used w/ permission

Yet Another Tipping Point

By Katrina Dybzynska

Yet another tipping point

Two human pregnancies or one of an elephant,

white rhino, orca or a killer whale.

Time that takes for bamboo to grow 498 meters.

Or for your hair to be 22.5 centimetres longer.

Period needed to write The Jungle Book.

Or to cross Sahara by camel, and return.

If it was a baby, by then it would learn to refer to itself

by name, echo what people say and – what is comforting –

understand 10 times more than it can put into words.

18 months.

Can we transform the whole world of interwoven links

in a time it takes to decompose a cigarette?

Half home

Half asleep

You make yourself half of a usual coffee dose,

with half spoon of sugar

The mug this time definitely half empty

You comb half of your hair

While half of your dog

Wiggles its half tail

So you take it to the park

That used to be half as big

You only meet half people

Who half-heartedly tell you half-truths

And it is not until when you are back home at half eleven

That you realize that you yourself are just a half

The other part



Though we know very little about lasting


Imagine the world in which half of what you call home is gone.

Half of everything you love, erased.
New WWF report found that forest animals populations have declined by 53 percent within just 50 years. 1000 times faster than natural extinction rate. Within our lifetimes forests might be inhabited just by the ghosts.

Angry beast

Surely am angry, but the beast? No, merely misunderstood beauty.

I was talking in season changes, waves, frequencies…

I cried, you built dams.

You will think of climate collapse as a payback, yet it is just another language.

One that finally you might comprehend.



PS. Just kidding.

Never been yours.

Last tribe

They will want to know what we believed in.

What did the gods promised us, what miracles

we have been waiting for.

They will speculate what languages we spoke

as they were not able to describe the urgency

or to analyse solutions.

They will research what calendar we used

since it did not predict the end, or what kind of watches

showed that we still have time.

They will look for mitigating circumstances.

Proofs of mass hypnosis, amnesia, manipulation.

They won’t find anything.


Our child would have uneven

teeth and a birth mark on the right

hip. The rest would be a fight

for domination: eyes that change

color, like mine, when I am happy,

or yours so black. that it is impossible

to distinguish them from pupils?

Yours curly or mine straight?

Maybe it would love spicy food

after me or have a pepper allergy

like its father. I wonder if it could

still choose its food.

Would it inherit your pure as seagull’s

laughter, or the one with a hidden question

mark like mine evolved? Would there still

be seagulls for the reference?

Most importantly: would it have lots

of reasons to laugh?

Hopefully it would get skin

after you as it is more resistant

to heat. But you disagree as my skin

colour is more resistant to humans.

You think that we would teach it to protect

nature. Before I leave, I respond

that by then there might not be much left

to protect.

Katrina Dybznska is an activist and educator. She won the second place award in the Red Line Book Festival Poetry Prize. She is the author of „Dzień, w którym decydujesz się wyjechać” (The Day When You Decide To Leave), Grand Prix of Rozewicz Open Contest 2017, and is a laureate of national competitions in Poland. She has been publishing short stories, concept book, science fiction, reportage and poetry, but feels most attracted to genre hybrids. Katrina is a graduate of the Polish Non Fiction Institute.

Featured image by Max Wilbert, used with permission.

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