Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bodies of Water


An Ocean of Plastic (photo credit, UC-Santa Barbara)


***
"Bodies of Water"

By Nan Socolow

Aeons past
before the plates
became continents
when this Earth
was young
bodies of water
encircled
Pangaea.

Now our
blue planet
is a dying zone
waking nightmare
pillaged and
plundered,
its watery places
ravaged by mankind.

Civilization has
dumped debris
detritus dreck
bottles and jars

and enough plastic
to gyre and gimble
and strangle the

Pacific wabe.

Bizarre fish
snakeheads
and sea lampreys
with sucking razor
sharp teeth delve

in the fresh water 
of the mighty Mississippi
and Great Lakes

And Lionfish
from Indian and Pacific seas
swimmers loosed from

American aquaria

dressed gauzily 
to kill in fetching saris
swirl en masse
in the Caribbean


Pythons, boas
gators lurk in the
marshy sawgrass
of the Everglades,
eyes aslit for innocent
passers-by
to squeeze and
swallow



The five continents
that were once
Pangaea, connected
like the carapace on a
hawksbill's shell or
jigsaw puzzle pieces,
are now apart and prisoned
by waste waters.


Billions of people
dying for a drink
of clean water for
their birthright
of potable water.
Global warming
and climate change
are inconvenient truths


of our lives
on Earth,
though denied by some
human folk who buy
and chugalug water in billions 

of little plastic bottles
that will remain on Earth
long after we've gone.

***

(This poem by Nan Socolow will be included in a volume (working title, Invasive Procedures: Earthquakes & Calamities) due to be published later this summer.)

2 comments:

Mark Portier said...

... Thank you, Karen ... Every time I visit a supermarket I see people with cases of bottled water in their carts. For drinking. At home. When we have reached the point where we acquiesce to this rather than demand a potable, lead-free drinking supply from our municipalities, our passivity as a people has become lethal; to the planet and ourselves ... I posted something to this effect on my Facebook page and was called out as a "water snob" by a high school classmate.

Jay–Ottawa said...

Say it in song. Say it in verse. Say in prose. As you please. But say it!