There are two poems from the new manuscript,
The Next World,
in the latest issue of
Flyway publishes work that explores
the intersection of human experience
and the environment.
I am writing this on Sunday, September 17th, 2023,
during the time when thousands of climate activists
are marching in NYC and around the world
to end the use of fossil fuels.
The first poem is about a flood that was labeled “a five-hundred-year flood” back in '93, when it overran the city of Des Moines, Iowa. The city's waterworks were inundated and there was no water in the taps available for almost the entire city for about six weeks.
Military helicopters constantly circling...community sandbagging...cars floating away into a roil of muddy water...
What was “every five hundred years” back then has become the new normal.
|New York State|
I tried to write a poem about that flood with the idea of memory as prophesy for what was to come, what has now arrived…
Rain, The Ceaseless Sea, The Water Works Drowned & Prophesy: how the world was made
Ever since the flood, the long Cassandra scream.
Balls of water for nine months, smashing onto
concrete, roofs, battering leaves, then water
suddenly everywhere lapped up to the highway’s
shoulder as we drove pell-mell into the city
before the water cut us off from home. Sea north,
south, soy and corn waving beneath water like
kelp. Ever since the flood, Cassandra pleading,
this is coming, this is coming soon everywhere…
The rest of the poem can be found in Flyway here.
The second poem is the last poem written in the manuscript, back in April, after the last snow here in Eugene, when a murder of crows arrived back in the neighborhood – their calls, their black wings, their black beaks, their piercing eyes – and connected everything together; a polyphony of sounds, smells, colors, questions…
What is Crow (Polyphony)
Crows fill the bare maples, between baroque trills and
iron-crust-against-plaster croaks, they dip their heads,
swipe beaks, black to cold branch: What is wood? Wood
was one of the solutions soil came up with when it was
asked to invent the sky. And what is sky? The gravity
source that pulled black wings out of crow bodies, that
now whirl and scatter and land on the rehab lawn across