Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Essex, 1820

“An ice sheet in West Antarctica is hemorrhaging a volume of ice equivalent to Mount Everest every two years, a rate much faster than scientists previously thought [ . . . ]” Zoë Schlanger at Newsweek 12/5/14

What were they thinking,
men who drew lots
and chose cannibalism,
after a giant sperm whale
defending his mate,
rammed their now sunken ship?

Did they sing to lift spirits,
and did this remind them
of grief-stricken whales
whose mates they killed,
echoing thousands of undersea miles
under champagned celebrations?

The men’s predator spirits
with too many victories
to recall or count
suddenly turned prey
in a tiny lifeboat inside
the horror instead of outside it.

Like proud men of the USA
facing climate destruction
they and their fathers,
without any foresight,
brought on themselves
and their children.

And like that day on the lifeboat,
an Indian legend says
our money will be worth nothing
while the once-wealthy
scavenge for food
beside the poor.


An ice sheet in West Antarctica is hemorrhaging a volume of ice equivalent to Mount Everest every two years

© Scott Starbuck

Scott Starbuck was a 2014 Friends of William Stafford Scholar at the "Speak Truth to Power" FOR Seabeck Conference. His "Manifesto from Poet on a Dying Planet" is at splitrockreview.org/news

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