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Friday, May 21, 2010

The Gulf

The gulf between care for our earth and thoughtless use of its vast resources couldn't be more starkly portrayed than in the current British Petroleum mis-statement and consequent mis-handling of its catastrophic undersea oil spill. We have placed the future of what we CAN control of the planet's future in the hands of people for whom its welfare is not the first priority.

water pictures by FreeNaturePictures.com

There are so many aspects of the planet's health that are beyond our control. It would be good to do what we can to attend to those aspects we can control. Which put me in mind of this poem of mind, first published in Poetry Magazine:



I
  
Tadepallegudem

In Tadepallegudem, it’s raining scarlet
and teal again. Villagers saunter through orange
fields and do not ask why their clothes are sky-stained
and their crops melt in rainbow rain. They stop
at the chai walla, heads waggling No, no while they mouth
Yes, yes. They would not believe that a meteor's
dust could gush fuchsia. In Tadepallegudem,
they step around stones of belief,
unlike the man at Cal Tech who peers
into the Big Bang and shrugs,
pondering the hand or blunder that set the spin.
Down the hall, a professor pens a prize-winner
that says over and over, I will not admit
what I cannot see. His monolith will not be jarred
loose by a sky splashing puce.

II

Brittany

The earth’s burners heat up. Poles shift
right side up. A man calculates the speed
of a butterfly’s wing as it churns the air,
triggers a cooling that lifts warm into cold
jet stream, whirls up sea spouts to touch down
off the coast of Brittany. He leans back
in his chair and frogs rain around him.
In Tadepallegudem, umbrellas open
even on sunny days. Pounding out
the inexplicable stains on rocks,
living under constant wonder’s no great strain.



III

Tuvalo

In Tuvalo, high is low. Islands sink as stratosphere drinks
in warm oceanic gulps. Tuvaluans agree to go to New Zealand
if flight is a must. Ocean’s rise is no surprise
to the man who charts Pacific waves for New York,
Beijing and Delhi, where they simply turn the page.
Katabatic wind, fire storm, chromatic rain and glacier melt,
noted every Saturday in Earth Week. If a plan exists,
is it from the hand of blunder or wonder?
In Tadepallegudem, no one thinks of extinction's
brink, nor in Cuzco, where they find that snakes
now writhe in mud slides, earth now a conga line.

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