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Loosestrife (a haiku sequence)

December 22, 2008 1 comment

spikes of loosestrife
pointing at the same place
in the sky

barren field
radiating heat, a door
lies there

through here
there came bison,
then SUVs

days later,
fire ants cross
a sea of glass

handprint
shrinks to a cave bear
then disappears

by Michael Nickels-Wisdom

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Early Summer After Forest Fire

December 21, 2008 Comments off

The Great Fires

December 21, 2008 4 comments

We woke in the dusk, the sun
an alien disk of glowing mauve,
the sky bleeding its last blue.
Ashes fell like snowflakes.

In satellite photos, horns of smoke
from the burning California coast.
Yet it wasn’t the aerial panorama,
but a single glance that leapt

like a lion at my throat.
I looked out the window, saw
flames like bodies, crimson-gold,
soaring then dipping, dancing

their way up the long hill
a few miles from my house.
As if life were being told
in non-human speech:

a hymn to all the afternoons
a woman looks out the window
on a rose-bush and the hills,
idle dove-like clouds

— then the red dancing
with devouring gold —
As if God were being told
in triumphant tongues:

a story of how innocence dies
for the sake of a greater story.

by Oriana

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Categories: Journaling the Apocalypse Tags:

Interior Arrangements

December 20, 2008 1 comment

Just off I-95

December 19, 2008 Comments off

The Fire Department Tells Us to Plan for Evacuation

December 19, 2008 7 comments

As the wall of fire comes my way, I’ll grab a long look
at plants I grew from starters, twigs I propagated into blooms.

I’ll listen for the music of the living room when the ceiling drummed
and we danced to Van Morrison in our empty space.

I will take the wrinkles and rumples of life happening,
the worn parts of the sheets and the towels.

I will take the smells of the sea blowing through,
while our showers ran down the drain, and our hair shampooed.

I will take the building’s noises, pipes full of water and creaking steps,
and glowing red dots on electronic devices.

On my way out, I will take you arriving at the door for me,
take you ringing the doorbell with flowers for me.

On the way out, I will take my willingness to leave all this behind.
I will run naked into my next life.

by Janet A. Baker

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Epitaph

December 18, 2008 Comments off

 

for Samuel Oliner

In Bobowa, the town
whose name sounds like a stutter,
he lay on the roof all day, under the sun
that shines on man and beast without distinction.
Over his body, boards, trash. Garbage
over sporadic sun-lit strands of yellow hair
where he hid. Only his head might save him.
What could a 12-year-old discern
of God’s dark purposes, or the whims of men,
the stutter of guns from nearby woods
where pink-cheeked German boys
were following orders?

When he thinks
of them… mother: gone;
father, grandfather, taken… the story
sticks in his throat, his palate
thick as fur of the rabbit
whose neck he wrung, his mouth
full of the feathers of small birds,
feasts of the famished. Now,
he alone, how can he tell?
He burns with the acid
poured on their bones.
He names their sacred names
with a stutter.

 

by Marjorie Stamm Rosenfeld

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Thaliad (excerpt)

December 17, 2008 19 comments


from Thaliad, part IV

In this portion of the blank verse narrative,
a post-apocalyptic poem in fifteen parts,
a group of children are traveling on their own—
this is one incident on their journey.

Beyond the blasting fire, all roads are long;
The children wearied of the way before
The path was hours old, complained or yelled,
And, taking turns, pushed north across state lines.
Some slept and woke to see the landscape changed
From mountains into hills and farmers’ fields,
Though seldom did they see a sign of life
Except for deer and red-tailed hawks and birds—
One time a bellowing blockade of cows
Scared the children into shouts or silence,
As was the nature of each one, but Ran
Declared the herd was crying to be milked:
We will need milk, said Thalia, so sniff
And find the path to where we’re going, cows!
At that remark, the weeping Gabriel
Let out a snort, hiccuped, and laughed outloud:
See those long rows of green, he said to her,
And then those wavy hills? One day I walked
Up there with my father. I’m sure it was
The place. It could have been… It looks the same.
We found a sourwood tree that had been killed
By something, but the leaves still drooped in place,
Though every one had faded into brown.
When we came closer, leaves burst into wings—
The tree was green, the death was butterflies,
Alive and pouring like a waterfall
But upside-down from us. His gentle voice
Lingered in her ear, but when she answered,
He had begun to cry and did not hear. Read more…

Disaster

December 16, 2008 1 comment

The latest chief of police looks like Bruce Willis, which is good, considering. About half of the population seems to be bonding, casting looks at the other portion who will be sacrificed to heighten tension. Weather unbelievably benign just like on 9/11. It gives us creeps but sets up a good vibe: scary, pregnant. Meanwhile, the heavy artillery starts and so we fling ourselves into the one working elevator. So cozy with its strip of fluorescence, its inevitably fucked machinery. This is when certain character traits are supposed to sink or swim us, like how Shelly Winter’s swimming prowess saved the day in Poseidon Adventure but then her bum heart gave out. How the plucky kid’s knowledge of computer programming saves his family in one movie but not in another. But the workmanlike script for the next persuasively apocalyptic disaster film has been lost or shredded and eaten by the third world. Somewhere the next election results are being dipped in money to make them possible, China’s pollution is being bagged and sold into interstellar bondage, and your grave digs itself out. The credits begin rolling before we’re ready and the gorgeous names of funeral directors ripple in front of our faces as if we were drowning, right now, drowning in our houses.

by Alice George

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Dressed for the Storm

December 15, 2008 2 comments
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