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Thursday, August 28, 2014


by Louise Robertson

Top: Carcass of a bird set alight by focused sunlight at the Ivanpah Solar Generating System (seen below) along the Nevada-California border. Top Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via Earthweek; Bottom Photo and caption: Earthweek.

Environmentalists and animal rights activists are in rare opposition, because birds are being cooked alive when they fly through the concentrated rays of the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in California. Solar thermal plants are excellent means of creating renewable energy and jobs. They help reduce US reliance on foreign oil. But the reputation of solar energy as a whole could suffer unjustly from the charred feathers showing up at giant solar thermal plants. --Michael Howard, Esquire, August 20, 2014

Ever since Icarus took to the sky

we have been talking about nothing else.

At once posing ourselves as the boy, aloft,

or falling;

but also we put on the father's shirt and wings

and grieve.

We paint ourselves into the figures

minding our own business on the ground

with the corn and the book

and the spiked tool.

Over and over, we say where were you when

Kennedy/9-11/whatever happened.

Then the sunlight catches the birds

on fire

who know best of all

how Icarus really felt.

Burn. Burn. Burn.

Louise Robertson has earned degrees (BA Oberlin, MFA George Mason University), poetry publications (Pudding Magazine, The New Verse News, Borderline) and poetry awards (Mary Roberts Rinehart, Columbus Arts Festival Poetry Competition -- twice). She is active as a poet and organizer in her local Columbus, Ohio poetry scene.