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Tuesday, November 26, 2013


by Daniela Gioseffi

Two weeks of United Nations climate talks ended Saturday with a pair of last-minute deals keeping alive the hope that a global effort can ward off a ruinous rise in temperatures.  . . . Mohamed Adow, an activist with Christian Aid, said the deal showed that “countries have accepted the reality” of the effects of climate change, but that “they seem unwilling to take concrete actions to reduce the severity of these impacts.” --NY Times, November 23, 2013

The plan was for butterflies,
bees and bats to suck among flowers
gathering sweetness to live
as they carried pollen, seed to ova,
to bring fruit from need.

The plan was for waters
to run freshly through
wetland deltas, filtering streams
along their way from mountain tops
quenching thirst running clear
rivers to the sea bringing life to the lips of children,
blossoming from the need for love
from parents, two different animals united
into a new being, ecstatic with rebirth.

The plan was for forests to clean the air
for children's breath in symbiotic balance
using carbon dioxide expelled from animals
to give forth oxygen,
to photosynthesize food from need,
making green leaves that leaf and leaf again
to feed women's breasts, not mere objects of sex,
but factories of milk, first link
in the food chain for children's mouths
to suckle milk from leaves of grass
come from fertile mud for need.

But sheer greed for things
of plastic, polymers from petroleum:
acrylic, polyester, lucite, biogenetics,
nuclear radiation, poisons,
greed for too much meat full of steroids,
land laid waste grazing cattle,
carcinogens, plutonium, filth and waste,
killed the plan slowly, bit
by bit, until the water trickled
with foul waste of industries' mistakes
and what was needed food, water, breath
was suffocated to a barren death.

Bats, bees and butterflies
ceased to buzz around flowers
bearing fruit from their sexual union
and children had no food.
Forests chopped to dust
gave forth no oxygen
or photosynthesis
or atmospheric balance
as fluorocarbons and fuel emissions
opened holes in the ozone
and burned the earth
to a carbon crisp
and love,
which was God itself,
no longer breathed
in the eyes of children,
but was silenced from its song
and art, books, poems,
had no feelings to speak
as all seed,
through "market engineering,"
was lost
to greed.

Daniela Gioseffi is an American Book Award winning author of 16 books of poetry and prose. She is editor/publisher/webmaster of, a website of poetry and commentary dealing with climate crisis concerns. She has been widely published in innumerable magazines such as The Nation, The Paris Reveiw, Chelsea, Choice, Prairie Schooner, Poetry East, and in anthologies from Oxford U. Press, Viking, Simon & Schuster, Harpers. Her latest book is Blood Autumn from VIA Folios / Bordighera Press. Her verse is etched in marble on a Wall of PENN Station with that of Walt Whitman and other poets.