Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


by George Held

Between November 9–11, 2013, a large iceberg finally separated from the calving front of Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier. Scientists first detected a rift in the glacier in October 2011 during flights for NASA’s Operation IceBridge. By July 2013, infrared and radar images indicated that the crack had cut completely across the ice shelf to the southwestern edge. New images now show that Iceberg B-31 is finally moving away from the coast, with open water between the iceberg and the edge of Pine Island Glacier. --NASA

                          The watchword to my remarks [on halting global warming] is urgency.
                                                      –Bill McKibben, Brown Alumni Monthly

How few dare face the fatality we face:
Our electrified, motorized civilization
Pollutes the planet; mammoth enterprises
Fight for scarce resources, including water,
“The new oil.”

Will your grandchildren have a pure drop
To drink unless your children
Can afford to pay hundreds of dollars
Per gallon? Will the poor, driven mad
By thirst, revolt with Kalashnikovs,

IED’s, machetes to seize water supplies
for their families? All that storm water flooding
and drowning Kansas and the Philippines,
Bangladesh and the Jersey Shore
And not a drop to drink.

Scientists report time is short, even Al Gore’s
100 years sound far too optimistic,
Yet what are you doing right now to stem
Our reliance on fossil fuels and advance
Our shift to renewable, sun and wind, power?

Right now what are you doing to save Mother
Earth from the ravages of global warming,
to keep air breathable, water drinkable,
Life livable? Do it, right now, for the last days
Are near. Tomorrow is too late.

An occasional contributor to The New Verse News, George Held occasionally blogs at