Out To Sea
She is a big, soft woman,
a curled foetal ball.
They swarm her like ants.
Assault her; bombs, pile drivers,
endless marching foot steps.
Strew her skin with trash.
Piles of nothing alive.
dust caked nostrils, a trickle of blood stripes her chin.
An anonymous woman
forgotten by the entitled masses who wrangle and tromp
all her secret places.
Digging, gouging, drilling,
pipelines to suck her blood.
Sometimes she wakes from
nightmares she wanders:
Rolls her arm-earthquake shatters a city.
Blinks a tsunami-washes away thousands.
Her heart beats-volcano
blows, slashes of lava pulse through civilizations at mountain’s feet.
She raises waters, pulls the land back. Her fury floods,
her voice the sound of hurricanes shrieking.
Some say she is off her axis.
Some say she is crazy
with grief, heart aching for humans who steal life from beloveds;
her centipedes, honey bees, ants, her elephants, orchids,
sightless worms that hunt by hot springs in ocean depths.
Her immune responses evolved when she was nothing but
a star’s dream. She urges them to genocide, war, the moon; sends in viruses, bacteria, her fiercest warriors the smallest-anything to rid
the plague that consumes her,
afraid nothing will remain-
stone bones flash past the sun.
She curls up, exhaustion takes her. Sleep. Too soft to face their sharp
edges any more
for this day.
(It appeared in the anthology Planet in Peril and also in the publication Headline Poetry)
near Anacortes on a beach, tide out,
it could be Thor
on that beach or so we tell ourselves right
by the refinery smelling of sulfur
we say beach combing sounds
pretty like blue glass turned
green softened edges, surprise
it could be that factory you worked in/
burned when you
were away & again & again/you don’t believe
unless you see
something about the ocean makes you
think bad things can’t happen if you just look hard enough
throw back the shells, he says, positive relieved of his own guilt
they are somebody’s home in the future