Friday, April 10, 2009

GOOD FRIDAY REQUIEM FOR ICE


Imagine a vast archipelago of icebergs
larger than Manhattan, unseasonably set adrift.
This is how it begins. The mad race to the end.

Too late, I am learning the complex language
of ice: firn, ogive and swale, iceberg ballast,
the secret emerald tear and Tanzanite heart,
strange unfathomable blues: lapis & sapphire,
azurite & aquamarine, cerulean & cobalt.

Precocious tongues of fresh water
150 trillion tons float on a salt brine sea
as scientists try to translate and explain
and decipher the final symphony of ice
playing it fast-forward at both ends of the earth,
before it's too late. For whom the bell tolls.

They say that frozen breath rings in small knells.
A song of ice islands adrift on a final migration.
For the continent at the ends of the earth,
the western ice shelf is disappearing into the sea.
Sweet tongues of ice speak in a new sea dialect.
Things are heating up: Mt. Erebus is erupting:
fire and ice. Fire and ice and floods.
But hey, a new species of krill was discovered.
The krill shall inherit our flooded cities.

Meanwhile in the far north, beneath Ursa Major
the ice melt has accelerated out of control,
the first ice free summer in the Arctic
is predicted to arrive midsummer, 2013
Who's going to explain that to the polar bears?

Break out the beach chairs and sunblock
and lead us on to the new Riviera.
We'll sip Manhattans on polar ice.
I hear the aurorae borealis and austrailalis
are spectacular this time of year.
No resurrection likely, or in sight.
Too bad about the penguins, though.

mayday mayday mayday

4/10/2009
Friday poem

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