtScience and lend your voice.
This community poem is supported by the Art and Science Track of the AGU’s Science and Society Section.