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Monday, August 11, 2014


by Terese Coe

The release of methane on a large scale has long worried scientists. The greenhouse gas is 20 times more damaging to the Earth over a 100-year period than CO2, and is even more potent in the short term. Should the deposits trapped within the Arctic escape into the air, it could kick off a highly destructive climate feedback loop: The methane would cause rapid warming, which would melt more of the Arctic, which would release more methane, which would cause more warming. --Moyers & Company, August 8, 2014

It’s been a year for weather.
Popocatepetl blew—
the cloud of ash dimmed Gretna Green,
Des Moines and Malibu.

In Black Hills, South Dakota, none
survived except the Sioux,
and Stinson Beach was starving but
for grazing caribou.

Spurts of lava blackened Shasta
and on Winnemucca Flats,
fiberoptic cables crackled,
vaporizing technocrats.

The system crashed, the networks fizzed
as if there’d been a purge
the night the blackout swept around
the world in the final surge.

Survivors took to houseboats,
a quake hit Pocatello,
LaBrea tar hit One-O-One
and buried Kate’s bordello.

The ooze has taken life and love,
last going for a fiver,
but fracking and the toxins meant
we lost the last survivor.

Terese Coe’s poems and translations have been published in Agenda (UK), New American Writing, Ploughshares, Poetry, Poetry Review, The Stinging Fly, The Threepenny Review, and the TLS, among many other journals in the US, UK, and Ireland.