I am a poet, a photographer, a playwright, a gardener, an author, and a consultant in sustainable development and industrial ecology. I am also husband to Grace and dad to Martha and her husband Ralph.
Beginning in 1957 I started a career applying my creativity to the task of changing the world toward a more humane, just, peaceful, and democratic place. Over the years I took documentary photos, produced radio and TV programs, wrote poetry, designed conferences, wrote (and discarded) two novels, consulted on organizational change, authored reports on sustainable development, consulted on environmental excellence, and drafted a play.
Now is the time to harvest what I’ve learned in these diverse realms. What efforts have worked? What can we learn from the ones that failed, as well as the successes?
Have I actually been much of a success? I look around and have difficulty finding tangible results, beyond books, reports, and poems. As the Bush gang started the Iraq war, I wrote this poem to the child of a friend in New Mexico:
Dear little friend
can you put together dreams
that wars have broken into pieces
and scattered in the sands?
Can you do this?
not even next year
when your heart is strong
and your mind is once more clear.
This old man’s dream of peace —
please carry it
pick up the sharp pieces
don’t cut your fingers
on broken dreams.
Put the shattered pieces
into a beautiful circle
a circle of light
a dream that can’t be broken.
More of my poetry is at http://www.indigodev.com/poetryernestlowe.html
How do I avoid becoming hopeless? This section of another poem honoring the fallen demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in 1989 says it.
I thought I’d learned that hope is folly
even as is despair.
But students in Tiananmen square set me hoping,
gave me homeland in their thirst for freedom.
And now I lean against this redwood
trying to remember that clear space
between hope and despair.