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Saturday, October 29, 2016


by Peleg Held

“The news last week that summer ice covering the Arctic Ocean was tied for the second-lowest extent on record is a sobering reminder that the planet is swiftly heading toward a largely ice-free Arctic in the warmer months, possibly as early as 2020.” —Peter Wadhams, environment360, September 26, 2016. Photo: Arctic Ocean sea ice melt as seen from the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Cutter Healy via environment360.

Gather last words
basket them drowned
under freighted skies
on a dead sea.

Bring them to pestle and powder
the shell of the old into the blood
of the new. Shout gloryhole
when you crawl in
and when you crawl out.
Say nightshade when
you blow the wick black,
on our lips
is no home.

We whistled the fire up
and up it came, like Jacob
on a lattice, burning
to leave no angel alive.

Peleg Held lives in Portland, Maine with his partner and his dog Emitt. There is also the semi-feral cat, Smudge. And a kid or two. pelegheld(at)