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Tuesday, September 18, 2018


by George Held

Florence left a trail of flooded roads, broken trees and downed power lines across Leland, N.C. (Ken Blevins/The Star-News via AP via The Washington Post)

              As I walked down to Rotten Lake I remembered
              the wrecked season, haunted by plans of salvage…
                             —Muriel Rukeyser, “First Elegy. Rotten Lake”

Snow & cold in the Northeast
Show your breath on May Day;
This spring will be short –
A wrecked season.

Every rare warm day overwelcomed
As halcyon, a resurrection,
Citizens worshiping the sun
Bare legs & shoulders to welcome warmth.

No one mentions the global warming
Behind each wrecked season,
& few foresee the advent
Of a wrecked planet,

Its seawalls overtopped, lowlands swamped,
Sea wrack & sea foam decorating
Flooded floors & warped siding,
A civilization sliding by on mud.

Cry, the beloved Earth
& cry, the drenched citizens;
Leave your belongings behind:
Flee upland or drown.

George Held, a longtime contributor to TheNewVerse.News, writes from New York. His twentieth collection is Dog Hill Poems (Seattle, 2017). Under the Escalator, his dark fantasy for children, will be released later this month.