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Tuesday, September 24, 2019


by Orel Protopopescu

Credit: necn

Let the jellyfish come,
bloated, like warming seas,
tying their tentacles
around the rudders of ships,
until even the willfully blind
will see smoke rising
from the scorched lungs
of the Earth.

Let the jellyfish come,
waving thin, pale arms,
peeling off the blinders
of indifference and despair,
awakening hosts of children,
stirring the birds
we shed like old moons
as we burn away skies.

Let the jellyfish come
with a sting for every sin,  
marking crime scenes
with their toxic,
bloody flowers,
flashing red alarms
through the acid oceans
we set on simmer.

Orel Protopopescu won the Oberon poetry prize in 2010 and a commendation in the Second Light Live competition, 2016. Her poems have appeared in TheNewVerse.News, Light Poetry Magazine, Lighten Up Online, and paper-based reviews and anthologies. Her book of translations (with Siyu Liu), A Thousand Peaks, Poems from China, was honored by the NYPL. Other publications: a book for teachers of poetry, prize-winning picture books, a bilingual poetry app for children and a chapbook, What Remains. She is currently completing work on a biography of the legendary ballerina, Tanaquil Le Clercq.